KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The 2019 Killington Cup begins Saturday with the Giant Slalom, and on Friday, Mike McCune caught up with former Ski Cat Paula Moltzan as she prepares to compete in her first full season as a pro.
MIKE: "Paula, welcome home. You are from Minnesota, but Vermont has to feel like a second home to you with everything you've done here. What does it fell like being back in Killington and competing in this event again?"
PAULA: "I'm super excited to be out here in Killington. The snow has been really good for training and I'm excited to get out on that race hill and hear that hometown crowd cheer for all the Americans."
MIKE: "For this event, the fourth year it's been held now, and you've competed in it a couple of times already, how special is it compared to a regular World Cup stop?'"
PAULA: "It's pretty special because we are able to have a lot of family
and friends around and that makes it a little more unique compared to how many races we race in Europe. So it's definitely pretty special to be out here in the U.S and especially in New England for me."
MIKE: "You have some much experience competing in Vermont and New England, is there a home snow advantage, being comfortable with this snow?"
PAULA: "I don't know if it's home snow or it's home weather. If it rained I'd be pretty OK with it, but I don't think it will. There's definitely some home snow advantage going on. I hope that it's slick, but I think all the athletes will really succeed if the snow is good and that's what makes it more fun that it's an equal playing field for everybody.'
MIKE: "You are coming off a top twenty performance last weekend in Finland. How do you feel, the way you are skiing right now, heading into this weekend?"
PAULA: "I'm feeling pretty confident. I've had some great days here at Killington. I had some great really days in Levi before the race, and I'm hoping to just keep building off that top 20 in Levi."
MIKE: "Last year, from the outside, it seemed like such an exhausting year for you, bouncing back and forth between the World Cup and competing for UVM. What was that like, trying to balance those two things?"
PAULA: "It was pretty crazy. I did a lot of flights. I did a lot of homework on the road I had really great professors and ski coaches at UVM that allowed that process to happen, so I was able to keep competing as a Cat and able to keep competing on the World Cups with no breaks in between. So I felt pretty lucky. It was busy but I'm pretty hyped to have had that opportunity."
MIKE: 'What did the experience of competing at UVM that last couple of years help prepare you now for again being a full-time pro?"
PAULA: "College really teaches you how to finish a ski race. In college
racing all points count, the top three men's finishers, top three women's finishers, are added together for a total score, so if you didn't finish you kind of let your team down. So being more of a consistent ski racer is definitely something that I really learned from college ski racing."
MIKE: "Well I know that the whole crowd is going to be behind you and the rest of Team USA this weekend. Paula, great to catch up with you, thank you very much."
PAULA: "Thank you. Hi everyone!"