Photos courtesy of Nathaniel Mah.
She’s helping to take ski jumping to new heights for Canada and Alexandria Loutitt is just getting started.
The 19-year-old Calgarian made her Olympic debut in Beijing last year, winning bronze in the inaugural mixed team ski jumping event. That Olympic medal was Canada’s first in the sport.
Loutitt followed that up with more firsts in 2023. She’s the first Canadian woman to win a FIS Ski Jumping World Cup event, accomplishing that feat in Japan in January. A month later, Loutitt became the nation’s first world champion in the winter sport when she won the women’s large hill event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Slovenia. In March, her jump of 225 metres set an all-time Canadian record. Find out more at https://olympic.ca/team-canada/alexandria-loutitt/.
It’s been quite the run, to say the least.
Loutitt made some time for the Calgary Booster Club for a quick question-and-answer session via email. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: How do you view all of your recent success? Have you been able to process it all yet?
A: I have finally been able to soak it all in. But I really see it as the beginning of something bigger.
Q: What do you attribute your success to? Is there anyone specifically that has helped you take your achievements to the next level?
A: I think part of my success is my resilience. I inherited this from my Gwich’in heritage. This is a quality that was passed down through my dad’s side of the family that I am very grateful to have inherited.
Q: Many of your achievements have the tag “first ever” in front of them, with regards to Canadian accomplishments or new highs for women. What does it mean to you to help rewrite some of the history books for Canada and for women in the sport?
A: It’s often scary to go into the unknown and to chase what’s never been done before, but I find it thrilling. I’m an adrenaline junkie who loves a challenge and I’m always up to break barriers.
Q: You made the move from Canada to Slovenia for training purposes and you are still a young athlete. What has that transition been like?
A: I had first lived in Germany at 14 years old, that being said it gave some skills to be able to cope living so far away from home for extended periods. There are still difficult moments. When I’m down or need a mental health day I can’t just drive home like my competitors can.
Q: What do you miss most about Calgary?
A: First off, the thing I miss most is my family and my dogs. Living in a country with nearly the same population as Calgary was an adjustment. I often miss the city life, the livelihood and diversity.
Q: How did you get into ski jumping in the first place?
A: I watched the 2010 Olympics in Whistler and fell in love. After three-and-a-half years of begging my parents, they finally caved and let me join the sport. I was in love from the first jump off a miniature hill. I knew that I was going to be dreaming of this for the rest of my life.
Q: What is a typical day like for you these days?
A: During the on season it’s a bit more chaotic, traveling two to three days a week and competing another three, while trying to fit in strength, cardio and recovery. During the off season I typically train in the mornings and the team tends to go on afternoon adventures, unless we have a second gym or hill session, which tends to be 40 to 60% of a typical week.
Q: This may sound like a silly question, but I’ll ask it anyway because I’ve never done any ski jumping: what is the sensation of ski jumping like? What goes through your mind while you’re in the air?
A: It’s not easy to explain but in a physical sense you can feel yourself generate lift and energy, and from a mental standpoint it feels like an oasis from the real world… thrilling.
Q: You’re off to an amazing start to 2023. What does a successful rest of the year look like for you, both competitively and as a person?
A: For me rest is emotionally and mentally recharging while doing fun exercise spin, hiking, surfing, alpine skiing!)
Q: What are some of your longer-term goals in ski jumping?
A: My main goal is constancy and improving my mental space in completion. (I prefer to keep my long-term plans within my close circle because the mental performance is what I define success as).
Q: Your success in the sport will give you more of a voice within it. Do you see yourself as a role model in ski jumping or an advocate for the sport?
A: I am slowly starting to see myself as a role model. It is still a bit strange as it is a new role for me. I still feel so young next to my teammates and competitors. But I am happy to be someone young girls feel connected to and want to emulate.