Freshman finds a love for competitive skiing

March 22, 2017 — by Esha Lakhotia and Muthu Palaniappan

Freshman Alex Taylor discusses her love for skiing. 

Since the age of 6, freshman Alex Taylor has been shredding the slopes with his sister, sophomore Isabella, during family trips to Tahoe and Bear Valley. Both learned how to ski from their parents, and both have become advanced, competitive skiers.

“When I started racing at competitions, I realized that I loved going fast,” Alex said. “I had that moment where things clicked for me, and I finally realized why skiing was such an amazing sport. It not only taught me a sense of control and balance, but it introduced me to a whole community that has become like my second family.”

Nowadays, Alex skis with the Sugar Bowl Ski team almost every weekend at Tahoe during the ski season. During the off-season, he stays in touch with the sport through week-long ski camps in Oregon.

Often times Alex and Isabella race in the same category, and their competitive nature shines through, as they strive to get a better time than the other.

So far, Isabella is the one who has been finishing with the faster times — a result that continues to inspire Alex to get better.

Alex and his team go to various ski resorts in California, where they not only improve their skills, but grow as a community.

So far, he has participated in a junior skiing program called National Standard Race (NASTAR). In NASTAR, his team reached the national level of competition, which lasts an intense four days.

Since skiing requires traveling to far places like Tahoe and other resorts almost every week, Alex often finds himself struggling to finish homework and studying.

“During the drive up, I take all my books with me, and study as much as I can,” Alex said. “Some days, I’m just too tired to even study, and I end up turning a lot of homework late.”

Alex also plays the trombone in the school marching band, which requires a lot of time commitment. This makes his skiing schedule even more difficult to balance with his schoolwork, especially during the fall marching season.

Before he started skiing, Alex had heard numerous stereotypes about the sport, but realized after that they were only misconceptions.

“I thought that skiers were very composed and had everything under control,” Alex said. “But now that I am in their shoes, I realize that I was completely wrong and that many times, skiers fail multiple times until they can perfect a slope.”

After skiing for several years now, Alex finds that everyone he skis with is like family, and that competitions are not always about winning, but rather about improving.

“From skiing, one of the most important things I have learned is to believe in myself,” Alex said. “You can’t be scared of what’s ahead of you or the upcoming race, you just need to charge at it.”

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