Prepare to be inspired as we delve into the life and remarkable achievements of ski champion Abby McEwen. Discover her incredible journey and the outstanding milestones that have made her a celebrated figure in the world of skiing.
Can you describe the impact of cold weather and skiing on your skin? What specific challenges do you face in maintaining healthy skin in these conditions? The cold weather is very hard on my skin. It usually makes my skin very dry and sensitive. I normally come off the mountain with either wind burn, sunburn, or frost bite. During ski season It’s difficult to keep my skin hydrated and protected from the elements.
How did you first get involved in skiing, and what inspired you to become a ski athlete? I first began skiing when I was 4yrs old and my parents put me and my 3 siblings in ski racing when I was 6. I don’t believe anyone inspired me to become a ski racer specifically. I was really inspired to become a professional athlete by great athletes from all kinds of disciplines like Kelly Slater from surfing, Serena Williams from Tennis, Gabrielle Reece from beach volleyball etc. Ski racing happened to be the sport that I was able to put my all into to reach a high level.
Can you describe a typical day in your life during the ski season, from training to recovery? A typical day in my life during a ski season changes quite a bit whether I’m at a training camp or at a race. However typically I wake up 30 mins to an hr before the rest of my team (around 5am) in order to meditate and set myself up for a great day. Then eat breakfast and hit the road to get to the mountain. The commute to the mountain changes significantly depending on location. Right now I’m in Saas Fee Switzerland and we walk 10mins from our hotel to the gondola station and it takes 2 gondolas and a train to get to the glacier (about 40mins) all while carrying our big ski packs with all our gear and 2-3pairs of skis and poles. In the lodge at the top we do a pre ski warm up before we put our gear on. Then we do 2 free ski warm up laps to get ready before starting training on a course. Then we do about 7-10 training runs on course, maybe more maybe less depending on how well I’m skiing or how my body feels. Once I’m off the hill I’ll do a workout and recover the best I can. Recovery typically includes a 20min easy bike ride, stretching and rolling, and an Ice cold bath ( I usually just go sit in a river or lake), and physiotherapy. Then I’ll watch ski video with my coaches to see where I can improve and make adjustments. Then I go to team dinner and after we have a meeting about the day and go over the plan for the next day. Then I head to bed a soon as I can. On training camps I’m usually so tired that I’m fully passed out by 9pm!
What are the physical and mental challenges that you face as a ski athlete, and how do you overcome them? I’ve faced many injuries and mental challenges during my career as a ski racer and I’ve only recently come to a place where I’m the best I’ve ever been mentally and physically! Overcoming those challenges has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and at same time the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. To put it very simply I overcame those obstacles by completely changing my perception of my circumstances. For example I view everything in my life with the belief that everything happens for a reason and with the knowing that everything situation is an opportunity for growth and having unwavering trust and faith that I can and will grow from all situations no matter how good or bad they may seem.
How do you prepare for a ski competition both physically and mentally? I never had a very good strategy to mentally prepare for a race however for this coming season I have learned a strategy that I’m really excited to use. I’m preparing myself months before race season starts. I visualize myself winning and all the things and situations that come with winning. The goal is to visualize it over and over until it feels real to me. Then when the races start I will let go of all expectations and just play and have fun and give it everything I got without attachment to outcomes. Ski racings unique in the way that you need to be powerful, quick, and have endurance. I train in the gym all summer to prepare my body to handle the forces of skiing at high speeds and to prevent injuries. On race day it’s a game of strategically warming up and activating my body while not exerting myself too much so that I’m tired for the race. It’s tricky to do because there so much time between our runs and it can be as cold as -30 degrees. Can you share a memorable moment or achievement in your skiing career that stands out to you? A memorable moment for me was when I made World Juniors for the first time. I was 16 and had never traveled outside of Canada for skiing before. That moment at the top of the mountain in Italy sparked my love for being a professional athlete and travelling the world!
What advice would you give to young athletes who aspire to become successful ski athletes like yourself? 1. I would say have fun and play!! 2. Focus and do your absolute best with love and respect for yourself and the sport. 3. You can never lose when you use the lows to learn and grow and fully enjoy the highs!
What are some common skin issues you've encountered while skiing in cold climates? Dry skin is very common in the cold climates as well as wind burn and skin irritation from wearing tape and face coverings to prevent frost bite.
When did you first start using Rinascentia skincare products, and what prompted you to give them a try? I first started using Rinascentia just over month ago! I was inspired to try the products because I love the values and love Rina has for her business and her products. I get so frustrated trying to find products that are actually good for my skin and body and rinascentia makes it easy to trust that the products are clean and good for me.
What specific Rinascentia products do you use as part of your skincare regimen for skiing in cold climates? I use Plane Jane and divine Oleum and it’s working like magic so far! my skin is glowing and fully hydrated even after a long day on the mountain!
Since you started your career in ski racing have you experienced any skin discomfort or irritation due to prolonged exposure to the elements while skiing? Over the years my skin seems to have adapted better to the harsh environments but it’s still difficult to prevent and manage the effects of wind burn, sunburn, and frostbite.
Have you noticed any significant improvements in your skin's condition since incorporating Rinascentia into your routine? If so, can you describe them? Absolutely. I feel like my skin is actually hydrated and more youthful in appearance. I find lots of other product just sit on my skin but Rinascentia genuinely hydrates my skin at a deeper level that is truly beneficial.
Can you share any tips or advice for fellow athletes on how to best care for their skin during cold weather sports, based on your experience with Rinascentia? In my experience it’s much easier to prevent damage to my skin when it’s fully hydrated. If you can hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking lots of water I’ve found that to be quite helpful as well. If you're in the sun or wind or sub zero temperatures for prolonged periods of time it’s helpful to cover your face with something like a balaclava and where a hat.
What would you say to other ski athletes considering Rinascentia as a skincare solution for cold climate challenges? I would highly recommend it as I have not yet found any other products that genuinely hydrate and soothe my skin so well. And as a bonus all the Rinascentia products smell amazing!
I sense your passion. Your life sounds like an exciting dream to a lot of people. Tell us about one of your best most rewarding days you have had so far? I had another gorgeous start to the day warming up and sipping coffee at the top of the lodge with the sunrise. My knee felt so good I was able to get 15+ laps in in the course. I felt so much trust in my body that even though my mind couldn’t figure out how to ski some features my body just did it without me controlling it in anyway.
My teammate has been more helpful to me than any coach I’ve ever had! He’s given me the exact feedback I need exactly when I need it. I went for a walk after dinner and ended up lying in a field beside a stream looking up and the stars and mountain valley all lit by moon light. I took my shoes off to ground and breathed deeply to take it all in. I’m finding I’m around people that can play and banter and talk about deep things and make the most light hearted ridiculous jokes at the same time. This is the view from the top of the lodge.