Community Involvement

As a professional athlete I depend heavily on the support of my community.  In return, I put an extremely high importance on giving back to it.  As an Olympian and as an athlete, it's my goal to share my experiences, expertise, and ideals of a healthy lifestyle with those around me.

I moved to Anchorage in 2004 because I sought a great ski town - one where the local paper covered endurance sports, where I could live two blocks from a ski trail, and where people recognize roller skiers as athletes training rather than an obscurity!  My passion is to share my love of sports, particularly winter sports (XC Skiing!) with my community and to empower folks to find enjoyment in the winter months.  Beyond skiing and Alaska, I hope to instill excitement and purpose into sharing the values of exercise, nutrition, and life-long health.

Here are some of the projects, movements, and volunteer things I've been involved in recently:
  • Anchorage Daily News Correspondent. Wrote a series of articles featured during pre-Olympic World Cup - Currently writing a column titled "The Road to Sochi, the path to the Olympics through an Athlete's eyes." 
  • Wrote a monthly International Column for Alaska state-wide Nordic Skier Newspaper.  
  • Ambassador for Fast and Female; empowering girls with confidence and leadership skills through sports. The US Ski Team ladies traditionally hold an event at each training camp we do throughout the country. I have also been on the organizing committee for events in Anchorage that draw over 325 girls!  
  • Serves as a "Healthy Hero" for the Anchorage Healthy Futures Program; promoting and instilling healthy habits into the youth of Anchorage. (Frequently records PSA's, attends events, energizes groups) 
  • Spokesperson for "Get out and Play Everyday" Campaign. State program advocating for children to get 60 minutes of play and/or exercise everyday!
  • Barrow, Alaska (North Slope) School visits and Nordic Ski Club kick-off - April, 2013 
  • Produced and was featured in 10 How-To Cross Country Ski videos for the Anchorage Daily News - free instruction from the privacy of ones' own home for general public consumption
  • Frequently serves as a guest speaker in local schools - assemblies, honor role induction ceremonies, physical education classes, etc. 
  • ARISE: Alaskan Runners Inspired to Succeed and Excel; bringing running and love of a healthy lifestyle into Title 1 Elementary schools. 
  • Participates in annual October Fairbanks on-snow camp open called, "First Tracks" open statewide to young skiers. (Role model, guest speaker, guest coach) 
  • Leader for "Bike to School Day" ... over 1,500 Anchorage School District elementary schools participated. 
  • Donates clinics, equipment and time to many non-profit auctions and causes that I believe in annually
  • Delivered key note speech at Junior Olympics, 2010  
  • Featured on Alaska Public Radio, KSKA, 91.1
  • Coached Team Alaska at Junior Olympics for 5 years including last year directly after the Olympics – choosing to fulfill my commitment to the kids rather than going to compete in Europe.
  • Serving as Head High School Ski Coach at West Anchorage HS 3 years (While not entirely volunteer I did make $3/hour!)
  • Worked as an avid volunteer for the Bonny Sosa Tuesday Night race series.  My husband and I were in charge of “cleaning the courses” for three seasons + I set courses
  • Conducts free, instructional clinics for the community
  • Frequently speaks at various events including rotary luncheons, on behalf of the Anchorage Nordic Ski Association, etc.
  • Blogged for Athleta "CHI" blog - articles used to empower female athletes
  • Served as "guest athlete" and honorary starter for the Alaska Run for Women, 2010 - an annual Breast Cancer Research run