Anna Swenn-Larsson, Ski Team Sweden Alpine. Photo: Robert Henriksson
After a strong season with several top ten results in the FIS World Cup, Anna Swenn-Larsson is enjoying the summer at home in Åre. Despite the break in the national team training schedule, the new season is just around the corner and it’s not like just any season: Anna has set her sights firmly on the World Championships on home snow.
Anna Swenn-Larsson started the season by finishing 7th at Levi in November and 6th at Killington two weeks later. Overall, she scored nine top ten finishes in the World Cup and a number of additional results in the top 20. Thanks to her consistent top performances, she will enjoy a top ranking and great starting position when the new season gets underway in October.
– I am looking forward to the new season. I am very motivated and thrilled to have home World Championships. That’s especially great since this year, after starting in 35th or 37th position at the start of last season, I will now start in the top 7, said Swenn-Larsson, speaking in her apartment in Åre after an afternoon workout.
The Swedish national team has been taking a break from team activities since May, and Anna and the rest of the team, including her partner Mattias Rönngren, are enjoying the summer each in their own ways. For Anna that means spending time Mattias, her dog and enjoying all the fun things Åre has to offer in the summer, such as bathing, fishing and hiking.
– That is what I like most about being at home, spending time together and doing fun stuff outside. I love to spend time outdoors and it is great to find time for that.
Anna has not been standing still while at home. She has been training on her own since the beginning of May, which is obviously much more fun with company. Her summer training has consisted of lots of time in the gym, many intervals and some short but intensive runs. Reaching and staying on the top in Alpine Skiing requires thousands of hours of strength and agility training. You must have fast feet and reactions to navigate the gates. For Anna Swenn-Larsson, who loves to exercise, training is motivating not matter if in a group or on her own.
– I am grateful for being able to share the training with Mattias and I also have others in town who can join me. If I did not have that, it might be a bit more difficult to get motivated, said Swenn-Larsson.
Training together with partner Mattias also allows for time together, which can be in short supply during the season. Being away from each other is not a major issue however, since both love skiing.
– We are apart so much that we have become used to it. Plus we are both so focused on what we are doing and know that the other person is also doing what they love to do so time goes by quickly, added Swenn-Larsson.
Although it is time for summer and some holidays, there is one thing that never completely escapes a ski racer’s mind: the drive to improve for the coming season.
– You are training to improve and to reach another level, so you also continue to think about skiing and about how to get better all the time, yet sometimes it is also really nice to completely let that go.
After the season, Anna did exactly that. She took time off in Sri Lanka in the beginning of May in order to take a full break from everything and recharge her batteries for the upcoming season when the World Championships take place literally on her home snow in Åre.
– It was lovely to have a real break. We surfed and bathed, went to the jungle and did some sight-seeing. We hardly trained at all although we were really active every day.
Anna’s two favorite things are bathing or spending time in her home mountains so she cannot choose between swimming in Rättvik or the wilderness in Jämtland. She lives in Åre since 2014 and used to spend a lot of time there even before that. Now that the time time is running until the World Championships in Åre, she wants to challenge those who have yet to decide whether to be on site in Åre in February 2019 or not.
– The World Champs will be a massive ski festival. When we stand at the start, we are excited to know that there are a lot of people waiting for us in the finish. Åre as a town is unique with so many things to do and a lovely town center. You can have such a great time in Åre, both on the slopes and off them. I hope to see you there in February 2019!
Facts about Anna Swenn-Larsson
Born: 1991 in Rättvik
Ski Club: Rättviks SLK
Family: Mattias Rönngren, dog Yra
Victories/podiums in FIS European Cup: 7/17
FIS World Cup debut: Courchevel in season 2009/2010 (26th place)
FIS World Cup starts: 92