Passion for racing drives young Kiwi

Skier Louis Cronin is excited about his sport and his own potential, Anthony Momoemausu reports. 

Louis Cronin visualises himself one day flying the New Zealand flag high at the Winter Olympics in ski racing.

The St Paul's Collegiate pupil hopes to inspire other Kiwis to take up ski racing and plans on raising the profile of the sport.

“I want to make the Winter Olympics, I want to do well at the Winter Olympics.

“I'm trying to [compete at] probably the World Cup. I want to make New Zealand known as a good ski nation. It's kind of one of my other goals.”

After deciding to race and train competitively at 10, it is clearly evident Cronin's passion for ski racing has continued to grow since then.

“I just love skiing. I can't get enough of the feeling of skiing and the freedom of it.

“That freedom of being able to do anything you want when you're on the snow and the adrenaline buzz you get from it."

Fresh after placing first at the North Island secondary school ski championships at the Turoa Ski Field, the 17-year-old aims to get straight back into training and take his skills to the next level.

Where ski racing might not garner the same attention as rugby would in New Zealand, Cronin is determined to work hard and put together strong performances on the ski field in order for the sport to gain publicity in media.

He aspires to follow in the steps of his role models, New Zealand skier Ben Griffin and former world and Olympic champion Hermann Maier. He hopes to encourage other kids to pursue the sport.

"I would like to become known as one of the best in the world and have a lot of the younger kids look up and think, ‘Yes, we're from New Zealand'."

Cronin will head back to Switzerland at the end of the year along with his coach Grant Stockman where he will train and hopes to compete in a number of events.

In addition to the excitement of travelling to Switzerland, Louis believes meeting other international competitors and measuring himself against them are among the highlights of his sport.

"Being able to see how good people are overseas and comparing yourself to some of the best in the world for your age - definitely one of the best things about it.”

The up-and-coming teen trusts the training he will do in Switzerland for the three months he is there will allow him to improve and put him in good shape for next year's race season.

Cronin admits that the training and travelling to the ski fields does take a toll but he knows he will reap the rewards of his commitment to the sport.

"There's a lot of driving, but you have to do it. It's what you've got to do for your sport. If you want to do it, you do it.

"It's not too much of a big deal because I know I have to do it."

Waikato