Calgary, AB (April 22, 2022) -- After a career that has spanned almost 15 years on the national team, slalom specialist Erin Mielzynski has announced that she will be retiring this spring.
“It has been a wild and a crazy ride,” says Mielzynski. “It’s been absolutely beautiful and challenging, and I’m not going to lie when I say that I’m scared. I’ve been a high-performance athlete since I was 13 years old, I didn’t let myself create dreams outside of this one, and I put my life on hold and made any sacrifice that was necessary. I’m not sure exactly who I am without that part of my life, but I am very excited to meet her.”
Mielzynski first joined the national team in 2008, and it wasn’t long before she made an impact. She became the first Canadian woman in 41 years to win a World Cup slalom event in Ofterschwang, GER in 2012, and was part of the first Canadian team to podium at the World Championships in 2015.
“Erin has been part of this team for over a decade and embodies what it means to be a high-performance athlete,” says High Performance Director Phil McNichol. “She is dedicated, passionate, ambitious, courageous and kind. Her leadership has inspired and influenced a generation of ski racers, including our up-and-coming slalom skiers like Ali Nullmeyer and Amelia Smart. We thank her for her contributions and wish her the very best in this next stage of her life and journey.”
Her passion for ski racing is not confined to the world cup circuit. In recent years, Mielzynski has been equally committed to giving back to the community who has supported and encouraged her through her career. After a successful community engagement project in 2020 called Define your beYOUtiful, where Mielzynksi rallied her supporters to in turn provide bibs to any youngster that applied, she carried the concept forward to this season as well. This year’s bib project – A Ripple of Light – distributed racing bibs throughout the community in Canada to connect athletes in their love of the sport and supported the Abby Award.
“I first heard about the Abby Award when I saw their logo sewn on some of my teammates’ jackets,” says Mielzynski. “I learned that Abby was a young racer who loved the simple things in life, was an amazing friend and teammate, and simply loved to ski. She absolutely embodied motivation, optimism, and resilience. At the age of nine, Abby hit a tree while skiing and tragically passed; that young girl was not able to realize all of her dreams and that love of skiing was cut short.”
“Creating the bib project last year was something that I’m very proud of in my career. It was a sense of giving back, connecting with our Canadian racers, and adding some motivation during those tough COVID times. It filled me with an incredible sense of purpose,” she reflects.
Mielzynski has also launched a podcast in the last year – Unspoken Bravery. Using this platform, she gets real and vulnerable with high achievers to celebrate imperfections, lean into self-validation, normalize fear and empower bravery.
Alpine Canada and its sponsors, athletes, clubs and staff thank Erin for her passion and pursuit of excellence, her commitment and contributions to the sport, and wish her the very best in all her all future endeavors. Her impact on our community and sport has been substantial.
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About Alpine Canada
Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community.