The greatest sports advice Travis O'Brien of Lakeville South received when he was young was "have fun."
The senior Alpine skier hopes those words reach a new level with a trip to the state meet in the middle of February at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.
Here is a closer look at O'Brien:
The best movie I've seen in the last year? "Ted."
Three words or phrases my friends or teammates might use to describe me? Smart; dedicated; happy.
Name three songs you never skip on your iPod? "Dirt Road Anthem" by Jason Aldean, "People Are Crazy" by Billy Currington, "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw.
What are your three favorite apps? Flow Free, Bubble Blast 2, Cut the Rope.
Who do you like to follow the most on Twitter, and why?
I like to follow @miilkkk on twitter because he posts funny relatable things all the time, and it gives me a good laugh.
How did you get started in Alpine skiing? I got started in seventh grade on the Alpine team because I wasn't in a winter sport anymore, and I loved to ski. I learned about it through Erik Lindberg, who also joined in seventh grade. He was the one who really convinced me to try it out with him.
At my first varsity practice, I felt ... scared out of my mind. Being a little seventh-grader and going over to the high school for dry-land practices with a bunch of older high schoolers was very intimidating. It stayed that way for a few days until I started to get to know people. From then on it got easier and more fun each day.
What did you work on in the offseason? In the offseason, I worked on staying in shape and having a strong core for balance.
To get focused for a race, I ... shake the snow off each ski twice and take two deep breaths as I stare out at Crystal Lake. Then I get set and ski the [Buck Hill] course.
What is your favorite meal prior to a race? Penne pasta with meat sauce, five brownies, and a Dr Pepper (or three or four). I love everything at our pasta dinners, but penne is my favorite type of pasta.
What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete? After the end of my third season at the banquet when I was named a captain for the next year. It meant a lot as a freshman to be respected enough to be a captain for my sophomore season.
If you could change one thing about high school sports, what would it be? If I could change anything about high school sports it would be what they are about. Many coaches and teams get caught up in wins and losses instead of the reason the kids joined sports in the first place: to have fun. I'm fortunate that I've found a sport where I can have a lot of fun whether I win or lose. At the end of my high school career, I'll look back on all of the memories and good times I've had throughout my six years on the team, and those are all that matter.
In 10 years, I hope I'm ... the proud owner of a Corvette. Obviously, I want to have a good career that I enjoy, but I've always wanted a Corvette, and it's my goal to own one while I'm still young.