A day in the life: Donovan makes time for skiing

Senior+Bailey+Donovan+skis+down+a+course.+%22%E2%80%9CI+think+it%E2%80%99s+a+really+mentally+tough+sport%2C+but+also+physically%2C+it+incorporates+a+lot%2C%22+she+said.
Back to Article
Back to Article

A day in the life: Donovan makes time for skiing

Senior Bailey Donovan skis down a course.

Senior Bailey Donovan skis down a course. "“I think it’s a really mentally tough sport, but also physically, it incorporates a lot," she said.

Bailey Donovan

Senior Bailey Donovan skis down a course. "“I think it’s a really mentally tough sport, but also physically, it incorporates a lot," she said.

Bailey Donovan

Bailey Donovan

Senior Bailey Donovan skis down a course. "“I think it’s a really mentally tough sport, but also physically, it incorporates a lot," she said.

By Melissa Nie, St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






An avid skier since age three, senior Bailey Donovan’s schedule during the ski season is a busy one.

Donovan is on the Alpine team as well as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, or the USSA. She began racing when she was five and joined the USSA at eight. As a result, the rhythm of a ski meet is ingrained in her mind.

Here’s her schedule during Christmas Camp, a camp at her club Buck Hill from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31.

5:30 a.m. – Wake up.

6:00 a.m. – Leave for the resort.

6:30 a.m. – Arrive to put on ski gear.

7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – Ski giant slalom.

10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Ski slalom.

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Lunch break.

1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Continue skiing. Or, in Donovan’s words, “However long the snow holds up.”

Donovan’s favorite part about skiing is the rigor of it, as well as the community that builds up from it.

“I think it’s a really mentally tough sport, but also physically, it incorporates a lot. I think there’s also a team aspect to it, even though it is an individual sport. I really like that,” she said.

To get ready for a long day at a meet, she has curated a special pump up playlist, including songs such as “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj.

We’re a really fun and inclusive team. There isn’t really any pressure on any of the skiers, we just come out and have fun.”

— Bailey Donovan

Last year, Donovan made it to Junior Nationals.

“Junior Nationals is everyone who’s 21 and under who made it,” she said. “I had a couple days of training beforehand, and those were two-hour sessions so they weren’t that bad. But most of the time I was just on a treadmill running, keeping up my fitness.”

“You have inspection early in the morning, which is going through the course beforehand to get a look at it,” Donovan said. “Then you do your first run, you have a break and another inspection, then your second one. It’s an all day thing but you only race for a total of 3 minutes.”

Though the schedule at Junior Nationals was similar to other ski meets and Donovan wasn’t out on the course for long, the excitement of qualifying made a difference.

When asked about the hardest parts of skiing, Donovan talks about maintaining a positive attitude.

“It gets really hard when you’re not skiing well in a race, but you’re skiing well in practice. Also, keeping up your mentality of ‘I can do this, I know I’m a good skier’ and your confidence,” she said.

Despite the hardships, the joys of skiing and the bonds forged by it overshadow the negative aspects. This year she hopes that her teammates on the Alpine team will have fun.

“Last year we were really close, so this year I hope we actually make it [to state],” Donovan said. “We’re a really fun and inclusive team. There isn’t really any pressure on any of the skiers, we just come out and have fun.”

This story was originally published on The Rubicon on December 14, 2018.