The Rocky Mountain College ski teams are back. With the low temperature and the snowfall, the RMC Alpine Ski Team is happy to be in Billings and ready to shred the slopes. The team has expanded this year, with three new male skiers: Elias Holmlund, Kristian DeWolfe, Adam Garrigus; and Elsa Wilhelmson, Zoe Profit, and Sabrina Futral on the ladies’ side.
Frida Svedberg has led the RMC women’s ski team since 2013. During that time the team has won 10 out of 12 regional and national titles in which they competed. Svedberg is the top woman skier in the USCSA Championship and one of the best students, with a GPA higher than 3.5. A committed hard worker and talented skier, Svedberg is looking forward to the 2016-2017 season. Alpine skiing is an individual sport, but in the United States, there is a team competition as well. As a freshman in the 2013-2014 season, Svedberg and the rest of the women’s team made history when they were the first Rocky Mountain College Alpine Women Ski Team to win a Team National Title. However, in skiing, there are always ups and downs. Frida explained this and more in a recent interview.
Q: Last year you were injured, what happened? How is your recovery?
A: “I have struggled with a knee injury since two years back. It is hard to tell when it happened, because I have had problems with my knee for a while, but I knew definitely that it was injured the fall of 2016 when I did a MRI. The recovery has been going well and fast and if everything goes as planned I will be ready for another season.”
Q: How do you feel today? Are your feelings good on skis and in the gym?
A: “At the moment things are well. I am balancing skiing and physical training in order to be in the best shape to ski fast. We have been up in Red Lodge the last couple of weeks practicing and it has been more than great. I also skied at home in Sweden during Christmas and got the opportunity to meet with doctors and physical trainers to make sure I am in the shape needed to ski.”
Q: What kind of motivation do you need to make it through an injury when your next season is depending on it? Was this the first time you had a major surgery from skiing?
A: “I have always loved skiing and most of all the challenges it brings. There is something about setting goals and pushing yourself to achieve them and the feeling when you do. I am also very competitive, which is a motivating factor for me. So making sure I give myself the best conditions is important. I have had three knee surgeries, the first one was when I was 18 years-old, but as an athlete one does not think about that, just what needs to be done to get back. Of course it is tough, but I have surrounded myself with great people that have helped and supported me.”
Q: Are you excited for your first races in Red Lodge? Is it good to start on your home resort?
A: “Oh, yes I am very excited and nervous. I like racing at the home mountain, Red Lodge. It’s a perfect start for me, even though the slope ‘Limited’ is a challenging hill. There is nothing better than having that adrenaline pumping and the nervousness it brings.”
Q: What are your goals this season? Do you hope to make history individually and as a team for the 2nd time since 2014?
A: “This season is special because of the injury, and I am happy if I can ski the whole season without pain. But as I mentioned before, I am very competitive and normally don’t share my result goals, because I am always focusing on the skiing I need to perform in order to do well. The result is just a consequence of that. But of course I have some titles to defend, and it would be fun to have a fast season.”
Q: What do you think about the team this season overall?
A: “The team is looking amazing. We have some new girls that are performing very well, with the combination of the girls that have been around a couple of years, which means we have a good balance of newbies and routine. The guys also have a great team and they showed that last year by becoming National Champions. They also have some freshmen that are hungry and energetic, and like the girls, a group of guys that are just skiing faster and faster.”
Q: You are a senior and an international student. Do you hope to finish on a good note?
A: “Yes, the last year is tough, with difficult classes and combining that with skiing. I am always focusing on the work in front of me and hopefully the outcome shows the work I have done. I am looking forward to my last year at Rocky, and I’m thankful for the years I have experienced.”
The first races were held on Jan. 7 in Big Sky. The skiers then participated in a long racing period from Jan. 13-Jan. 20 in Park City, Utah, and Squaw Valley, California. The next meeting will be in Red Lodge, which will host four races from 26-29 of January. Look for results from the Red Lodge competition in the upcoming issue of The Summit. Frida will celebrate her comeback between the gates at Red Lodge and will hope to gain confidence for the regional and national competitions in Brundage, Idaho, and Mount Bachelor, Oregon.
So be ready, get your lift ticket, fix your bindings, and get out and support your RMC Ski Team.