Resi Stiegler: What I’ve Learned

By Resi Stiegler


My parents inspired me to work hard and taught me to love the outdoors. That’s where my passion for skiing comes from.

I’m easy to coach in the way that if I see and understand the technical part of the problem I can fix it. If I don’t see it and feel it when I’m skiing it’s difficult for me to change.

I have a very natural ability and feeling when I’m on snow. My technique has more finesse and feel to it than physical strength. I have more flow.

I can be very stubborn … or maybe its resilience? Either way, I’m determined from the heart to become the best.

I learned hard work is good but it can also cause you to hit your head against a wall a few too many times.

I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on normal kid stuff. Traveling the world became my education. To see the world and have all these experiences. Two Olympics and traveling at such a young age is a different kind of learning. My experiences have built me for life.

Why do I love to ski? ……. I love skiing because it brings me to so many amazing places. To stand at the top of mountains from Russia to New Zealand, Chile and Switzerland. Those moments when you are at the very tippy top and you look out on a crisp clear morning to provide an indescribable feeling.

I love racing because of the details. The intensity and focus. To work on a small move, to fix a technical part of your turn to be faster. All those tiny little details are why I love racing.

Drive and perseverance are things I learned from traveling and working every day towards my goals.

I’ve been cursed in skiing with my injuries but blessed to figure out how to come out of those and still make it to the top. I’ve come out with a positive attitude and been able to inspire other people who have injuries as well. Some people have one injury and can’t come back from it. I’ve had multiple and come back to the top and had some of my best results. I’ve come to believe my injuries have been a blessing in disguise.

I was dropped from the US Ski Team because …..  I failed to qualify for the top 25 which for my age is what I need to do to be on the A team. I was 30th missing qualifications by 7 points.  I am 28 and still feel like I have a lot left in me.

You find out what career you were meant to have. It makes you think about what you were created for. When I was a kid I imagined myself winning everything. Now I would be happy with just winning one thing. How things change along with your journey. What you get out of it. The last 15 years of skiing – even though I haven’t accomplished all my goals – I feel like I have gotten a lot out of my career and I still love skiing so much. I want to use all that information and utilize those experiences and use what I’ve learned to get what I want out of racing.

The best outcome would be me back on the US ski team, getting multiple top 10 finishes, winning events. In the next couple years, we have world cups and World Championships and that has always been a goal and dream of mine to the podium. That’s what I’m fighting for.

The worst outcome would be getting injured in the next couple months.

I’m most scared of not necessarily the injuries. If I were to get injured in November, well then I would just be injured. That’s bad luck. What I”m most scared of would be sitting at the end of the season in two years and having no results. Not being injured, not having made the team, not making any money and maybe not having worked hard enough for it, and wondering what I could have done to be better.

I feel like I’m on the right path.

I’m competitive on the race course, but not freeskiing, in the gym, playing soccer …..  I have a funny way of shying away from being competitive off the hill. I am extremely competitive with myself. If I feel like I haven’t given it my all or if I am slacking I beat myself up inside and have a hard time if I failed myself. I was never good at looking at the other girls and wishing I was better than them. I was very focused on my career and my path. I don’t enjoy the energy of competing with someone in the gym or freeskiing, it’s an odd feeling to try and be better than another human who is usually very talented as well. I have been working on getting better at being more aggressive and trying to be more competitive off the hill so eventually it will build it on the hill.

I admire how hard Mikaela Shiffrin works, how she constantly analyzes her skiing and technique, and wonder how my career would have gone if I’d done the same at her age. At her age, I was much more free-spirited. I always was doing it for the love of skiing. I think we all love skiing the same but how we were brought up to compete may have been different and at such a young age Mikaela was focusing on winning and world cups when I was maybe riding on talent and enjoying the journey. I was very successful and fast when I was younger and if I would have had a competitor like Mikaela at the time I may have been even more successful. So now its more of a treat to be able to have the best skier in the world be from the US and be able to train and watch and learn from her. She is very dedicated and works hard and is very focused on her skiing. To watch that and be able to keep up, to constantly be on your toes and make sure you are on your game is actually a good thing. I’m only here to get better and to do well. I enjoy the journey, yes, but I enjoy accomplishing goals and being pushed to be the best I can be.

What’s the greatest opportunity right now for me?  Having this opportunity to not be on the team and do things my way and being more mature about it. If this would have happened to me 10 years ago I would have been angry and upset, bad mouthing people. Now I feel being older, and having endured all that I’ve been through with my career has given me the confidence to know what my potential is. I know I am good. I know what I have to do to get what I want.  I know what I need to do to be in the top 5. Maybe I know even more than I did just last season at the beginning of the year. It might not come easily, but I know the way.

The mental game in racing …..  Sometimes that is harder than injury.

I know what I need to get done. To be fast. That’s kind of a relief in a way.

This is what I’m looking forward to. Dominating.


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