With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio fast approaching INFINIT wanted to get an idea of just what being an Olympian really means.  To do so, we reached out to Brian and Caitlin Gregg, two Olympic skiers and INFINIT athletes, to see what it really means to represent your home nation on a world stage.

The following is an interview we conducted with Team Gregg:

 

So, you both have competed at the Olympics, Caitlin in 2010 in Vancouver and Brian in 2014 in Sochi. Do you have plans for future Olympics or have you started to wind that down for now?

Brian - Oh no! We’re full on training right now. We actually just put another order in for our training blend so that we can keep on track! Just a little background on us, Caitlin made the team in 2010, and then we got married in 2011 and Caitlin had told me that her goal was to help me make the Olympic stage, which I had wanted since I was 16, and she wanted to make sure that I made that team in 2014 so I was kind of the primary focus coming into the 2014 games. It sort of became a contested issue in 2014 that Caitlin didn’t make the team considering she had won the national championships that year, but anyway I came to make the team and Caitlin then went on to win the bronze medal at the 2015 world championships!  So for right now we are focusing on the 2017 world championships because they are every other year and then ultimately the 2018 games in Peyongchang.

So is it fair to say that a sort of “lifetime goal” would be competing at the Olympics together?

Brian & Caitlin - Oh yea! That would be huge!

Brian - You know you put up there, winning a medal, and that was already pretty awesome so you know how do you top that? It would be extremely special for us both to be competing at the Olympic level together.

For the both of you, what really drew you to cross country skiing as opposed to downhill which a lot of people tend to go towards?

Caitlin - Well there’s two parts to it really.  I have always had an affinity for running so kind of that endurance background, with alpine skiing experience and comfort on skis, made me a good candidate to give cross country a shot.  And then the second part is that when I was in high school a friend of mine was joining the Nordic skiing team and the entire high school boy’s soccer team decided to try the cross country team and they had been trying to persuade me for some time to join the team so that kind of sealed the deal. So once I heard that I was on the team.

Brian - For me I grew up in a beautiful area for cross country skiing, the Methow Valley, where they have over 200 km of connected cross country ski trails.  I was very fortunate that so many older athletes and coaches were just such strong mentors like my parents, other athletes and other coaches, they were the ones I looked up to for everything in life and certainly in the athletic pursuit.  The passion they had for their sport and how they lived their life really helped me. When I was in junior high my coach, while coaching me, made the 1998 Olympic team, her second Olympics, and you know following that journey and saying hey this could become not just a dream but a reality was pretty exciting and is a big part of the reason we spend so much time working with the youth ourselves and we take that idea of “your dreams don’t have to just be dreams” and try to help them turn them into reality.

There is a lot of talk about the mentality of Olympians and what it takes to really dedicate yourself to a sport in that way so you have the ability to one day compete on that stage.  When did you guys realize that you wanted to be more than just good athletes and had a dream to compete at the Olympics?

Caitlin - I think, you know, early on I always watched the Olympics as a child and I got pretty excited about the idea and the ideals associated with it, and I think that as I kind of moved up through the ranks I had a lot of people encouraging me and a lot of positive feedback, and I really enjoyed the hard work, the dedication, and all the hard work that goes along with being an Olympian. 

I’m actually from New York city, in Manhattan, so you know I grew up riding the subway to school, and learned to ride my bike on the sidewalk in the inner city.  But my parents actually met at a ski and bike shop when they were younger so they had a love for the sport and all sports in general, so when I was about 6 years old we were watching the Olympics and that’s what really got me into skiing. 


"There was a huge jump in my career from the time I started working with INFINIT to making the Olympic team, and I think it has made a big difference." - Brian Gregg

When I was ten my mom, brother and I moved up to Vermont in a little mountain town area, and I remember telling my friends at school before I left that I was really disappointed that I was going to be heading out and I’d miss them but it fit perfectly with my dream to make the Olympics because it was really hard to make the winter Olympics living in the middle of Manhattan so going to Vermont was really a great opportunity. So I guess I’ve been really driven from a very young age and kind of that idea that dedication and commitment would allow me to succeed has helped me get to where I am now. 

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