Moving away from home and first time in the FIS circus

Hi! My name is Thomas I am 16 years old.  I just moved away from my parents to the west coast of Norway to attend ski gymnasium. Ski gymnasium is a 3 year high school.  My mom has always made things look so easy; she cooks dinner, makes breakfast, cleans the house, does laundry, and helps me with homework.  So, when I moved out, I thought things were going to be easy and that my only focus would be skiing.

When I got my first month of scholarship money I thought I was the richest man on the planet.   I went out and bought some food and other useless stuff.  Before I knew it half of the money disappeared! The money had to last for two months and I was only a week in.  After some thinking I figured out what I really needed: ski equipment. I learned to deal with  household issues and budget, and got a LOT better.

The first weeks of school were great! I spent my time doing homework, relaxing and meeting new people. After a few weeks we went on our first ski trip with the gymnasium. It was similar my U16 trips, but now my coaches put a lot more pressure on us to perform. I continued training trips and school and before I knew it my first FIS race was around the corner.

The race felt similar to a U16 race but this time I started as one of the last ones- no FIS points means dead last!   I talked to some of the other racers who had been doing this for a year or two and they made me feel better.  They assured me that even though I was starting last, I was new and would not be last for long.

Unfortunately, I did not have a great first race. My parents always say “tell is like it is” and I definitely had some BIG problems.  Skiing races in U16 is one thing, but skiing FIS is a totally different league.  Not only are the courses longer and more difficult, the other skiers are just a lot better.

There are a lot of things my classmates and I have to focus on when it comes to training.  The big ones are skiing (obviously), strength, balance, coordination and speed.  The FIS circus is challenging but I am doing my best in both Slalom and GS. I’m closing in on 100 FIS points!  I know that I will make it, I just need to spend more time on the slopes skiing, fixing my technique, and doing dryland training.

I’m very proud that I’m already closing in on 100 FIS points after one year and hope to continue doing well.  The training is really hard but as we say in Norway, “It is only as much fun as you let it be”. If you’re having a great time skiing and doing what you love the most, it can only get better!

Ligety Weibrecht Mt Hood Ski Camp