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Erin Mielzynski

Alpine

A skier for all seasons, Mielzynski excelled on the water as well as on the snow as a young athlete growing up in Ontario. She won a silver medal in jump at the 2006 world water-skiing junior championships. In March 2012, the Guelph, Ont., native made history in Ofterschwang, Germany, when she became the first Canadian since Betsy Clifford in 1971 to win a World Cup slalom race. She followed that up with her second career World Cup podium in 2013 and is expected to be a medal contender at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

Top Results

1st – Slalom – FIS World Cup – Ofterschwang, GER (2012)
3rd – Slalom – FIS World Cup – Zagreb, CRO (2013)
5th – Slalom – FIS World Cup – Are, SWE (2012)

World Cup rankings

(2013-14)
Overall: 70th
Slalom: 30th
Giant slalom: 42nd
Super combined: 26th

About

Birth date: 25/05/1990
Birth place: Brampton, Ont.
Residence: Collingwood, Ont.
Hometown: Collingwood, Ont.
Ski club: Georgian Peaks Ski Club
Made team: 2008
Sponsor: Polar Securities, Georgian Peaks Ski Club, Tashodi

 

Height: 5-6
Weight: 145 pounds
Skis: Rossignol
Goggles: Uvex
Boots: Rossignol
Poles: Leki
Helmet: Uvex

@ErinMielzynski

Q&A

Nicknames: E.R. - My dad used to call me this when I was little; Air - My name can’t be shortened much, so people usually just call me Air or Air Bear or Mielzed.

First memory of skiing: 
Skiing with my grandparents, my sister and my parents in Colorado. We would follow my grandpa around all day while he told us stories on the chair, while my mom held her pole across our laps for safety. 

Best moment in ski racing: Definitely when I won the 2012 World Cup race in Ofterschwang, Germany. In the morning, the snow was soft and the weather was warm. I knew that the conditions were going to be tough and it would be anyone's race. After crossing the finish line of the first run in fifth, after starting 24th, I was ecstatic. I threw my hands into the air and celebrated a little because I knew that I still had one more run. I started the next run around women such as Marlies Schild (Austria) and Maria Riesch (Germany), but strangely enough, for once I wasn't nervous. After the second run, I crossed the finish line, looked up and saw green. I was in first. I started screaming and celebrating because I was guaranteed a fifth. However, as the last four girls came down, I stayed in the leader box. I won a World Cup race. Standing on top of the podium and listening to the Canadian anthem play for all to hear was the best moment of my life!

Worst moment in ski racing: I’ve had a few moments in racing that seemed horrible at the time, but now looking back I can laugh at them: 1)  When I was 16 I raced the men’s downhill track at the nationals in Whistler, B.C. I came around a turn coming into the steepest pitch of the course and hit a few bumps. When I put my foot back down I realized that I didn’t have a ski on anymore. I stood up, took air off the breakover and skied straight down the rest of the pitch dodging fencing and gates. At the bottom of the pitch I screamed and threw myself to the ground. 2) My first year on the team was a tough year for me. We raced in Colorado at the beginning of the year, then headed to Europe. In Colorado, I skied a hairpin as if it was a flush, so when I realized my mistake I had to ski out. My next slalom race was my first Europa Cup. I got through the top part of the course, but mistook a single gate for a delay and ended up in the other course. Those weren’t my smartest moments.

What is your Olympic dream: My Olympic dream is to put together two of the best runs of my life on that one day. My dream is to be inspiring, to motivate people through my skiing and my actions, and to make people realize they can do anything they set their minds to. 

What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? We get to experience a new culture in a place that has been built entirely for the Games. We will have to roll with the punches, but I am prepared to do that. 

If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? ‘Ten Thousand Hour’ by Macklemore feat. Ryan Lewis. I like the lyrics,“The greats weren’t great because at first they could paint. The greats were great because they paint a lot.”

If you could bring anyone in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be? I would bring my mom, my dad, and my grandparents. 

Hidden talent: I have a mean straight right in boxing. 

If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? Playing on the water with my family, friends and animals. 

If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? After my ski racing career, I hope to be a veterinarian. This has always been my dream because, besides being an athlete, I can’t imagine a better job than going to work each day to treat animals. I have always seemed to have a strange connection with animals. 

When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: running, surfing, biking or sleeping..

What’s the best thing about your hometown? My friends and teachers. I had amazing support when I lived in Guelph. My teachers helped me graduate with high marks while becoming an athlete, and the friends I made will always be there for me no matter how often I make it back home. 

Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: Soon the most surprising thing will be my inflatable stand-up paddle board. I am planning to buy an iSUP and bring it to New Zealand and a few of our other camps because I love being on the water no matter how cold it is. 

Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season: My favourite food in Europe, which you can’t find in North America, is flatbread Italian pizza! The thing I eat the most regularly in Europe is oatmeal in the morning. I bring oatmeal with me for the morning and between runs because it is easy to cook and I know that I can digest it well. 

If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be: Georgian Peaks, Ont. My friends and family could come watch me race, without having to spend a lot of money or have the hassle of travelling. I could also sleep in my own bed the night before the race. 

Where is your favourite place to race or train? I like training in Kirchberg, Austria, because it feels like home. We can set as many courses as we want on the hill, and train for as long as we want. Also, a lot of the time we get to see the men’s team, and go to our favourite pizza restaurant. 

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I would choose to fly. I used to waterski jump and I would love to feel the feeling of being in the air again. I would also be able to just pick up and fly wherever I wanted to be for our few days off! 

If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would build my dream home on a beach in Maui with it’s own private surf break. I love the sound of crashing waves, the feel of sand beneath my feet, and having the birds be my wake up call. 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road?  This one's about a coach, but still funny. One of the funniest days of training we ever had was when I was on the development team. We were training slalom and the course was very icy. By the end of our training session, our skis were not quite as sharp and we were having trouble carving one turn. At the bottom, our coaches, Tim and Walter, nicely told us that after you turn left you have to turn right. Someone quipped that they should show us how to do that properly on such an icy course. They accepted the challenge. We set up a video camera and “saw how it was done.” I don’t think their skis had seen a file in months, if not years, and you could tell. Halfway down the course, Tim grabbed his radio and gave us commentary. Walter was set in his racing mentality and must have been distracted by the radio hanging at his feet. Although the video evidence was entertaining, we couldn’t see much due to camera shake caused by extreme laughter.

Who is someone you admire in sport? Although he doesn’t compete in sport, the person who inspires me most in sport is my grandpa. He is 82 and still skis. Recently he bought a paddle board for the cottage and has always made sure that we stay active. My grandpa has been the most inspiring person in my life. 

All Results

WORLD CUP

Podiums
3rd – Slalom – Zagreb, CRO (Jan. 2013)
1st – Slalom – Ofterschwang, GER (March 2012)

Finishes in the top 20
14th – Slalom – Kranjska Gora, SLO (Jan. 2014)
19th - Slalom - Flachau, AUT (Jan. 2014)
17th – Slalom - Bormio, ITA (Jan. 2014)
16th - Giant Slalom - Beaver Creek, USA (Dec. 2013)
10th – Slalom - Lenzerheide, SUIT (March 2013)
10th – Slalom - Flachau, AUT (Jan. 2013)
18th – Slalom - Semmering, AUT (Dec. 2012)
5th – Slalom – Are, SWE (Dec. 2012)
14th – Slalom – Levi, FIN (Nov. 2012)
18th – Slalom - Soldeu-Grandvalira, AND (Feb. 2012)
18th – Slalom – Kranjska Gora, SLO (Jan. 2012)
14th – Slalom – Flachau, AUT (Dec. 2011)
13th – Slalom – Courchevel, FRA (Dec. 2011)
13th – Slalom – Arber-Zwiesel, GER (Feb. 2011)
20th - Slalom - Semmering, AUT (Dec. 2010)

OLYMPIC

2014 Olympic Winter Games - Sochi, RUS
21st - Giant slalom
DNF - Slalom 

2010 Olympic Winter Games – Vancouver, B.C.
20th – Slalom

OTHER

FIS World Ski Championships
17th - Slalom - Schladming, AUT (Feb. 2013) 
16th – Slalom – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER (Feb. 2011)

Nor-Am Cup podiums
1st - Super-G - Copper Mountain, USA (Dec. 2013)
1st - Super Combined - Copper Mountain, USA (Dec. 2013)
2nd - Giant Slalom - Loveland Valley Ski Area, USA (Dec. 2013)
1st – Slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2012)
3rd – Giant slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2012)
3rd – Giant slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2012)
1st – Super combined – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2012)
3rd – Super-G – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2012)
1st – Slalom – Loveland, USA (Nov. 2012)
2nd – Slalom – Mont Ste. Anne, Que. (March 2012)
1st – Slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2011)
1st – Slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2011)
1st – Slalom – Whistler, B.C. (March 2011)
1st – Slalom – Whistler, B.C. (March 2011)
2nd – Slalom – Val St. Come, Que. (Jan. 2010)
3rd – Slalom – Panorama, B.C. (Dec. 2009)
2nd – Super combined – Whiteface, USA (March 2008)
3rd – Slalom – Craigleith, Ont. (March 2008)