An icy breath of wind travels through the air. Only the white, soft snow can be seen stretching out along the mountains. All is quiet and time seems to have stopped as the next skier prepares for their race. There is no time for second thoughts. The horn sounds and off they go, zipping down the course at lightning speed. The ending inches closer and closer, the burning in their legs intensifying as they feel weaker by the second. Finally, the race is over as they reach the finish line, sore and tired, but proud nevertheless. The spectators cheer enthusiastically as the skier finally stops to catch their breath, beaming with pride and satisfaction at a job well done.
For Nils Streedain (11), this scenario is no dream, but a reality. As a competitive skier, Streedain has competed in more than 100 races, placing in the top five or higher in 26 races. Streedain has been skiing since he was four years old, and started racing competitively at the age of nine. His goal is to continue to pursue skiing beyond high school and into college, where he can race competitively with others who share his passion. As with any sport that requires immense amounts of focus and concentration, anxiety is bound to occur. In order to keep himself relaxed before a big race, Streedain uses his time to pay attention to his own needs. “There’s a lot of anticipation before the actual race runs,” states Streedain. “I spend a lot of time beforehand preparing myself mentally by focusing on keeping calm. The whole race experience is very exciting and nerve racking.” Throughout his journey as a competitive skier, Streedain has been met with immense amounts of support from those around him. “I have received a ton of support from my parents who originally got me into the sport and come to all my home races,” he says. Not only has he received encouragement from his family, but also from “[his] teammates and coaches who are like a family to [him].” During a competition the stakes are high, and every contestant is equally talented and skilled as any other player. The difference between those who are successful and those are not comes down to practice and dedication. “I’d tell someone who’s looking to get into ski racing that they have to be willing to put in a ton of time and effort on and off snow,” shares Streedain. The most important rule when skiing is making sure that every second counts. “When it comes to a race everyone is within seconds of each other. It’s all about the details.” Alongside having the pleasure of receiving awards, Streedain finds having the opportunity to connect with other participants rewarding. “I’ve met so many amazing people from all over the world along the way.”
When it comes to skiing, Nils Streedain proves that he has what it takes to be successful. Looking back at all that he has accomplished, Streedain is proud of the hard work he put into competing. But most importantly, Streedain is the perfect example of what diligence and dedication looks like, and how through his efforts in competing he was able to turn his passion into victory.
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