The road to Sochi | Q-and-A with Olympian Tim Jitloff
Editor’s note: The Sierra Sun is counting down the days to the Sochi Winter Olympics with a series of Q-and-As with local and regional Olympic hopefuls. Look to upcoming sports sections for more.
Momentum is on Tim Jifloff’s side.
The Truckee native is confident as ever coming off a career-best fifth-place finish in a World Cup giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, and he’s looking to ride that success into his first Olympic Games.
Rested and poised, he feels like his chances are as good as anyone’s.
Check out what Jitloff had to say:
Q: The U.S. Ski Team lists you as a Reno resident, but you grew up in Tahoe Donner and currently live part-time in Germany, correct?
A: “That is correct. I grew up in Truckee, went to Truckee High. My residence stateside is in Reno, but my time is currently spent in Germany.”
Q: Tell me a little about your local ties to the Truckee area.
A: “I graduated from Truckee High in 2003. I grew up a majority of my life in Truckee. I first learned to ski at Alpine Meadows. It was there that I first learned to really ski and race.”
Q: About when did you turn your focus from freeskiing to racing, and why?
A: “I was about 5 years old, and I saw my brothers skiing in races. It looked like a lot of fun because you could go as fast as you wanted. I wanted to show my brothers I could hang, so I tried my hand at it and never looked back.”
Q: What’s been the highlight of your ski racing career to date?
A: “I was recently fifth place at the World Cup giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy. It is considered one of the legendary venues on tour. That was my proudest moment to date.”
Q: You’re preparing now for your second Winter Olympics. How was your Olympic experience in 2010?
A: “I was just a backup for the last Olympics, so truly this will be my first Olympics. Honestly, I will fly into the games about four or five days before my event. By then I will be coming directly off our tour and my momentum won’t be lost. I would hate to be there for two weeks with the never-ending build-up. Never a good way to do it.”
Q: You matched your career-best World Cup result with a fifth-place finish in the giant slalom in Italy last month. What does a result like that do for your confidence heading into the Sochi Olympics?
A: “As I stated, it is my career highlight. The race itself is one of the hardest in the world. I showed I can hang with the best. It helps reaffirm that I can be one of the best. I just have to stay patient and continue to work hard.”
Q: The spotlight will be on you and your U.S. teammates in Sochi. Do you enjoy competing on such a big stage?
A: “Luckily for me, my teammates garner all the attention, so no one will be paying any to me. I can go in there and be free to let it rip. No weight on the shoulders.”
Q: Will your family be making the trip to Sochi to root you on?
A: “Sadly, my family will not be able to make it. However, they will join me at our World Championships the following year.”
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