Holly Brooks’ journey to the U.S. Ski Team has been a little different than that of her peers. After leaving racing in 2004 to pursue coaching at Alaska Pacific University, Brooks changed her mind in 2009 and returned to competition, making the Olympic squad in 2010 and the World Championship team in 2011. After those major accomplishments, it was hard for the U.S. Ski Team to ignore the Alaska resident, inviting her to join the team in 2012.
In 2013 Brooks continued her impressive skiing, tallying a career-best fifth-place finish at the World Cup 10k freestyle race in Gaellivare, Sweden. Brooks was also part of the record-setting 4x5k relay team that took third at the opening stop of the World Cup. She stamped her season with a top-30 finish in the overall World Cup distance standings.
Brooks’ first season with the U.S. Ski Team included a victory in the 55k American Birkebeiner marathon as well as points scored in seven of the nine World Cup events she raced. Before that, she skied to a bronze at the 2009 U.S. Championships and took three SuperTour wins, results that earned her an invite to the 2010 Olympic team.
The 2011 U.S. Sprint Champion will look to build on her first Olympic experience with a bid to the 2014 Games and a chance at shaking things up on the podium in Sochi.
The 2012-2013 season was a long one, full of ups and downs. I spent almost five straight months without returning to the U.S. in an attempt to hit as many World Cups as possible and gain experience for future years. I experienced my career individual best of fifth place the first weekend of the World Cup in Gaellivare, Sweden. The next day I helped the U.S. bring home the first podium result ever in the 4x5k relay!
Each of the six girls on the women's team had an individual top-10 finish this year, and I think it's indicative of our strength, teamwork and potential going into next year's Olympic year. We're poised to make history and we're excited to work together to do it!
Brooks grew up in Seattle, where skiing was a huge part of her family’s activities. Each weekend was spent at their cabin at Snoqualmie Pass. They skied from the cabin to the local resort and back at the end of the afternoon. Back then, her dad was her coach and her siblings were her teammates.
OFF THE SNOW
Outside of cross country ski racing, Brooks’ favorite activities are, well…skiing. She loves to ski tour, crust ski and backcountry ski. She also loves to run, bike, boat and take long adventures in her newfound home in Alaska, where she’s a poster child for active, healthy lifestyles. “Luckily I live in a place where the outdoors are extremely accessible, and I love living in a community where my friends and peers are as active and adventurous as I am!” She is also working on a Master’s degree in counseling psychology at Alaska Pacific University. In her free time enjoys reading, cooking spicy and tasteful meals, and spending time with her husband, family, friends, and crazy cat Buggz.
- Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center
- Whitman College
- Years on Team: 3
11th, 4x5k Relay, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
3rd, 4x5k Relay, Val di Fiemme, ITA, 2013
25th, 15k pursuit, Oslo, NOR, 2011
25th, 30k FS mass start, Oslo, NOR, 2011
27th, 10k CL, Oslo, NOR, 2011
3rd, 4x5k Relay, Gaellivare, SWE, 2013
5th, 10k F, Gaellivare, SWE, 2013
Top-30 finish in World Cup distance standings
5th, 4x5k Relay, Nove Mesto, CZE, 2012
2011: Sprint CL, Rumford, ME
1st, American Birkenbiner, 2012
Overall SuperTour champion, 2011
Overall OPA Finals champion, 2012
Grand National champion, 2011