Q & A with World Cup Winner, Olympian & Keely’s Camp Ambassador Alice Mckennis:
Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls: Who did you look up to as a little girl and why?
Alice Mckennis: Daron Rahlves. I always looked up to him because he was a little crazy and ripped at DH and Super-G. I liked how he was a little out there and wasn’t a picture perfect, follow the line athlete. He was different and that showed me that I could be different too and still get to where I wanted in ski racing if I put my heart into it and worked hard.
KSCFG: What advice would you give to your 13 year old self?
AM: Quit worrying about the mean girls and trying to be what they thought was “cool”. Been myself more and not tried so hard to fit in with them. Looking back I spent a lot time bummed out because they were mean to me, it was not a productive use of my time and I let it get me down too much. I pushed through and have followed my dreams! I am doing what makes me happiest and didn’t need their approval then or now! Be yourself and love yourself.
KSCFG: What is your favorite downhill course on the World Cup circuit?
AM: Cortina, Italy! Snow is always “hero snow” and the course flows better than every other course. A big jump too!
KSCFG: What advice do you have for girls returning from injury?
AM: When I broke my tibia-plateau two years ago I had serious doubts that I would be able to return to skiing. I doubted that I would ever have the confidence and trust to go fast again, I doubted my strength and if it was worth it. I had a lot of doubts, not just the first few weeks but the whole time. But I knew deep down that with my love and passion for skiing I could make it back if I kept pushing through my doubts and working hard. I did everything I could every single day to get back and it paid off. One thing I would say is that it wont be easy but don’t stop believing in yourself, you can return! Just keep the faith and push through the hard days…every day that passes gets you closer to your goal of being back on snow and enjoying skiing again! Don’t ever lose the faith, trust yourself, you will make it back
KSCFG: How has skiing and sports shaped your life? Would you have wanted to a camp like this as little girl?
AM: Sports & skiing has taught me a lot of things. Perseverance, patience, a strong work ethic, how to accept the bad days and move forward to next day. If you love something and if you put your heart into it anything is possible. I wish I had a Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls when I was a little girl because growing up there were few female skiing role models to look up too. The female athletes that I knew of seemed really far away and that being like them was not attainable. I think if I had met some of them I would have realized that they were not that different from me at all.
KSCFG: What does the camp motto, “Girls Moving Mountains” mean to you?
AM: When you think about moving mountains and making it to the summit you realize how much time, effort and work it takes and that you can never do it alone. I think that Keelys Ski Camp for Girls helps girls get a start on moving their own personal mountains by giving them the help and support they need to realize that getting to the “summit” is possible and not just a dream.