Posted on 12 December 2019
We are proud to present the Sophie's World collection, featuring a brand new print designed in collaboration with Olympic cross-country skier, and Vermonter, Sophie Caldwell! This festive and wintery print supports Sophie as she races around the world this winter, and sets her sights on the World Cup Sprint podium. With over three months of World Cup racing ahead, we'll be cheering loud for Sophie and the rest of the US Women's Ski Team!
40% of proceeds from the Sophie's World collection go towards supporting Sophie's pursuit of more World Cup podiums, travels, and training camps.
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M E E T S O P H I E !
Born and raised in the small town of Peru, Vermont, Sophie Caldwell has been cross-country skiing since she learned to walk. Hailing from a long line of distinguished cross-country skiers, Sophie became dedicated to her sport from a young age. Sophie went to Stratton Mountain School for high school, before attending Dartmouth College where she skied for four years and competed in the NCAAs.
Sophie qualified for both the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia and the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and is now in her sixth year on the US Ski Team. Last season, Sophie had three individual World Cup podiums and just last week she helped her team race to a World Cup relay podium. And to think the season has only just begun...
We caught up with Sophie in the midst of her World Cup circuit, to ask about life on the road and what keeps her going -
Why did you want to collaborate with Skida?
"I have always admired Skida and the people behind the company. I grew up cross-country ski racing with Corinne when she was in the very first stages of Skida and I remember how fun and exciting it was to have some printed hats and headbands at Junior Nationals and around the ski circuit. I think Skida's products are a great way to add some color and personality to your day and I believe every product is well-made. I love that Skida is a Vermont-made company because I was born and raised in Vermont and have a lot of pride in being from this amazing little state. I also admire that Skida is founded by women and supports women. It's been really inspiring for me to watch the progress Skida has made from when we were teenagers to now and it's a testament to the idea that hard work and a dream can turn into a reality."
What is your favorite Skida product?
"When I am home, my favorite Skida product is the alpine hat because the fleece lining keeps me toasty warm on chilly skis. I also like that it can double as a casual hat with so many lovely prints! When I am on the road racing, my favorite product is the Tour. I ski with a neckie every day and often race with one when it's chilly and I love that the Skida tour adds some character to my race uniform!"
What are you most looking forward to this season?
"At the end of the season, we are having a sprint World Cup in Minneapolis, the first World Cup event held in the US in (I believe) 19 years! It will be my first time racing a World Cup in the U.S. and I can't wait to race in front of a home crowd and draw some attention to our sport."
Tell us a little about life on the road when the season ramps up! How does race prep change when you're abroad?
"There are a lot of little things that change while we're on the road like the fact that we're sleeping in hotel rooms, living out of duffel bags, and sometimes eating different cuisines. I always try to remind myself that the basic act of skiing is the same no matter where I go, and I know how to do that, so therefore I should be able to ski race wherever I am in the world!"
What are the best parts of traveling for your sport? The hardest parts?
"For me, the best part of ski racing is the people. I think cross-country skiing draws a unique crowd of people and in general, they're really good people. I feel lucky to have made many of my best friends through skiing and every year I get to meet new people who enjoy this crazy sport as much as I do! The hardest part of traveling for skiing also has to do with people, but it's being away from my other people. We are often on the road from mid-November until April and so I can go months at a time without seeing my family or best friends who aren't ski racers. That's the part that wears on me the most, but I am thankful for technologies like Facetime and Skype that allow me to feel more connected even when I'm far away."
Do you have a favorite race format? If so, what is it?
"My favorite race format is the skate sprint. It's the fastest race. :)"
What keeps you motivated through off-season workouts and training sessions?
"One of the great things about nordic skiing is that we can do so many other activities to cross train for our sport. I think I would burn out pretty quickly if all I could do to train was roller ski or go to the gym, but I can run, hike, mountain bike, back-country ski, or really do any activity that will help with my fitness, agility, or strength. I think being able to switch it up helps keep me motivated and excited about my sport."
Do you have any advice for young, aspiring nordic athletes?
"Keep it fresh and fun! There is no need to specialize at a crazy young age. I think it's important to try a lot of activities and to find a good group of people to do them with. I wouldn't be where I am today without the people. Even with individual sports, it's important to have a supportive team surrounding you."