By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Nick Krause strapped on his first pair of skis when he was 3 years old, and has been flying downhill ever since. The 20-year-old Northborough native now travels the world as a member of the U.S. Ski Team (USST).
Krause competes in all five alpine events – downhill, slalom, super combined, and his two favorites, giant slalom and super-G. He is currently ranked third in the world for super-G and eighth in the world for giant slalom, in the under-21 age group.
Skiing runs in the Krause family. Nick's parents, Joanne and Paul, who still reside in Northborough, are both skiers and his sister Laura was captain of the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) ski team.
When Krause was 8, he signed up for the race team at Ski Ward in Shrewsbury. With success there, he quickly moved on to the Wachusett Mountain race team, where he realized that ski racing was something he wanted to pursue. Krause attended Lincoln Street Elementary School and the Robert E. Melican Middle School during this time, but at age 14 he made the decision to take the next step in pursuing his goal of making the USST.
Instead of attending ARHS, he enrolled at the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, which combines an academic program with a comprehensive training program for ski racers and snowboarders. At age 18, during the spring of his senior year at Stratton, he earned a spot on the U.S. Development Ski Team.
After two years of training and competing, he was promoted to the USST's C-Team for the 2013-2014 season. The A-team consists of well known skiers such as Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, and there is a B-team as well.
Krause lives on the road during ski season, traveling from country to country November through May. He typically spends three to five days in one ski town before moving on to the next.
Skiing has brought Krause to Canada, Chile, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France, and he will be skiing in Slovakia later this season. During the summers, Krause lives in Park City, Utah, where the USST's headquarters and training facilities are located. He answered questions for this interview via email while in Sölden, Austria.
When asked to describe a typical day in the life of a USST member, Krause shared his schedule for the following day. He planned to wake up at 6:30 a.m. followed by a warm-up jog, breakfast at 7 a.m. and arrival at the race hill by 7:30. At 8:30, he has an opportunity to inspect the race course before the first race, followed by the race itself. There's a short break while the course is reset, followed by a second inspection at 11:30 and then the second race.
After the day's racing, he heads back to the condominiums with the rest of the team for dry-land training – spin bikes, a core or balance session, and stretching. After the training sessions, he tunes and waxes his skis in preparation for the next day of racing. Dinner is around 7 p.m., followed by a review of videos from that day, looking to looking for ways to improve his technique. Bedtime is around 9:30.
“For this season, my main goal is to go to the 2014 World Junior Championships and be a podium contender in giant slalom, super-G and downhill,” he said. “Another side goal is to be on the podium in giant slalom, super-G and downhill at least once this Nor-Am [North American] season. My ultimate goal is to race on the World Cup circuit full time and compete in the Olympics.”