Romanov’s World Cup Debut in Reindeer Land

Romanov’s World Cup Debut in Reindeer Land

Rising up in Colorado, Dasha Romanov and her household headed to Birds of Prey yearly to observe the World Cups. When the World Championships got here to Vail in 2015, the household was there, and when the ladies’s World Cup got here to Aspen, Dasha was on the slip-crew. Her prize possession from these visits is a bib worn by one among her earliest ski heroes, Mikaela Shiffrin. This weekend, for the primary time, Romanov, 20, will don her personal World Cup bib to kick out of the gate as Shiffrin’s teammate within the Levi World Cup Slalom.


Racing the World Cup has been a dream for Romanov since she began her ski racing journey at Lake Eldora.  However she anticipated she’d must create her personal World Cup begin by way of the NorAms, so this chance was a shock. “I came upon the information formally on a Tuesday or Wednesday night time, after which I flew out on a Saturday, so it was a fairly fast turnaround,” says Romanov. “I’m actually fortunate to be right here and actually grateful for the chance.”

She was additionally glad to have the ability to meet up together with her US teammates for a stable block of coaching earlier than the races. Every week into her keep within the Arctic Circle, she has loved distinctive climate and situations. “It’s full winter up right here, however it’s actually very nice. The snow is wonderful, so the coaching has been nice.”


Snowboarding and ski racing are in Romanov’s DNA. Her grandparents have been each avid ski mountaineers within the Soviet Union. Each her grandfather and her father, Oleg, have been ski racers there. Her mom, Elena, was a gymnast and discovered to ski from Oleg. When the couple moved to the States, they continued their ardour, strapping plastic skis on Dasha’s toes at 16 months. “Even earlier than that, my mother and father would truly ski round with me in these baby-carrying backpacks as a result of they actually cherished it.”

Dasha and her older brother Danila grew to like snowboarding as nicely. When the household moved from Virginia to Colorado, Oleg and Elena put each youngsters in ski faculty. They took to the game and began with the Eldora Mountain Ski Membership (EMSC) ski racing program. Romanov additionally competed in gymnastics for 12 years and recalled having to select one sport because the coaching for every intensified. In the end, she selected snowboarding for her pure love of the game. “I really like going back-country with my dad and my household and associates. I like to be within the mountains and outdoors. It was a tricky choice as a result of I used to be so younger, however wanting again, I wouldn’t have modified that.”

Dasha Romanov Coronet Peak, NZ Winter Garmes, ANC picture Neil Kerr


She moved from EMSC first to Loveland Ski Membership. Then, she moved away from her household fully to Solar Valley for highschool. The Solar Valley Group Faculty related nicely with the Solar Valley Ski Training Basis and the Solar Valley Ski Academy, making it an ideal match for her instructional and athletic aspirations. On the time, her solely data of Solar Valley was by way of Warren Miller movies, and it felt like a spur-of-the-moment choice. “I bit the bullet and moved and it was actually the very best choice I ever made for my snowboarding, for every thing. I had a very nice time and I used to be actually fortunate to be part of that group.” After one post-grad hole 12 months, Romanov was named to the US D Crew within the spring of 2021.

Whereas the highway seemed straight for Romanov, it may have been smoother. Between gymnastics and snowboarding accidents, she’s been a frequent flyer on the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver since she was 13. “They’re like my second house.” Through the Covid pause in 2020, she had reconstructive surgical procedure on her ankle, which had been torn up by years of assorted ski and gymnastics accidents. This previous summer season in New Zealand, she recovered from surgical procedure in April to take away a bursa on her inside ankle bone. Now, with pain-free ankles, she feels one hundred pc.


Racing in Levi additionally seems like a full-circle second. Romanov has photos with Mikaela Shiffrin from when the famous person began her profession and has lengthy idolized her as a skier and individual. “Each time I met her, she was probably the most sort, gracious, humble individual, and it actually impressed me. It’s loopy to assume proper now that I get to race together with her and be at this stage. It’s simply an unimaginable alternative. It nonetheless hasn’t hit me but.”

She’s additionally gotten good help from your complete US World Cup group, which in Levi contains Paula Moltzan, AJ Damage, Zoe Zimmermann and Lila Lapanja. “AJ is my mentor, truly, in order that’s been actually cool.” She’s additionally gotten optimistic power from coaches and skiers from different groups. “It’s a very welcoming group.”

She was impressed and motivated by the Bocock sisters, who notched their first World Cup begins in Soelden. “That made me much more excited after I heard about this. It’s wonderful to see your teammates transfer up, and you progress up with them.”


From a younger age, Romanov, whose first language was Russian, has had associates on the European Tour. Her cousin, Anna Romanova, raced for the Russian nationwide crew. “She has in all probability been one among my greatest inspirations, and he or she was one of many first individuals I known as to let her know that I used to be coming right here. The primary time I acquired to journey to Europe, I noticed those that my cousin grew up with, which was actually particular. It makes the world appear a bit smaller.” Among the many racers in Levi are her good associates from different nationwide groups. They embody Anna Eicher, from Germany, and Marie Lamure, from France. “It’s actually thrilling to see my associates once more. They’re so supportive.” One other shut good friend, Canadian Justine Lamontagne, can be making her World Cup debut in Levi. “I’m actually excited as a result of we get to do it collectively.”


Since listening to that she could be racing in Levi, she’s been consumed extra by pleasure than some other emotion. “I actually don’t know what to anticipate. In my ski racing, a very powerful half has been the method and trusting what I’m engaged on. The most important factor for me at a race isn’t the outcome. It’s whether or not I’m pleased with the run. I simply wish to keep assured and be glad. The most important factor for me is to have enjoyable as a result of I couldn’t be extra excited for this.”

Technically, Romanov tries to maintain it actually easy on race day. “I’m all the time pondering, ‘robust on the skin ski,’ as a result of I wish to belief my instincts and simply ski, however it’s all the time good to recollect one factor.”

The problem at any race, particularly the primary time on the world stage, is balancing that pleasure and power with a relaxed, clear head. For that, Romanov has her superpower. “I’m an enormous napper,” she explains. Her greatest outcomes, together with her silver medal eventually 12 months’s US Nationals, have come after a nap, earlier than or between runs. “I can sleep nearly wherever.” She has been sleeping very nicely and expects to get not less than ten hours of sleep the night time earlier than the race. “There’s not a lot daylight throughout the day, so it’s been nice for my napping.”


Romanov has loved taking in your complete scene, particularly seeing reindeer—the standard award to winners in Levi—up shut. “They’re simply so calm and lovable. It’s like a Christmas village up right here. I’m anticipating to see Santa quickly.” Although she is eyeing a cuddly stuffed reindeer to convey house as a memento for her first World Cup, she has efficiently averted any reindeer on her plate. As an alternative, she has loved acquainted meals from her Russian roots and extra diverse delicacies than anticipated. “I truly had tacos tonight. I didn’t know that Mexican meals existed within the North Pole, however they have been actually, actually good.”

Romanov is enormously grateful to your complete Solar Valley group. “I’d actually say that’s an enormous motive why I’m right here as we speak and why I get to do what I really like. They have been my greatest supporters.” Particularly, she calls out coaches Pat Savaria and Will Brandenburg, with whom she stays in contact. “Pat and Will are my favourite individuals to speak to. They all the time brighten my temper.” Principally, she is grateful to her mother and father, Elena and Oleg. “They’ve finished every thing for me. They’ve let me comply with my goals and so they’ve discovered methods to help it.”

Watch the Levi World Cup on Ski & Snowboard Reside to observe your complete crew in motion and to see Mikaela Shiffrin pursue her seventh Reindeer.

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