03 Oct 2 x Olympian Sami Kennedy Sim joins the Basecamp
She is flying out today, off to Switzerland for three weeks to train with her World Cup Ski Cross community. She is Sami Kennedy-Sim. A two time Olympian, having represented Australia at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Ski Cross. C’est quoi Ski Cross you ponder?
(That’s Sami in front)
A head to head elimination race downhill across bumps and jumps. Four skiers, weaving over icy slopes between each others wind draft to overtake and get in front, across to the finish line. If you’ve ever seen it, it’s nail biting, with tumbles and blink-and-you’ll miss it speeds. Sami is a full time funded athlete who competes across the world stage year round, vying for her third Olympics in 2022 in Beijing.
A big reason I chose to pursue the ‘Elite Athlete’ Pathway was to inspire the community. I have always loved sports and looked up to Olympic athletes as a child. I played Touch Football and did Surf Life Saving, but the mountains really sucked me in. I now get to travel the globe, work hard, chasing my goal of being the best in the world in my sport, and rubbing shoulders with some incredible people along the way. I embrace the highs and lows of my journey and use my experiences to inspire the community to create positive change in their own space.
What she is up to right now?
Her Switzerland three-week training camp is prep work for the next World Cup. She will train alongside other World Cup competitors, calling this her ‘on snow’ training block. The three weeks will focus on refining her technical skills downhill, sharpening her blade on the full size track as well as ‘road testing’ all her training so far. These training camps are a great way to dial in on any further adjustments that need to be made on the lead up for the Cup season this coming December.
Sami says the best training for racing is racing. She will be entering 16 World Cups this December to March, traveling across Europe and the Americas in a white hot non stop competition. In one year there are five World Cup Tours, and a World Championship every two years. Sami is a busy lass!
How does Sami train?
Sami just joined Joe’s Basecamp as the newest Basecamp Ambassador. The reason why she came to Joe’s even though she’s a sponsored athlete who gets use of the Australian Institute of Sport facilities?
The community at Joe’s Basecamp.
Sami said she’s met more people in the last few weeks at Joe’s, than the last two years of training elsewhere. People who are either training hard for their general wellbeing, or people training to climb Mount Everest. She said it’s inspiring and a privilege to rub shoulders with like-minded amazing humans who also want a life of adventure.
In the short time I have been training at Joe’s Basecamp, I have been drawn to the warm, enthusiastic community. There is such an awesome mix of people who work and train at JBC and it is inspiring to hear of the various things people are pursuing. To train along side people who share my passion for winter, as well as people who are defying the odds in other extreme sports is inspiring and motivating to me. Who knows- Maybe one day I will try a new sport!
We’ve seen Sami training in the gym, sweating it out doing some very specific movements, working on her power endurance, her strength and her explosiveness. She also regularly uses a watt bike and altitude training. Whilst she is on a sport-specific program leading into her comps, Sami has been eyeing off Joe’s S & C Classes and TEAM/Work Capacity classes in the morning, and is keen to come back from her comps in March and ‘be put into shape’ by Joe.
So what challenges are on the horizon for Sami?
I compete on the FIS Freestyle World Cup Ski Cross tour, with competitions from December to March each year. I am aiming to represent Australia at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China and bring home some shiny hard-wear! You can follow FIS WC Ski Cross tour here. The Olympic qualifying period starts November 2020. I also studying Elite Athlete Wellbeing Management so that I can help other athletes reach their full potential both in and outside of sport.
I asked how she stays motivated for the olympic bids, considering they are four years apart. Sami says that she utilises all her resources, from ski specific coaching, a sport psychiatrist, her winter sports community in Australia as well as focusing on the short term Cups and Championships. To ‘have a look in’ to the Australian Olympic team you have to be in the top 32 in the world. Sami seems to thrive on the competition and training and it wouldn’t be a stretch to call her a true workhorse. Sami echoes the Joe’s ethos of getting outside and amongst it:
To me, this means doing things that challenge your comfort zones. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, watching other people live their ‘best life’, put down the phone, and go live yours!
Overcoming a stroke
You wouldn’t know it, but in 2013, prior to her winter olympic debut, Sami suffered a stroke. After returning from the competition season she had a routine knee surgery. A blood clot traveled from her calf to her brain. She said it “put a huge dampener on my Olympic preparations for Sochi”. She was only 22. In hospital she started researching haemorrhagic strokes, which she had previously associated as an aliment of an older generation. She found it hard to find any information which was relevant to her as a younger and healthier person. So, Sami became an ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation. She now spreads the word of stroke awareness, advocating living a healthy lifestyle, knowing what your blood pressure is, and being in the best possible shape you can be. Her stoke forced her to re-evaluate her busy lifestyle, and take some time out, something she may not have done in the past. Sami champions the idea of living a full healthy life no matter what obstacles you face.
We are so excited to have Sami on board at Joe’s Basecamp, are keen to follow her globetrotting competitions and train alongside her at the strength and conditioning classes. Welcome Sami!
What is one tip for someone starting out on a similar journey to you?
“Surround yourself with high achieving, ambitious, driven people. You are a direct reflection of the 5 people closest to you. Once upon a time, today’s achievements were just a dream. Turn your dreams into goals by formulating a fool proof plan and engage the right people to help you along the way. History needs to be made.”
Follow Sami’s journey: