Q&A with Currie and McCormack
Racing starts Tuesday for the world’s top juniors in Davos, Switzerland. Confirmation came early this week from Alpine Canada that two Ontario athletes would be included on this team; Stephanie Currie and Declan McCormack.
Both athletes grew up racing at the Osler Bluff Ski Club and then moved up the ranks to join the Ontario Ski Team. Declan is in his first year on the team after spending last season at the Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont. Stephanie was on the OST from 2013 to 2016 and is now in the NCAA system, representing Dartmouth in her sophomore year. Steph is in the pre-med program, majoring in health sciences with a minor in environmental studies.
AOA caught up with both athletes prior to their trip overseas.
Q1 – Were you expecting this news?
STEPH: I was told it was a possibility back in December but did not know for sure until the selection list came out on January 17th.
DECLAN: I understood that it was a possibility that was most likely going to happen in years to come.
Q2 – What was the first thing you did after receiving the news?
STEPH: I was actually training at Burke when I heard but I just kept training like every other day. When I got off the hill I began to write emails to my professors about my upcoming absence.
DECLAN: Go skiing with my teammates!
Q3 – The event is in Davos, Switzerland… Have you ever skied here, and what event are you looking forward to the most?
STEPH: I have skied in Switzerland before but never at Davos. A Swiss teammate told me it’s great!
DECLAN: I’ve never skied in Davos, but I’ve been to Zermatt and Saas-Fee in the summer months. I’m excited for both the Slalom and GS.
Q4 – Give us a quick snapshot, overview of your career including:
STEPH: I was about 5 in my first Ski Flea race at Osler and from there I just progressed up through the ranks to the OST and now Dartmouth.
DECLAN: I was about 4 or maybe 5 in my first race at Osler and then progressed up through the system to FIS when we made the decision to go south to GMVS and now in my 2nd year of FIS back to Ontario with the OST.
Q5 – What is your ultimate goal in skiing?
STEPH: To race for Canada on the world stage in the World Cup or Olympics. Winning a NCAA championship is a more recent goal of mine.
DECLAN: Most importantly to enjoy myself. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to ski race because I ski so often.
Q6 – If you could name one attribute that got you this far what would it be?
DECLAN: Attention to fine detail.
Q7 – what is your most favourite quality in a coach?
STEPH: The ability of coaches to relax and have fun with their team. I believe that a positive coach-athlete environment fuels the athletes and helps them succeed.
DECLAN: Having a clear understanding with each other.
Q8 – How do you overcome nerves on race day?
STEPH: I think about what I can physically do to succeed. A lot of things are out of my control on race day so I try and think of what I can control and what worked for me during training.
DECLAN: Knowing that I’m as prepared as I can be and realizing that it’s a privilege to ski race.
Q9 – Who is your ski racing idol? And why?
STEPH: Bode Miller. Bode was a fierce competitor but also extremely calm on race day and I admire how he liked to have fun with the sport.
DECLAN: Bode Miller. He’s always been such an inspiration to me in ski racing. I’ve met him several times over the years and he’s always given me the time of day. Nobody sends it quite like Bode.
Q10 – What is the biggest challenge you face or have faced?
STEPH: The biggest challenge I faced was coming back to racing after I tore my ACL in 2014. It took me a lot longer than I thought to get back to where I was pre injury and I wasn’t very prepared for that mentally.
DECLAN: Overthinking simple concepts.
To follow their progress visit the FIS site here FIS SCHEDULE>