Elsa Smith is fifteen years old and is in 10th grade at the Jackson Hole Community School. She has lived in Jackson Hole her whole life and grew up playing soccer, swimming, Nordic skiing, and free skiing. Elsa has maintained a GPA above 3.8 her whole middle school and high school career and has made swimming all-state both her freshman and sophomore years. Elsa began strength training with Crystal Wright when she was twelve, and training has stayed a major part in her life since then. At thirteen she joined the Jackson Hole Freeride Program, which pushed her to compete in three big mountain competitions, where she ended up winning two of the competitions. On the first day of training last year, Elsa tore the ligaments in her ankle, which lead to surgery and a seven-month recovery. She continued to train at Wright Training throughout her injury, which overall helped her mental and physical recovery immensely.
Elsa dedicated her pre-season to training with us and the results are definitely paying off. After an early season-ending injury in 2013, Elsa was excited, yet nervous to get back out on the snow.
“My goals for this winter are to progress as a skier, come back from my injury, and compete in big mountain competitions,” Elsa told us at the beginning of the season.
“By being in the gym, not only am I getting stronger but I’m always surrounded by great role models. I work with so many women at Wright Training who have achieved so much in the skiing and snowboarding world. They not only kick my butt in the gym but on the mountain as well. I am working with experienced athletes who know what the skiing world demands and have been in the same positions that I have been in. They teach me everything, from how to carve better turns, to staying healthy, and how to be successful in competition.”
But after the Junior IFSA event in Toilet Bowl and JHMR this past weekend, I don’t think Elsa has to worry about making a comeback. As we headed to inspection Elsa was quiet, focused and confident. We approached her first air, a line I had never noticed through Toilet Bowl, and watched her confidently inspect the take out, landing, and transition to her next feature. As I sized up the first air, I asked Elsa how she felt. “I know I can stomp it. I’m strong enough, I’m a good skier, I can absolutely land it.” And nailed it she did!
I think her mom, Margaret summed it up best, “I had no idea you could ski like that Elsa!”
Elsa attributes her success on them mountain this year to Wright Training.“Since younger athletes are more vulnerable to injury, strength training is the best way to prevent any sports-related breaks or tears. Injuries are common in skiing, but because of Wright Training, I’m so much more confident on the snow. Being strong in general is important in the sport, and by having the training that I do, I am able to be a stronger and more aggressive skier than many other girl athletes my age.”
Nice work Elsa! Good luck in Targhee next weekend!