American Alice McKennis was the youngest member of the U.S. men’s or women’s alpine team when she made her Olympic debut at age 20 in Vancouver. As she prepares for the Sochi Olympics, she took time to recall how she got her start in the sport.
How did you get started in skiing?
I started skiing at a small mountain outside of Glenwood Springs, near my hometown, when I was two years old. And my dad taught me how to ski, and he got me into it.
Would you characterize your family as a ski family?
Not necessarily. I kinda come from more of a ranching background. But my dad grew up skiing, and he loved to ski, so he was the one that kind of took my (older) sister and I up on the mountain. And, once we started to really love it, it kinda took off from there and sort of possessed us both.
Embedded owg_slideshow: Through the lens: U.S. Alpine team
What was it about skiing that you loved so much and made you possessed?
I think it was just going fast and having that freedom. You're just on the mountain, doing whatever you want. And, I mean, as a kid, it's just-- it's-- it was awesome, just going wherever you wanted and trying to chase my sister down, and it was a lot of fun.
Do you credit your sister at all for how you turned out?
Definitely. My dad was a single parent. And then, I just had the older sister. So they sort of raised me. And they always were pushing me, and I was trying to be better than her.
How would you like characterize yourself as a kid? How would you describe yourself?
I was very independent. I didn't mind being on my own or skiing by myself at all. I wasn't really like linked into the whole like social thing. I just wanted to ski and just-- you know, I was just doing my own thing.