Nov. 26, 2005
When UMass skier Eliza Hawkins got down to the bottom of the mountain, Ty Scheiner of Media Relations was there with questions in hand. Read below to find out why Eliza decided to come to UMass, what life is like having her brother on the team, and what her most embarassing moment was.
Q: Why did you decide to attend UMass?
A: Well, my brother came to school here, so I already knew a lot of people on the ski team. They were also going to give me a scholarship to come here. And the other schools that I looked at were so competitive that I would not have gotten money.
Q: What are the positives and negatives of being a student athlete?
A: Positives, well we got free shoes this year, I get to ski for free most times which is awesome. Negatives, I have less time to do school work. And during ski season it is hard to keep up with your work.
Q: When did you start skiing?
A: As soon as I could walk, and even before I could walk my dad had me on his shoulders, so since day one.
Q: Besides skiing, what do you like to do during your free time?
A: Everything, I like to be outside a lot. I like to water ski, which is fun, but mainly skiing.
Q: What are your goals after graduating UMass?
A: I want to go to dentist school, and become a pediatric dentist. But that is this month, we will see next month.
Q: Who is your model or person who has had the biggest impact on your life?
A: My dad for sure. There was a point when I did not want to ski at all, I wanted to quit all together, and he pushed me to keep going. Now I would have regretted it, it would have been a big mistake because I love skiing. He taught me, once I get good at something I am probably not going to stop because I love it so much, which is true about skiing.
Q: How was the time you spent, when you trained in Switzerland?
A: It was amazing. The Alps just take your breath away. I went with my brother's high school alumni, so we got really good training from so many professional skiers from Finland and Sweden. And I got to train and ski, which was great.
Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A: I was doing my first down hill race, and I was going out of the gate, and I fell flat on my face out of the first gate. That was embarrassing because everyone was watching.
Q: What is your biggest fear?
A: Failure. Failure at School. Failure at skiing. Just all of it.
Q: If you were stranded on an island and could only take three items what would they be?
A: My ski boots, my toothbrush, and my sister because she is my best friend.
Q: How do you think you have managed academics and skiing?
A: Homework and skiing don't really go well. So far I haven't really managed well. But I am getting better. There is room for improvement.
Q: Coming to school with your brother, has he taken you under his wing at all?
A: No, a little bit with skiing, but not really. He has let me do my own thing, which I like a lot.