Steamboat Springs An uncommon sense of calm comes over Anna Marno when she steps inside the starting gate. But from there, it’s hell on skis for the 18-year-old Steamboat Springs resident.
Marno has spent the better part of her young life on skis. And what started as a dream when she could barely walk while chasing her brother Max at Snowy Range Ski Resort in Centennial, Wyo., comes to fruition today in Crans Montana, Switzerland.
Starting today, the Steamboat Springs skier takes the next big step forward in her journey to the top of the Alpine skiing world.
Marno is one of 14 junior athletes competing at the Alpine Junior World Ski Championships. Her appearance there represents her ascent as one of the best young skiers in the country.
“I have the skills when it comes to skiing, but to do well, I have to put up a stronger fight than I ever would in a race in North America,” Marno said via e-mail while training for the Junior World Championships. “Simply put, there are significantly more girls racing at a high level and everyone has incredible talent and an incredible sense of urgency to ski fast and take risks. If I don’t put everything out on the line here there is hardly a chance that I will be satisfied.”
Marno has been training the past couple of days in preparation for today’s downhill event. Marno also will compete Wednesday in the giant slalom, Thursday in the slalom and Saturday in the super G.
She earned her spot on the team by registering top finishes this year on the NorAm circuit. She placed seventh in a downhill event in Lake Louise, Alberta, and second in a giant slalom in Panorama, British Columbia. In both races, Marno was the top junior.
Marno became the first Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine athlete to make the U.S. Ski Team since 2005, when Drew Roberts was named to the team. Her brother Max was named to the developmental team last year.
Anna Marno said her goal is to be competitive in all the events, but especially the downhill, super G and giant slalom. She said she’d be aggressive in her races, a trademark of her skiing.
With the goal of moving up the U.S. Ski Team ranks and eventually competing on the World Cup circuit, Marno is taking the first of many giant steps this week.
“In Europe that sense of urgency is much more common at every race,” she said.
“In order to do well at a race here I must be smart with tactics, knowing when to be a little more conservative in order to make up time at a different point and knowing when to take risks. You have to make a plan and execute it in the most aggressive and competitive way possible.”