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Q&A with Taylor Fletcher

Q&A with Taylor Fletcher

Sport: Nordic Combined
Hometown: Steamboat, Colo.
Major: Undeclared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q1: How did you get into skiing?

A1: It’s kind of a long story. Bryan, my brother, is four years older than me. Every younger brother wants to do exactly what his younger brother did, so I followed in the footsteps of him, but more or less, it was also the community of Steamboat. We’ve always had a very large community that was backing Nordic combined. When I was young, lots of people were training there; everyone seemed to have a connection there, it was the thing to do. I actually started out trying to play hockey and friends got me right into Nordic combined and I haven’t looked back since…it’s been full steam and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

 

Q2: What’s it like competing with your brother?

A2: We have a very unique relationship. Bryan is for sure one of the best jumpers in the World Cup circuit, and I’m the opposite on the Cross-Country side. We have two traits that we’re both competent in, we learn from each other really well, we push each other, but we have that unique sibling rivalry that pushes us to be better and to excel in what we’re doing. But don’t put it past us if it’s one of us to go for the win…we’re going to do whatever it takes to beat the other sibling. So we enjoy it, it’s a blast.

 

Q3: Why did you decide to pursue a college degree?

A3: (Laughing about being a “4-year freshman”) – I always believed that it’s something that you need to do, when you look at everything, you can make a better living than most people coming through a college education. I’ve always felt it, but this partnership with USSA is unbelievable, and allowing us to come take classes when needed is just perfect. It allows me to take the mind off of skiing, and  train a different side of the brain for a while…so when I come to skiing, I’m much more relaxed, much more focused, and I’m a little bit sharper with my every day thoughts and I feel much better about it.

 

Q4: What are you thinking of studying?

A4: I definitely feel like moving into the business program, I really enjoyed stock analysis with professor Lauren Lo Re, which was more of a May Term class. This last year I took QuickBooks. Lo Re was unbelievable, it made for a great learning environment, and I enjoyed it. Getting a business degree will take some time, but it’s something to work for, and it allows me to have something to do when I’m done skiing, whenever that may be.


Q5: What do you want to do after your degree?

A5: Whenever I’m done w/ skiing—whenever that may be—maybe opening up a shop, or helping out with fundraising, something along the lines of that. I definitely have time to decide what path I want to do. I see myself finishing up [my degree] and taking as many classes as I can over the next few years,

 

Q6: Have the Olympics always been a goal?

A6: Yeah, I think if you talk to any child, especially in Steamboat, they dream of going into the Olympics rather than hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth in the World Series or something, and I’ve always, always dreamed of it. I don’t think I had a choice because everyone seemed to do that when we were growing up. I feel like allowing us to travel like we do, and go tour different places, is a great opportunity to have, and I feel like I’ve experienced great diversity just being able to travel—I can see the world and not many people get to do that.


Q7: Why do you think it’s important for athletes to pursue a degree or higher education?

A7: I feel that it broadens your horizons and makes you more marketable. Being an Olympian and maybe having a business degree makes you that much more attractive and valuable…and also you’ll be able to expand your resources and go into a path that you really care about.


Q8: How has Westminster helped you with your academic goals?
A8: Just being able to take classes. Westminster is a super, super unbelievable college, and I can’t thank them enough for being able to come down there in May or to take an online class, whenever that may be. When you look at most colleges and working with our training schedule, to actually try to fit in a class [is very difficult]. Westminster has made it [education] available and made it accessible to us, and that’s a great thing.


Q9: What do you look forward to most as you compete in the Olympics?

A9: It’s a big year, it’s kind of a new story in everyone’s chapter, I look forward to trying to reach my dreams and my goals of a young skier when I was growing up. I would absolutely love to win a medal in Sochi, and I feel like I’ve got a really good shot, and if I’m able to do that than I can’t look back on anything and regret anything because I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted to in my athletic career and I feel extremely happy about it.

 

Q10: Anything else you’d like to add?

A10: Thanks to Westminster for helping us out and I look forward to continuing my education.