Snow Fever with Chloe Fausa

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For Chloe Fausa, watching the snow fall can be a wonder of its own. As the flakes fall from the sky and gather on the ground, the pile creates a sense of wonder unlike anything else. There’s always something to do in the snow whether it’s building a snowman, having a snowball fight or making snow angels. However, Fausa’s urge to jump in the snow requires some equipment. When the snow starts to fall, it puts a smile on Fausa’s face.

“In Norway, when you start walking, you start skiing,” Fausa said.

Fausa has been skiing for a long time, the senior alpine skier said that the sport has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Growing up in a country that has hosted the Winter Olympics multiple times in two different cities creates an expectation of excellence in the nation’s national sport. But for Fausa, skiing began as a way to hang out with her friends.

“I started competing when I was about nine or 10,” Fausa said. “I had so much fun, and most of my friends were skiers so I skied all the time. When you are doing it all the time any way you naturally get better and train more, and I decided I could take it a step further.”

For Fausa, that next step was competing for the Norwegian National Ski Team. At only 18 years old, she competed on the world stage from 2010-2013.

“I’m very glad I got the opportunity to be on the Norwegian team,” Fausa said. “I think it’s very challenging being on that level. Your ups and downs really affect your life because I wasn’t doing school anymore; I was just skiing all the time. The experience really made me a better skier just being on that level and training all the time.”

Fausa knew that education would be important and she knew that she wanted to go to school in America. That made the U a natural fit for her.

“When I was on the national team, I didn’t have the opportunity to do any school during that time,” Fausa said. “Most of the ski colleges are really good here in America, that you are lucky no matter where you go. What really helped make my decision was the mountain being so close. Most of the schools you have to travel an hour or more to get to the mountain, and only having a half hour commute here makes it so easy to train.”

Fausa said that she also had a lot of friends here and knew that the team competed and trained at a high level. When she toured the campus, Fausa just knew that this is where she needed to be.

Since coming to Utah, Fausa has achieved almost everything that can be achieved in college skiing. She is a two-time All-American, finished on the podium at the NCAA championships, had six career victories, podiumed 11 times, has had 15 top five finishes and 23 top 10 finishes.

“My goal is to have my best season so far. I want to keep improving in both events that I compete in,” Fausa said. “We really want to compete and do well at the NCAAs and win as a team because we’ve been so close so many times.”

Director of skiing Kevin Sweeney echoes Fausa’s thoughts on her final year of skiing at the U.

“She’s a fierce competitor and she’ll be shooting for the top of the podium this year,” Sweeney said. “She’s more motivated than ever before.”

Fausa said that she would always entertain the idea to compete for team Norway again if the opportunity presented itself.

“I’m still not totally sure what I’m doing next year,” Fausa said. “My goal is to ski as well as possible this year and ski professionally next year. It all depends on this season. If the Norwegian team wants me back then I will keep skiing.”

Regardless of where she will be, when the snow starts to fall, you can bet that Fausa will be reaching for her skis.

b.marshall@dailyutahchronicle.com

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