Skiing is a well-known and widely enjoyed sport worldwide during the winter season. For the past seven winters now, I have spent a lot of time skiing, as it is one of my favorite sports. In the beginning, I learned how to ski as just a hobby, but as time went by, I became more serious about it. In the winter of 2016, I decided to compete in my first non-racing competition. This competition was in the category of interskiing, where you are judged by your skiing form and skills. Held by the Korea Ski Instructors Association (KSIA), this competition is simply a copy of the adult version of the competition. The winners of this competition go on to represent South Korea and compete in other competitions abroad.
|[Official Korea Ski Instructors Association (KSIA) website. Photo Courtesy of KSIA.]|
I have competed in the 2016 and 2018 season competitions, and I must say, it is definitely the toughest competition I have ever competed in. In both years, I competed in the middle years category, which consists of skiers from grades six to nine. The competition is two days long. On the first day we are timed on the gates, which are the red and blue poles, just to show the judges that we are experienced in all forms of skiing. The racing portion doesn’t affect our final scores. On the second day, we are judged on our skills. The skills are long turn, short turn, and mix turn. Long turns are self-explanatory, it involves making long turns while skiing horizontally from one side of the slope all the way to the other. On the contrary, short turns are basically where you make very sharp, rapid turns. Lastly, we are tested on mix turns, which is basically where you start out doing long turns but about one third of the way down the slope, you switch to short turns, then on the last third of the slope, you switch back to long turns.
Prior to this competition, I had competed in several competitions across many sports, yet personally I think that this one was the most stressful and competitive. The reason for this, first of all, is because the competition started at around 8:30 am, yet everyone was present at the resort by 5:30 am to practice beforehand. Second, everyone was dressed in very “professional” apparel, which you could see when everyone was practicing making it hard to distinguish what age category they were competing in.
When it’s time to compete, it is extremely nerve-racking, because there are hundreds of parents, teachers, and others watching you from the bottom of the slope. What I realized later was that because I was so frightened, I was unable to hear anything around me while going down the slope, even though there were loud announcers as well as upbeat music being played. As there are hundreds of competitors the waiting time is insane as you have to make sure that you are always warmed up, yet getting enough rest to make sure that you are not tired before competing.
|[Screenshot from the livestream of the competition. Photo Courtesy of Clare Sohn.]|
I first entered this competition to see how I would do in a large competition based on the results I received, placing in the top 10 among many other competitors, I was definitely proud. Overall, I think that this competition really shows the different aspects of competitive skiing, as it was a very different experience from the other competitions in which I have competed. Personally, as I saw so many other skiers who were so professional, I think that this competition motivated me to try harder and possibly do even better in future seasons.
Seoul Foreign School
Clare Sohn firstname.lastname@example.org