Megan McJames and Chelsea Marshall aren’t just World Cup skiers, they’re world-class quantifiers. They became Olympians by sifting seconds down to deci-seconds, down to centi-seconds, down to milli-seconds. With their knives, they leveled off the top, and carved a recipe for success.
But this isn’t exactly a story about ski racing.
Megan McJames and Chelsea Marshall, in a perfect metric-systematized world, know that milli’s matter in more ways than just holding a tight tuck across the flats. Measure a milliliter too much of milk, and the frosting won’t spread. Use too many grams of flour, and the dough sticks.
Newton’s third law of motion states: “For every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction.”
Born in the mid-eighties, raised by ski instructors and taught by the mountains, US Ski Team members by their mid-teens, and first-time Olympians at Vancouver by their early twenties, these two are sisters by symmetry.
And both Chelsea and Megan agree: chocolate chip cookies are the yummiest and trusting yourself when things get tough is a must.
“Be tough in the pursuit of your dreams, no matter what they are,” Megan says.
Megan earned her spot on the US Ski Team when she was eighteen. I remember standing in the finish arena of a speed race in Montana when Megan was a first year J2. The way she tipped the ski on edge and juiced the turn put the crowd on their feet. Somebody in the crowd gasped, “She’s going places. Fast.” It didn’t take long for Megan to ski her way to the National Team, and into a World Cup race arena at Aspen.
The best piece of advice a coach ever gave Megan? Coach Patti Formichelli told her: “Flex your ankles!”
The story is no different for Chelsea Marshall. She earned her spot on the US Ski Team at sixteen. Born and raised in Vermont, the Marshall family dominated, and Chelsea was a force to be reckoned with. Smooth on her skis, balanced, and confident, Chelsea makes it look easy. And that’s due in part to her brothers: Jesse Marshall (former USST member) and Cody Marshall (current USST member).
“Growing up, I always looked up to my two older brothers. They both competed in ski racing and I was always trying to match their work ethic and keep up with them.”
Chasing brothers taught Chelsea how to find speed in every pocket of the turn. This speed demon has several World Cup top fifteens under her belt, and an Olympic track on her resume. The best advice a coach ever gave Chelsea?
“Step out of your comfort zone and really trust yourself.”
Believe in Yourself—And the Rest Will Happen Naturally
Megan’s role model isn’t the name on the tip of your tongue.
Picabo Street, Mia Hamm…Bobby Flay? (Think Food Network and Truckee’s Squeeze In).
“He is amazing at cooking…how he uses his charisma to inspire and push people in their own kitchens,” says Megan.
Like Bobby Flay, Megan and Chelsea are inspiring in their own kitchen. And their hired taste tester, fellow Olympian Hailey Duke, approves.
“Scrumdiddlyumptious!” Duke remarked.
So scrumdiddlyumptious they were approached by a friend in May and asked to bake 150 cookies for a wedding. The result?
Sister Sweet Tooth: a small catering company of baked goods for the Park City area. Since May, Megan and Chelsea have baked hundreds of tasty treats for weddings and events, including a women’s ski jumping fundraiser in July.
“She heard about our baking through word of mouth, and from there we really branched off with the idea and decided to put together a company to help raise funds for the coming season,” recalls Chelsea.
Life is busy for these two World Cup skiers. Juggling training, courses at Westminster College, and a baking company on the side is no easy schedule. But determination has always been part of the program.
According to Chelsea, “We have a passion that drives us. Through a lot of hard work and a strong work ethic we are able to juggle everything and hopefully be successful!”
Skiing. School. Scrumdiddlyumptious Sweets.
“Everybody has an opinion they will try to impose on you, but it is up to you to find the right way for yourself,” Megan says.
The journey to the top is a battle of wins and losses, injuries and recoveries. Trust in your abilities, pursue your dreams, and as these two echo, this is your experience, grab the reigns and go!
Keep up with Chelsea Marshall and Megan McJames at:
www.chelseascookies.blogspot.com and www.meganmcjames.wordpress.com
(Megan Mcjames is currently trying to raise $20,000 for her 2011 – 2012 season. Please stop by her blog and learn how you can help her compete this winter!)
Left to Right: Hailey Duke, Megan McJames, and Chelsea Marshall in Vancouver