Rosie Brennan excited for World Championships | ParkRecord.com

Rosie Brennan excited for World Championships

When Park City native Rosie Brennan made her way to Europe in mid-January, she only expected to hang around for a couple weeks, so she packed her bags accordingly.

Now, though, after some strong results on the cross-country skiing World Cup Tour, she’ll be joining the U.S. team for the remainder of the season. Though she’s ill-prepared with her luggage, she said on Wednesday that she’s having a blast in Europe.

"In some ways, it was kind of fortunate," she said. "I packed lighter, which is probably better. It’s cool just to kind of live in the moment and travel from place to place. It’s definitely not the worst life."

In fact, it’s been the best season of Brennan’s career. She’ll soon take part in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Feb. 18-March 1 in Falun, Sweden, making her first appearance at the World Championships.

"This is for sure my best season to date," she said. "I have far exceeded my expectations. I’ve done two stints on the World Cup Tour the past two years, but this is the first time I’ve done well and stayed over here."

It’s been a season of confidence boosters for Brennan as well. Starting in America and carrying over to her first World Cup this year, she’s been building off of solid results.

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"I went to U.S. Nationals in Michigan in January and had some really good races there," she said. "That gave me a lot of confidence going into Europe. [In a World Cup event] I ended up doing really well in the team sprint [with Ida Sargent] and we ended up sixth, which was the top American finish. That showed me I could ski in the pack with these girls and I’m capable of skiing at this level. It showed me my fitness was that good and I should be on the World Cup circuit."

Though the World Championships will be the biggest stage she’s ever been on, she said she’s going to look at it as if it were a normal World Cup event.

"In all reality, I don’t think it’s that much different than a World Cup," she said. "There’s a much higher media presence and a lot more fans, but it’s basically the same format and the same people. I’m most excited for the increased number of fans. There are tens of thousands of people lining the course and cheering you the whole way."

Brennan won’t be pressuring herself with set goals as far as results go, though. She wants to make sure she skis the best she can and let the chips fall where they may.

"I don’t have that many expectations since it’s my first World Championships event," she said. "I’ve just been focusing on getting into what we call our peak fitness. I think, if that happens, my goal is to push myself as hard as I can and be in the mix of things."

After the World Championships, Brennan will finish out the World Cup tour in Europe before returning home for an event in Sun Valley, Idaho, in March. Though she has a lot she wants to accomplish before heading back to the U.S., she said she’s looking forward to skiing on home soil again.

"It’s always fun to finish out the season in the U.S. because everybody comes," she said. "That’s the only time we all get together. You hope it’s sunny and warm and it’s always a good atmosphere."

And, after having a full World Cup slate under her belt, she’s anxious to begin training this offseason in order to improve her results next year.

"Any time you race against the best, your weaknesses and deficiencies become that much more apparent," she said. "Every time I race, I build a list of what I want to improve and what I want to work on. I definitely have a list building of things to work on when I get back."