Alpine skiing isn’t just a sport for Charlotte Henriksson; it has been an integral part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her first touch with slopes were with her parents when she was just a few months old. Even though she wasn’t skiing herself at that age, skis became familiar to her soon enough. Charlotte started alpine skiing at the age of 7 in the GrIFK Alpine Ski School, simultaneously practicing gymnastics at Espoon Telinetaiturit. Competitive gymnastics and alpine skiing went hand in hand for 10 years until the decision to focus solely on alpine skiing was made. The choice was influenced by the camaraderie of camps, achievements, and the tight-knit alpine community. Charlotte was drawn to the sport’s speed, precision in turns, and the adrenaline rush, which captivated her from the start.
Determination and Unwavering Perseverance
Alpine skiing demands comprehensive preparation. Strong leg muscles and a robust core are essential, alongside speed and explosiveness. Endurance is crucial to ski the course at maximum intensity from start to finish and to recover effectively. Mental strength is equally vital, as maintaining focus at top speeds, sometimes exceeding 100 kilometers per hour, is imperative.
Like many elite athletes, Charlotte has faced injuries, the most serious being a torn anterior cruciate ligament. A long and demanding rehabilitation process followed, but Charlotte returned to the slopes after 9 months. Injuries have not deterred her; they have only strengthened her determination and belief in her own abilities. Additionally, climate change has presented its challenges. The melting of glaciers has hindered early-season training, making it difficult to find suitable conditions even abroad.
Charlotte offers a simple piece of advice to young athletes: be optimistic and work towards your dreams, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. She emphasizes the importance of life balance. Without support from friends, the journey to the top is not possible or worthwhile, making nurturing relationships as important as athletic achievements.
Balancing Sports and Personal Life
Balancing full-time sports and studies requires unwavering scheduling and prioritization. Charlotte divides her day between training, studying, and social life. Established routines aid in balancing her hectic life.
Charlotte emphasizes the importance of sufficient sleep, nourishing food, appropriate exercise, and spending time with loved ones in her well-being. Small moments of relaxation, like walking in nature or sauna after practice, are invaluable to her.
Even though Charlotte has already earned her spot on the national team, her future dreams are grand. She wants to see how far her potential in alpine skiing can take her. Qualifying for the Olympics and competing for top positions are dreams that propel her forward. Simultaneously, Charlotte aims for success in her studies and aspires to graduate as a Master of Business Administration from Aalto University.
Charlotte stands as an example of how passion, perseverance, and a balanced life can lead to significant achievements, both in sports and in other aspects of life.
ALM Partners wishes Charlotte success in the upcoming competition season!