Earlier this month SSCV Nordic athletes Hannah Hardenbergh, Ian Boucher and Parker McDonald traveled to Europe to compete in Spring Nationals in Switzerland and France with SSCV Nordic Program Director Dan Weiland. SSCV Nordic athlete Hannah Hardenbergh shared her reflections on this trip:
We traveled to Leysin, Switzerland to participate in the Swiss National Championship races. This opportunity was beyond thrilling and I surely learned a lot about ski racing. From Leysin we visited Gstaad (the small Swiss town by which the design for the Town of Vail was influenced). From Switzerland, we traveled to Chamonix and Mont Blanc, and then spent the second week of our trip in rural Premanon where we raced at the French National Championships.
We got the chance to watch many Olympians race in Premanon on the same days that we raced. It was very exciting to watch the best of the best skiers in biathlon, ski jumping, and cross country compete at their highest caliber.
It has been an adventure over here in Europe for sure, filled with language barriers, new experiences, top-performance ski racing, encounters with Olympians, lots of baguettes, croissants and cheese, and of course Swiss chocolate.
I’ve learned a lot about ski racing here too. The juniors are very competitive and aggressive. It was a great opportunity to race against some of the best juniors in France and Switzerland. We had such an enjoyable experience in Europe, enjoying the amazing views and the great ski trails tucked away in the mountainsides of the Swiss Alps, the colossal amount of delicious bread and cheese we ate, and the challenge of racing against top-level athletes. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.