I got a chance to catch up with Marine Dusser, who came all the way from France to ski for the Seawolves. Between her French accent, having over 30 podium results in biathlon races, and being a member of the French National Biathlon Team, we had plenty to discuss.
What’s your name, origin, major, and possible career path?
My name is Marine Dusser. I’m from Villard de Lans, France. I am a business major. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do because I know that business is such a broad field to major in. I know what I don’t want to do, but I don’t know what I do want to do.
How long have you been a skier, and what type of skiing have you done over the course of your career?
I do biathlon. It’s when you do skiing and shoot at the same time. We use .22 rifles. I was on the French team for seven years, then I decided to quit doing biathlon last September and come to UAA to do Nordic skiing.
What did you learn from last year’s season (overseas) that you could apply to your races in America for a better advantage?
Well, biathlon is a really odd sport, because there are a lot of things on your mind – it’s a very mental sport. I’ve learned a lot in doing biathlon. I learned to deal with failure, stress, and just not having good races. Nordic skiing is much easier than biathlon.
Which one do you like more?
I used to love biathlon, but now I think I like Nordic skiing – it’s less stressful. You just have to go as fast as you can and enjoy it. [Laughs.]
Are there team or personal goals you have set for this year?
I think the spirit of the team is really important. We spend months together on the road. We’re always together (men and women’s team), so it’s important that the spirit of the team is positive.
How much coaching actually goes into skiing, because I know it isn’t like a basketball team or a football team where you’re playing together as a single unit?
I think coaching is really important. The coaches help to keep us in shape. If we were to make a mistake in our trainings that wouldn’t be good. I’m 24 years old and I train a lot, so I know if it’s good for me. Some people on the team are as young as 18 years old. They need to be able to trust and believe in what they do, but trust that the coaches are doing a good job.
Since the season has started, how many meets have you had?
We’ve had three meets. It’s my first time doing this race. I wasn’t sure what to expect, or how I would do. But you know during the last races I saw that I can go out and win. So my goal is to go win, every time.
Before speaking with your coach, I wasn’t sure if you were a part of the skiing program last year. When I found out you weren’t, it was pretty impressive because he told me that you were one of the top women on the team. It must be exciting to come from France and find success over here. Is there a difference to you? Is it more competitive?
Yeah, it’s completely different. And there is a difference in competition (between Europe and U.S.).
Any words of wisdom for up and coming skiers, or someone who wants to join UAA’s ski team next year?
I think it’s a really great experience. I don’t think you can ski for another university (in Alaska). It’s so easy and its different, I like it.
No, I’m not like that! [Laughs.]
Any pre-game rituals?
No, no, I’m not really superstitious. I just try not to be really stressed. I listen to music, and I dance.
No favorite songs, or something you’ll wear during the race?
No, I think it just depends on the moment.