Hi, I’m Annalisa Drew. I’m 20 years old, from Andover, MA. I’m starting a blog because I am about to begin an adventure of a lifetime – I’m going to my first ever Olympics for the debut of Freeski Halfpipe as a member of Team USA!
I am a very family oriented. Without my family I would have never clicked into a pair of twin tip skis! My family’s closer then most and I don’t only mean in terms of relationships, I mean demographically close! When I’m home, back on the East Coast, I spend most of time living right next door to my cousins and my grandparents. I’m so lucky to have family and extended family that is so supportive and excited for me. Without my family, I would never have been able to accomplish my goal of making Team USA.
Ironically, freeskiing was not my Olympic dream. I was a figure skater. I started skating as a toddler until my sophomore year in high school. Figure Skating was my main focus! My Olympic dream! By the time I was in Middle School I would be skating about 3 to 4 to hours a day. I love skating and found jumping and spinning to be one of the most entertaining thing on this planet. I know that sounds silly, but its true. haha. Prior to have changed paths from skating to skiing, I had become very talented in figure skating. I was landing doubles and progressed to almost have completed into a professional stature. Although I love skating, figure skating does not fit my personality. I wasn’t a fan of wearing glitz and glitter or skating to music that didn’t have words. This is what let to my complete transfer over from glitz to steezy Freeskiing! Freeskiing is a better way for me to express my style and personality.
I grew up skiing at Loon Mountain in NH every weekend from Thanksgiving to Closing. Skiing was nothing serious for me growing up until the age of 13. I mostly just skied recreation with my cousins around the mountain until my cousins joined the Loon freestyle team. The following season, persuaded by my cousins, I was convinced that I needed to go out and ski in the terrain park every weekend together with them. Hence, I received my first pair of twin tip skis. Spinning from figure skating enabled me to succeed well in the Eastern competitions immediately. The coolest thing about the ski team was that I was still able to ski with my cousins, wear what I wanted and use the run I wanted. I never spent days memorizing a run like you would a skating performance.
After I had finished my freshman year of High school, I wanted to take my skiing to the next level. My parents and I decided that New Hampton School, a boarding school up in NH would be the right fit. NHS allowed me to be able to ski everyday after school with the Waterville Valley Program. My senior year was life changer. I had won the Nor-AM and received my first ever invite to a world cup that took place in La Plange, France. I took this opportunity and asked my grandparents to take me. Going to that world cup was Amazing. Having competed with athletes that I had looked up to and idolized was so inspiring. I wanted even more to be a better skier after that World Cup. I got my first ever Dew Tour invite the next season and ended up getting 4th place!
After high school I eventually found my way out West to Vail, Colorado to train with my coach, Elana Chase. Since then, I have continued competing in the top event in Freeski Halfpipe, such as, US Grand Prix, Dew Tour, and X Games. I am Currently ranked 8th in the world for Halfpipe Skiing. All of my work over the last 7 years has lead me to this moment.
Thanks for sharing in the journey!
GO TEAM USA!