We are so excited to congratulate long time Keely’s camper turned coach Allison Mollin on her nomination to the US Ski Team! Allison has attended our race camps on Mt. Hood, backcountry camps, and our kayak camp and it has been so fun to watch her grow as a skier and person throughout the years.
We are so happy to have had the pleasure of interviewing Allison, affectionately known as ‘lil ripper’ in the Keely’s Camp community, recently!
Q- A huge congrats on making the US Ski Team, how are you feeling!
A- It has been a crazy train of emotions after being nominated for the US Ski Team. Firstly, beyond excited for the opportunities and experiences that lie ahead, but my first few days at camp in Mammoth with the team felt very surreal, like I was wearing someone else’s jacket. After a few days with the other girls down there I stated to feel right at home and truly a part of the team.
Q-Tell us a little bit about your background in ski racing
A-I grew up driving back and forth from Half Moon Bay CA to South Lake Tahoe CA every weekend skiing at Heavenly. When I was 11 the Heavenly program shut down and with my parents, we made the decision to move to Truckee where I would ski at Palisades Tahoe. There I started skiing and racing full time. Then after having a bit of a breakthrough season in second year U14 I decided to commit more seriously to ski racing though high school by attending US Performance Academy. From there ski racing really took off for me building through each season bit by bit. I was never able to achieve all my goals in a season. Always leaving me with something to stay hungry for.
Q-How do you stay strong in the off-season? What are your favorite summer activities?
A- Off season I keep in shape with lots of in the gym dryland as well as outdoor sports including, pickleball, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and spike ball. Playing other sports with friends is a great way to work on endurance and agility while having a lot of fun.
Q- How has female coaching and mentorship impacted your experience in ski racing?
A- I have been very lucky to have had only female head coaches my past five years in the sport. Lindsay Dowd and Anna Sullivan were not only compassionate to certain struggles as a female athlete, but demonstrated the grit and determination that women can have in ski racing. Growing up attending Keely’s camp I was lucky to never have the notion that women do not belong or cannot be good ski racers or in the backcountry ripping down mountains. Seeing leaders like Keely, Lindsay, and Waddle, I always assumed that is how it was supposed to be.
Q-What are you most excited about for next season?
A- Next season I am most excited for World Juniors in Chatel, France. Last season I scored my first Europa Cup points on the track in Chatel, giving me experience that I am exited to carry into my first World Juniors. I am also excited to be able to better focus my energy both on hill and on myself with the assistance provided by the team. And finally working to bridge the gap from North American racing to World Cup racing by starting a larger number of Europa Cups.
Q-What advice would you give girls in ski racing!
A- The best advice I can give is to not be afraid to do what you feel you need to. This is of course easier said than done, but learning when you need to take yourself more or less seriously is a huge asset in both ski racing and in life. Take the extra warm up run that your friends aren’t or go full strip. Other times keep your jacket on and laugh with your coaches and friends at the start. Do what is best for you and be mindful of your teammates around you because they will be your friends for a very long time.