Ladies in the Spotlight: Annika Malacinski (USA)

While Annika Malacinski’s family has skiing in their blood, being half-Finnish, half-American, she only discovered Nordic Combined as her sport quite late. In this edition of Ladies in the Spotlight, she talks about her unusual path and her first-ever international Nordic Combined event at the Youth Cup in Oberstdorf. 

How did you get involved in Nordic Combined? What do you like most about this sport?

Annika Malacinski: I started Nordic Combined only at the end of summer last year so I was 16 years old which is very late to start jumping! But at least I had a skier’s background.  

I remember last year watching my brother (Niklas) jump in the 4th of July competition  in Steamboat Springs and that’s when it really hit me that I want to fly like that one day. On top, I had been doing gymnastics my whole life and I feel like I needed a changed scenery. 

I love this sport because the feeling of jumping is indescribable. Plus Nordic combined is a new sport for woman so I want to push my limits and see how far I go.

Who are your role models / which other athletes do inspire you most?

Malacinski: I love watching Tara (Geragthy-Moats) compete. She’s such a strong athlete and she’s capable of winning. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Malacinski: In my spare time I love socialising with friends and traveling! 

You took part in your first international Nordic Combined event at the FIS Youth Cup in Oberstdorf. How was the experience?

Malacinski: My first Youth Cup was awesome! It was everything I expected and more! I was so happy to see girls from so many different countries competing against me… and I got to know a lot of them! Oberstdorf was a great place to jump and skate ski! The hill was perfect and I loved the downtown race course. What a beautiful and perfect place to hold a great competition. 

What are your goals for the next winter in Nordic Combined?

Malacinski: I want to keep pursuing Nordic Combined, which means I will work extra hard to get there! For next year I hope I will be jumping bigger hills with good technique and skiing wise getting faster and faster! There’s good completion out there which means I will have to have a positive attitude towards the sport. 

I love Nordic Combined and I’m so happy I found this sport even though it was a bit late! Can’t wait to compete in the next competition!