The Athlete Diaries
The Diary of An Athlete Featuring: Parker Retz of FVSEF
What is your first memory of skiing?
I don't have a first memory of skiing but I can’t remember life before skiing. Skiing has always been a part of my life since before I could remember.
How has ski racing helped you grow as a human being?
Ski racing has helped me develop a hardworking and persistent work ethic and mindset and has helped make me a better person. It teaches me to set goals, and work hard at the things that are important to me. Finishing in a lower position than I had hoped, helps me to stay humble, be happy for others’ success, and want to work harder.
Describe how you feel at the starting gate of a course. What are some of your strategies you use to have a successful race day?
I think that it is good to sleep well the day before a race and eat well the day before and day of the race. I have a good warm up and visualize the course thoroughly.
How has being a part of Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation benefited you?
Being a part of FVSEF has helped me become a more disciplined and well rounded athlete. The coaches' feedback and encouragement helps me refine my technique and improve my skiing.
What are your goals for your 2023 Season?
My goals for the season are to qualify for Western Regionals and to skin up Big Mountain in under 1 hour.
The Diary of An Athlete Featuring: Valerie Cross of FVSEF
1. What is your first memory of skiing?
My first memories of snow is when I took a trip with my family to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC when I was 5. We drove 15 hours from southwest Florida to see snow. Later that year I took my first skiing lesson with my older sister Jacqueline in Sugar Mountain Resort, NC.
2. How has ski racing helped you grow as a human being?
Race skiing has helped me to become extremely determined and has helped me to find and push my limits in many ways even outside of race skiing.
3. Describe how you feel at the starting gate of a course. What are some of your strategies you use to have a successful race day?
I love the feeling of being at the starting gate. The rush of adrenaline and the feeling of unpredictability, but continuing to charge the course with everything I've got is quite an addictive feeling. I take race days very seriously in many ways. I like blasting some good music in my headphones, eating a nice breakfast and taking some deep breaths.
4. How has being a part of Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation benefited you?
I’ve got to meet and get to know some amazing people, especially the coaches. My favorite events are speed events, and I feel extremely lucky to have an Olympic silver medalist in downhill as my coach.
5. What are your goals for your 2023 Season?
I'd like to finish top 5 in all of my races this year and to qualify for regionals. If i can make my skis run really fast I’d also like to qualify for nationals.