What inspires our athletes to train 

To mark International Women’s Day and celebrate the women who inspire a nation, British Nordic caught up with Annika Taylor to find out what inspired her to take up cross country skiing. 

With her sights firmly set on competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, British Nordic’s Annika Taylor started her sporting pathway participating in a wide range of activities in and around her hometown of Truckee, California.


 From an early age, Annika, like so many youngsters, took up swimming, football, karate, dance, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, running, and cycling to keep herself busy.


Over the years, she began to whittle down to her favourites and faced with the choice of joining a dance company or committing to cross country skiing full time, she chose cross country.


“I enjoy the freedom that training for cross country skiing gives me - I can be running out in the forest, lifting weights in a gym, skiing over mountains in glorious sunshine and fresh snow, or out roller skiing on a quiet country road.


I was lucky to be able to cross country ski competitively at University for four years while studying chemistry before focusing full time on cross country skiing.”


Being part of the British Nordic team – “I love being in a strongly bound team – I’m surrounded by people who not only push me mentally and physically but also lend a listening ear and support when it’s needed.”


Annika now trains 900 hours a year, whilst she loves challenging her body and mind, her favourite reflection on taking up the sport is just how many new people she’s met and the so many wonderful places she’s visited and experienced.


In May 2016, Annika moved to Lillehammer in Norway.  Unable to speak or understand a single word of Norwegian, she says it has been one of the most rewarding decisions of her life.  “Learning a new language, a new culture and putting myself out there to make new friends and explore new training grounds has been life changing.” 


“I wish I could tangibly share my passion for cross country skiing with those reading this, I’d encourage anyone to go out and try out a session (or maybe two or three) for themselves”


If you’d like further insight into life as a full time cross country ski racer, take a look at Annika’s blog at annikataylor.mli.st or be inspired by Annika’s Instagram photos @annikajtaylor.

Annika has her sights set on PyeongChang 2018 and has already met the qualification standard for selection.  Building on a successful 2017, Annika will focus on being in top fitness and form for the Games.