I started skiing when I was two years old and raced for the first time two years after that in a Nastar event while at Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont on a family ski trip.
Growing up with two older brothers around Georgian Peaks Ski Club gave me the opportunity to compete against some very talented young skiers. I spent the next few years skiing with both the National Ski Academy and the Ontario Ski Team. In 2005, I was accepted to the Canadian Alpine Development Team.
Then, the journey began…
For the first few seasons, my focus was to get as much guidance from teammates, gain experience at this caliber of racing, and become accustomed to the international ski racing pace of life. My goal of being one of the fastest female ski racers in the world has always been important to me. It wasn’t until a severe knee injury sidelined me for two whole seasons that I discovered how important that dream really is. (I'm fully recovered and more powerful than I've ever been, but for a closer look at what the recovery was like for me you can watch this video or read this article.)
I have worked harder than I ever thought possible to return to my sport. My need for speed and love of the competition drove me once again to realize my dreams. After being cut from the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in April 2013, I decided I wasn't finished.. Thus the birth of Team Larisa Racing.
The first season independent was the most empowering and liberating season of my entire career... not to mention successful. I raised $150,000 and created a platform to train, compete and, ultimately, qualify for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in February 2014. I hired Kurt Mayr as my coach and together we continue to flourish. It was a risk, on many levels, for both of us but I am so grateful to have the support of so many generous sponsors and genuine people to gain an experience that will forever change my life.
After finishing the season ranked 10th in the world, I am so hungry for yet another. This entrepreneurial effort has a following that fuels me to the top. I have now experienced the World Cup podium, placing 2nd in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy in February 2015, and cannot wait to step up there again. Along with success came the ability to connect with thousands of others striving for their own heights. The intimacy I gained with these children and adults alike created a cycle of inspiration. They share their stories of courage and belief in oneself and I, in turn, feel inspired to continue doing my best in my sport. The entrepreneurship required to 'go it alone' has also propelled my passion for business and educated me on the many facets necessary in management.
Thank you to everyone who believed in what I attempted to do and sent their fastest vibes during my seasons. I am hungry to continue my career and become the fastest female ski racer in the world.
Join Team Larisa and let's see how far we can take this :)