Twenty-seven-year-old Erin Mielzynski will be suiting up for Canada in a few weeks in her third Winter Olympic Games when she takes on the slopes in Peyongchang, South Korea.
The Guelph native donned the Maple Leaf in 2014 in Sochi and 2010 in Vancouver competing in alpine skiing, focusing mostly on the slalom and giant slalom events.
This season alone, Mielzynski has placed in the Top 15 four times and twice in the Top 10, all while solidly qualifying for this year’s Olympic Games.
Mielzynski told CJOY News she’s very excited to compete in Pyeongchang taking on the challenge of the slalom competition on Feb. 14 and being a part of the first-ever alpine team event on Feb. 24. Mielzynski also says she hasn’t decided if she will be competing in this year’s giant slalom event, saying she’ll wait and see what the hill feels and looks like before making that decision.
When asked about what she most looks forward to in South Korea, Mielzynski said she knows she’s heading into these games with a more mature approach and knows what to expect this time around. She’s also very excited to meet and be with the rest of her Canadian teammates, not only in her sport but others as well. She’s also looking forward to the opening and closing ceremonies.
These games are different for Mielzynski: when she competed for Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in 2010 she was only 19 and called herself “wide-eyed and bushy-tailed,” thrown into the mix for the first time. Four years later in Sochi, she says she was a racehorse and perfectionist trying to get her times down to her best.
This year, Mielzynski says it’s all about the process and that she wants to be a contender and not simply a participant. While speaking with CJOY news she recalled a moment she had with herself in early January.
“I had a moment of calm, took a step to the side and realized that I love skiing, and I have what it takes and deserve to be where I am. From all my experience all I have to do now is let the skiing speak for itself and find the calm in what I need. I don’t need that sixth gear to run, I don’t need that extra run.”
Originally, Mielzynski competed in water skiing before taking her talents to the snow-covered hills at the age of 17. Mielzynski has been hitting both the slopes and the waves since before she was two because her parents and grandparents always skied and it was just what they did. Mielzynski says she was probably more naturally gifted on water but loved the feel of alpine skiing.
“I love the feeling of a good turn, I love going back up for another run after we’re done training, that’s why I continue doing it,” Mielzynski said.
Mielzynski joins other Olympic athletes from the area such as Andrew Poje (figure skating, Kitchener/Waterloo), Justin Peters (ice hockey, Goderich/Blyth) and Zoe Bergermann (snowboard, Erin)
The 2018 Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang, South Korea get underway on Feb. 9 with the opening ceremonies.