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Skiing without limitations

Stephanie+Espino+races+down+a+slope+in+Cascade%2C+Wisconsin.+After+competing+against+the+16u+girls%2C+she+wants+to+improve+and+reach+their+level.+%E2%80%9CI+want+to+get+better+so+that+I+can+ski+anywhere+without+any+limitations%2C%E2%80%9D+Espino+said.
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Skiing without limitations

Stephanie Espino races down a slope in Cascade, Wisconsin. After competing against the 16u girls, she wants to improve and reach their level. “I want to get better so that I can ski anywhere without any limitations,” Espino said.

Stephanie Espino races down a slope in Cascade, Wisconsin. After competing against the 16u girls, she wants to improve and reach their level. “I want to get better so that I can ski anywhere without any limitations,” Espino said.

Stephanie Espino races down a slope in Cascade, Wisconsin. After competing against the 16u girls, she wants to improve and reach their level. “I want to get better so that I can ski anywhere without any limitations,” Espino said.

Stephanie Espino races down a slope in Cascade, Wisconsin. After competing against the 16u girls, she wants to improve and reach their level. “I want to get better so that I can ski anywhere without any limitations,” Espino said.

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As the temperature drops, more and more skiers head out to the hills. From beginners to professionals, they are all there to have fun and improve their skills. Freshman Stephanie Espino takes it one step furtherskiing competitively.

Espino began skiing simply because she was forced to by her parents. Her mother, who comes from a skiing family in Romania, wanted her to be able to ski. Although Romania has huge mountains that are ideal for skiing, at the time there was also lots of poverty and worse quality gear.

“People didn’t wear helmets unless you had money, which we didn’t, because it was Romania, and Romania was in poverty. But, she still was able to become a better skier, and now we are fortunate enough to buy better equipment and be safer,” Espino said.

With more possibility than her mother, Espino started skiing at age seven, and was racing by age ten. Before she started skiing, Espino explains that she was quiet, shy, and didn’t have many friends after recently moving. But, by being around all of her loud and boisterous teammates she was able to get out of her shell and socialize.

“FIfth grade I made my first friend. I’ve been screaming ever since,” she says. “I made a bunch of friends on the race team, and so now not only was skiing a fun sport, but I could socialize through it. I made more friends from different towns in Wisconsin in Illinois, and I was able to keep up with them when racing.”

She believes that skiing competitively offers skiers more practice, and gives them the ability to learn new, advanced skills. At Wilmot, the Junior Race team consists of all level skiers from ages six to 19. Those skiing around her are a big part of her improvement, she said.

“What inspires me to do competitive skiing is becoming a better skier. I see all my teammates around me, who are at higher levels than me and I want to try to reach the level that they’re at,” Espino said.

Espino says that she’s developed relationships with everyone on her team, and that they are like a family. Although many girls are on the Junior Race Team, there were few of her age, and she says that she tended to make friends with the boys more than girls.

“Because all my friends were boys, we would always roughhouse, get into fights, and trash talk each other. It was really bad, but also amazing. Since we wore a lot of equipment and the ground was covered in snow, it wouldn’t really cause a lot of pain when we hit each other, and we thought it was so funny,” she said.

She believes that motivation and the competition provided by racing are key to skiing successfully. It’s critical for her to have a constant goal and will to improve, otherwise without them, she wouldn’t be where she is today. Unlike skiing for fun, there are more factors to skiing competitively.

“You’re skiing for a reason, you’re skiing to win something, you’re skiing to get better. While not competitively, you’re just skiing for fun,” Espino said.

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Skiing without limitations