[10 QUESTIONS] Cullen falls for Alpine at “frost” sight

Photo Submitted by Sophie Cullen

“This year’s races this year are a lot shorter because of COVID, the teams from IMAC are split up between two days of races, meaning there are a lot less racers at one time, which means that there they are more low-key where the team is just having a good time supporting each other.”

Junior Sophie Cullen talks about her love for Alpine Skiing and how it has affected her life.

Q: Why is Alpine your favorite sport?
A: I like Alpine because it provides an escape from reality which allows me to immerse myself into nature in a unique way, it also provides me with a big community of friends and competitors.

Q: What is a common misconception about Alpine?
A: A misconception about Alpine skiing is that personal lessons are the only way to get better at skiing, Although I started learning through lessons a large part of my growth in skiing came from learning ski techniques by myself on the hill.

Q: What is the biggest competition you have competed in?
A: Although I haven’t competed in too many big competitions, the Regional Ski Race was a big race for me.

Q: How has skiing affected your life?
A: Skiing has changed my life a lot as it is my favorite sport, when I am skiing I reach a flow state where I can forget about everything that is happening around me and enjoy the moments as they happen. It has also helped me make lots of friends through the SPA Alpine team, Skiing Vacations and Racing Camps.

Q: When did you start skiing?
A: I started skiing when I was 6 years old, I would take group lessons with my friends at Hyland Hills.

Q: Who is your skiing idol?
A: I really admire Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vohn, and It’s also really cool to be racing and practicing on the Buck Hill where Lindsey Vohn used to practice.

Q: How has skiing affected your life outside of school?
A: I work as a ski instructor at Highland Hills ski area, working there has taught me the specific techniques related to skiing and how applying these techniques help with ski racing. I also get more experience training and developing my technique which has helped me.

Q: What is the team culture like?
A: The team is extremely supportive and we all push each other to become better, but with COVID it has been harder to bond because we don’t have our normal team dinners or overnight trips.

Q: What are the races like?
A: This year’s races this year are a lot shorter because of COVID, the teams from IMAC are split up between two days of races, meaning there are a lot less racers at one time, which means that there they are more low-key where the team is just having a good time supporting each other.

Q: What are practices like?
A: We have practice every Monday, Tuesday and Friday with races on Wednesdays, the practices usually last around 2 hours in the evenings, but our season was shortened due to the pandemic so we are almost finished.