Q&A: Travis Ganong
The Sierra Suns Alex Close caught up with 18-year-old Squaw Valley skier Travis Ganong via e-mail while on the road with the U.S. Ski Team. Ganong, a former Squaw Valley Ski Team racer and current member of the National Development Team for the U.S. Ski program, is in the middle of a strong rookie season. Check out what he had to say:Sierra Sun: First of all, where are you right now?Travis Ganong: Right now Im sitting in the U.S. Ski Team Apartments above Trento, Italy. Its sweet, we are staying at this ancient winery in Sud-Tirol, Italy, on the side of a cliff. We drove up this ridiculously steep road to get here, and if you rolled out of the wrong side of bed you would probably end up a mile away in downtown Trento. Pretty sweet place.SS: Keystone, Lake Louise, Panorama, Nakiska, Sunday River, Radstadt; do you like all the traveling that goes with U.S. skiing, or is it even a significant change for you?TG: It is a bit more hectic traveling with the team because we usually link up each destination into one super long trip, so youre on the road for months on end and its pretty exhausting. But I would say that traveling is not too much of a change as I have been doing it on some sort of level for a few years now. Its exciting to always be moving, seeing new parts of the world and skiing new areas all the time. I love it!SS: What has been your favorite place to ski so far this season?TG: Favorite place so far … actually being home at Squaw for a few good powder days around Christmas was definitely the best so far anywhere. I was lucky to get third chair on KT-22 opening day, so that was sweet. Its amazing because even though I travel all around the world skiing, when it comes down to it, nothing beats what we have here in Tahoe. I love Squaw. I did have some sweet powder days in Panorama as well as some awesome races in Keystone and Lake Louise, so that was also enjoyable.SS: It looks like youve had some pretty good results so far (Fourth in SL and GS in Nakiska, Alberta, eighth in SG, sixth in Super combo at Panoraba, BC, 11th and ninth in DH at Lake Louise). Has your first season as a U.S. Ski Team racer been as positive an experience as it looks like on a results board?TG: I would say it has been. The biggest change for me has to be my confidence level. When I get ready to push out of the gate I know that I have had the training and the conditioning that I need to rip. Before being on the team I just didnt have the resources to train as much and condition as much as I have now. The coaching on the team has really helped me, too.SS: Has the jump to the National Team been a big change for you? If so, what have you had to get used to or adapt to so far this season?TG: Surprisingly, the vibe and the feeling I have on the National Team is similar to what I was used to, so it was a really easy transition. I already knew and was friends with the other guys on the team and we have a nice laidback atmosphere together, so there really werent any big changes.SS: Youre on the Development Team for the U.S. Ski program right? What have you been focusing on most as far as your skiing goes?TG: Yeah I am. I have been focusing on a lot of little minor things, too many to mention, but in general the working phase is over and Im in full-on race mode just trying to take things down the hill and find speed wherever I can. We actually have a little training block here in Trento for the next few days so I can slow things down and re-visit my focus from the training period.SS: Has your skiing changed at all since last year?TG: Yeah it has. Ive changed my tactics: Now I am taking a much straighter line around the gates coming in at a steeper angle at the gate. It cuts distance off and is much faster. Technically I havent changed anything big, just a bunch of little things.SS: Do you have any goals for the rest of your season?TG: Yeah I hope to podium at World Juniors in Austria this February as well as keep my world ranking in DH at No. 1 and re-qualifying for the U.S. Team for next year, among other things.SS: Is there anything else you would like to say?TG: Cant wait to come home and ski some pow at Squaw!!