Nordic Champion Morgan Arritola

"I love skiing in the Wood River Valley because you can feel so alone in the woods even though you are so close to town. Waking up in the morning and skiing the first tracks is one of my favorite things to do. You get to feel the warmth of the sun as it makes its way over the mountains and it's easy to lull yourself into a rhythm and just go. I also love the community that makes this Valley special. It's always great to see familiar faces out on the trails doing what you, and they, love. Not to mention the grooming here is unlike most places in the world." – Morgan Arritola, Nordic competitor in the 2010 Winter Olympics, recognized as one the top female cross skiers in North America

Q & A with Morgan

Q: When and how did you start Nordic skiing?
A: I began Nordic skiing during my junior year in high school. I used to play soccer but when my family moved to the Wood River Valley area and I met some of the kids on the team who also Nordic skied, they convinced me to come out to a practice and I never stopped going.

Q: What is your favorite place to Nordic ski in Sun Valley & why?
A: It's hard to pick one, there are so many great trails that are always in amazing shape. I love getting out there early and getting first tracks as the sun comes up.

Q: What is your favorite activity when you are not Nordic skiing?
A: Well, we train all year for skiing but I love to train and everything that comes along with it. I also love playing soccer, waterskiing, and being with friends and family.

Q: When did you know that Nordic skiing was more than just a hobby?
A: Probably about a year after I began doing it. I am very competitive by nature so I always wanted to continue to improve so I kept reaching for the next level. It’s a great sport that has afforded me so many opportunities.

Q: What is your favorite non-skiing place in Sun Valley?
A: I love running on the trails, I’m pretty sure I could run Fox Creek blindfolded. I also love a Bowl of Soul from Java. It tastes so good after a ski. Elephants Perch for any sports gear too; I have way too many jackets.

Q: Who do you consider your role model and why?
A: I have many role models, people like friends, family, and teammates. There are also professional athletes I admire like Steve Prefontain; athletes who don’t settle. They continue to expect more of themselves and push the limits of what we think is possible.

Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned?
A: Never give up and believe in yourself.

Q: Where do you turn for motivation?
A: I am motivated by myself and my desire to be better every day. I am also motivated by being on the World Cup. There are so many fast, great skiers and it makes me want to be better.

Q: What is your favorite way to warm up in the winter/cool down in the summer?
A: Down jackets in the winter and the Big Wood River in the summer. I swim in it all the time.

Q: What advice would you give to young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
A: At the end of the day you have to believe in what you have done and love doing it. I wake up and I’m excited to ski, train, race. You have to love what you do.

Q: Favorite food?
A: Burritos and turkey sandwiches. I also love Mari Wania’s chocolate cookies.

Q: Song?
A: Depends on the mood. I like a lot of music, Metallica, Death Cab for Cutie, Garth Brooks, Tool. Too many to name.

Q: Band?
A: Ditto

Q: Color?
A: Any color, although I am not a big fan of pink.

Q: Time of day?
A: Early morning. I am an early riser.

Q: Movie?
A: Without Limits.

Q: Book?
A: Water for Elephants

Q: Place to eat?
A: Globus, the green curry is amazing! And Jodi is the best waitress ever.

Q: Holiday?
A: Christmas. I hate the present part but I love the snow.

Q: How long have you lived in SV?
A: About 6 years.