New York-native Patricia Mangan, who goes by Tricia, has been climbing the national team ladder for a few years now, moving from the national training group to the the B team. This season, she was named to the U.S. Olympic team, scored her first World Cup points and was named Ski Racing Media’s Junior of the Year.
This spring, Mangan is in New Hampshire, taking sophomore-year classes at Dartmouth College, where she is pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering. She hopped on the phone with Ski Racing Media between classes to talk about her season.
Gabbi Hall: This was a pretty big year for you: first World Cup points, first Olympic Winter Games. Looking back to October, could you have dreamed up this season?
Patricia Mangan: I definitely didn’t have very many expectations, and they weren’t what happened this year. I tried to take it one race at a time.
GH: What was your first Olympic experience like?
PM: That was crazy. It was super exciting. I was super lucky to go. It was just an amazing experience. I was really, really thankful that my family could come and to have many people support me there. I definitely think it made me inspired to be faster, so that next time around, if I go again to the Olympics, I can be in contention for a good result.
GH: That’s cool your family got to go. How involved are they in your ski career?
PM: I have a big family, and they’re super supportive of my skiing. I think that having them there [PyeongChang] meant a ton because they’ve always been my number one supporters and helped me through the highs and lows.
GH: So, I saw last year that your family fielded a boat in the Head of the Charles rowing race in Boston. Are you also a family of rowers?
PM: My younger brother broke his neck a year and a half ago and was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He made an amazing recovery and is still working really hard at it. To kind of celebrate that, we rowed an eight in the Head of the Charles this fall, which we had never done before, but was a really awesome experience.
GH: This was your first season racing consistently on the World Cup tour. What was the toughest part of life on the circuit?
PM: The toughest part is that you train so hard, and you know each race could be your last chance and it’s an amazing opportunity, so you give it everything you have. Then, you go for it and DNF…It’s just a mental struggle when you’re trying to get to the top 30 because there’s so much travel and so much hard work and it’s not always easy to see the progress you’re making when you’re on the edge of 30. I think there’s a lot to be gained. It’s just that keeping things in perspective in the middle of it is pretty tough.
GH: What are your goals next season?
PM: I think, like most ski racers, I want to be more consistent because I think that my skiing did improve a ton this year especially my GS. In order to be successful on the World Cup, you need to be consistent enough that every run is a fast run, and so to do that, I’m just going to work on getting stronger and more consistent in training. Hopefully that will translate into my racing as well.
GH: In addition to working out and getting on snow this summer, what other summer plans do you have?
PM: If I do go home, it’ll be for Camp Mangan. My family runs Camp Mangan, a day camp which started initially as a day camp for 20 to 30 neighborhood kids to fundraise so I could pay for my ski season. I started it when I was a freshman in high school. Last year was the first year I did an overnight camp for girls—a five-day overnight camp for skiers at my local mountain. That was super fun. We did some dryland, but we also did lots of other fun things like hiking and building rockets. It was a great week.