By Douglas Maxwell Myer, Contributing Writer
Northborough – United States Ski Team member Nick Krause has taken part in about 30 races this season, including a qualifying run for the World Cup in Austria. Originally from Northborough, Krause’s passion for skiing first developed in central Mass. when he made it onto Ski Ward’s team in Shrewsbury at the age of 7.
His love of skiing led him to Wachusett Mountain’s Ski Team in Princeton for two years, where his skills progressed with the help of Coach Brian McBride. Mount Wachusett now serves as one of Krause’s sponsors.
As a kid, Krause always looked up to Bode Miller as a source of inspiration.
“Bode essentially revolutionized the sport of ski racing with his unconventional course tactics,” Krause said. “It inspired me to become the best skier I could possibly be, with the hopes of one day pushing the sport to new levels myself.”
By the time Krause was in his late teens he was a member of the Stratton Mountain School Team in Vermont where he grabbed the attention of coaches from the U.S. Ski Team. The coaches were impressed with Krause’s strong performance in his last year at Stratton, helping him advance onto the U.S. Ski Team.
Currently, Krause is competing for the American C Team where he’s had various coaches over the past few years who have helped him become a better skier and competitor. His current coaches are Ian Lochhead and Brad Saxe.
“After a day of training, I watch the video with my coaches to analyze each turn I make,” noted Krause. “We then talk about the technical and tactical changes I can make to go faster the next day.”
The competition is fierce.
“With 100 different competitors capable of winning, it becomes extremely difficult to be on the podium on any given day,” Krause said. “I think my greatest strength on race day is being able to forget that I had a bad run or crashed the day before, and convincing myself I can win the race no matter what the competition is.”
His strong mentality has served him well, especially when coping with several injuries from crashes in the past four years. He’s had five surgeries, two on his ankle, two on his knee, and one on his hip. Each injury was followed by countless hours in physical therapy and working hard in the weight room to get strength back in the injured area. Injuries are common in Alpine skiing and being able to come back strong from injuries is an essential quality of becoming a great skier.
Recently, Krause placed first in the Super G last May in the Cooper Mountain, Colorado, race and in Giant Slalom races in the Park City, Utah, and Big Sky Resort, Montana, in January. At the Europa Cup, he placed sixth and seventh in two Super G races, which earned him a place at the World Cup in Hinterstoder, Austria, Feb. 27.
While at the starting gate of his Super G race, Krause had a moment to take in the many spectators who came to watch the event.
“The nerves were definitely higher than in any other race,” Krause noted, “so I just tried to stay calm at the start.”
As Krause pushed his way down the course, his skis accelerated up to speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. He carved his way around 40 turning gates and completed the 2,116-meter course in one minute 36.55 seconds, placing 54th in his World Cup debut performance. However, former U.S. Ski Team member, Doug Lewis, who competed as an Alpine skier in the mid-1980s, was so impressed with his efforts he commented on Krause during his televised broadcast, noting that Krause did a better job than he did in his own World Cup debut.
After the World Cup, Krause placed in sixth as a Giant Slalom competitor in Aspen Mountain, Colorado, and ranked fifth in the Super G at the Sun Valley Resort in Idaho. These recent races could possibly promote Krause to the U.S. B Ski Team but a decision will not officially be made until around the end of April.
In addition to his skiing endeavors, Krause is currently enrolled at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He still stays in touch with friends in Northborough and continues to visit his hometown several times a year. Skiing is still in the forefront, however, and he hopes to keep doing what he loves most.
“Skiing has all contributed to the person I am today,” said Krause. “I feel that as long as I continue skiing with the drive and passion that I have now, I will continue to improve and will hopefully make a lifelong career of this sport.”