Holly Brooks reflects on ski career as Alaska Sports HOF induction looms

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Growing up in Seattle, all Holly Brooks ever wanted was to cross-country ski.

"What kept me going was just love for the sport and passion," Brooks said with a smile.

It wasn't until after college and a subsequent move to Alaska, that her momentum in the sport really started to pick up.

"Unlike many of my peers, who are kind of stars throughout their whole life, I was definitely not that," she said.

She became a coach at West high school, and soon after, she met Erik Flora, head coach at APU.

"And then I became a full-time coach, which led to a lot of skiing," Brooks said with a chuckle.

In a whirlwind season, Brooks pushed herself, and made it onto the 2010 Winter Olympics team headed to Vancouver.

"I had never even skied at a high level internationally," Brooks said with a grin. "The analogy I used is that I did my first World Cup in Canada two weeks before the Olympics and it's kind of like playing in the Super Bowl and playing in your first NFL game two weeks before the Super Bowl. It's that crazy."

But her proudest moment is not just making the Olympics. In fact, it's helping the U.S. women's team bring home its first relay medal on the World Cup in 2012.

"We can see that belief culminated in an Olympic gold medal this year for Kikkan and Jessie," she said. "That was probably one of my proudest moments, being kind of part of that momentum and part of that group."

Brooks is set to be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame next week.

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