The emergence of the Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) disease has obviously had the largest impact on skiing and our lives in general recently. The alarming rate of transmission between people initially stopped all social interactions in early 2020. For myself, I had online classes and had my high school track season cancelled. Luckily the use of masks and the availability of vaccines has allowed most activities to resume, especially ones I value like skiing.
The interaction between Nordic skiing and Covid-19 presents an interesting dynamic. Nordic skiing is an individual sport held outside while it also has a strong team element with close interactions. There is a really low chance of disease spread when I just go skiing on my own but a high chance when sitting in the van for hours or warming up by the heater. Both of these elements are necessary; I individually have to perform in a race but I also need a team for the overall team results, knowledge, and keeping sane.
We have done our best to embrace both of these sides while minimizing risk of transmission. Some exercises, especially morning runs, are done on our own while others are done as a team. We mask up indoors and in the van to keep healthy. We take Covid tests before trips. So far these measures have worked well enough for us to compete at events like Senior Nationals and the Montana State Invitational and have a generally normal season so far. I can’t say how Covid-19 will impact us the rest of this season but I know we will figure out a way.
Madison Tinker and others of the University of Wyoming Ski Team