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High school Athlete of the Season for girls’ Alpine skiing

ELISABETTA CALDESI

School: Bishop Brady High

Honors: Senior won the slalom and was fifth in the GS at the Meet of Champions. Won the giant slalom at the Division III championships.

3 favorites: peanut butter, skiing, hanging out with my friends

How happy are you with how this year went? This year was pretty amazing. I’ve been skiing since I was 3 and I’ve always worked really hard. I learned to stay focused even when things weren’t going great. I had my goals and I tried to never give up.

How much pressure did you feel going into the championships? This was my first year of high school racing. I’ve never raced for a team, I’ve always done it for myself. It was really stressful sometimes because at States it wasn’t about me, it was for the team and I felt a lot of pressure on me, but we all coped with it and tried to do our best. It was a great experience. Meet of Champions wasn’t about the team anymore but I really wanted to do well so I was stressed out, but I stayed focused and I think that’s what made the difference.

Which race do you like more, the slalom or the GS? My absolute favorite is SuperG, I love the speed. But between GS and SL, slalom is definitely my favorite.

What about skiing comes most naturally to you? The speed. I’ve never been scared to go fast and that’s one of the reasons why I love skiing.

What are your favorite conditions to ski in? Ice is by far my favorite. I used to be really scared, but then I realized that I could use it as an advantage against people that were as scared as I was. It’s all about trusting your skis.

What’s the biggest wipeout you’ve had? A couple of years ago I crashed into the nets in a GS race. I injured my knee but it wasn’t anything too serious.

Do friends who aren’t on the team ever challenge you to a race? Not really. If I ski with people who aren’t on the team we just go skiing for fun.

How did you get into skiing and skiing competitively? My mom used to be a competitive skier and my dad has always skied for fun. They thought it would be a good idea to sign me up for a ski team and that’s how it started. I’m very happy that they did that.

What would be your advice to a young skier looking to get into racing? Skiing can be a really tough sport but it gives you unique experiences. Just stick with it and never give up.

Did you follow skiing in the Olympics at all? YES!! The best Olympic moment was watching the women’s slalom in school during lunch. The whole Brady ski team got together in the computer lab to watch Mikaela Shiffrin. She did so well and watching her win was just amazing. She’s definitely a person I’d love to meet one day.

If you didn’t ski, what would be your most serious sport? Probably tennis, but skiing has always been the only sport I’ve been really focused on.

What’s your favorite book? I don’t have a favorite book, but I really liked “Sarah’s Key.”

Fill in the blank: I wish people would stop talking about … the end of the school year because I’ve had such a great year and I don’t want this experience to end.

If you could visit any city, which would it be? I’d love to go to Sydney. It seems such a cool city and I think Australia is beautiful.

What are your plans for next year? Do they involve skiing? Next year I’m going back to Italy to finish high school because we have 5 years instead of 4. I’ll be skiing for my ski team in Mont Blanc and I can’t wait for next ski season.

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