Emma Malmquist cross-country skiing
Emma Malmquist competes in a cross-country skiing competition for CMU last season. Photo Credit: David James


Student’s passion takes her from Oregon to Colorado to Kazakhstan

While many students are preparing for the start of the spring semester by reviewing their class schedule, purchasing books and reconnecting with friends, Emma Malmquist is training every day for the 2017 winter Universiade games — the largest global winter competition for student-athletes.

The twenty-eighth winter games will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from Jan. 29-Feb.8. Fifty-five countries will be represented and Malmquist will be one of 2,000 student-athletes competing.

The 21-year-old CMU exercise science major isn’t nervous about representing the USA as a cross-country skier on an international level. She has been a skier most of her life and trains rigorously throughout the year. “I’m most nervous about getting there,” Malmquist said. Otherwise she is excited to compete, to meet new people, immerse herself in other cultures and talk training schedules with fellow competitors.  

After the 13-hour flight, she will be housed in one of 14 buildings comprising the athletes’ complex with similar amenities to the Olympics athletes’ village, Malmquist said. “This is the second largest sporting event behind the Olympics.”

Malmquist’s scores at last year’s nationals made her a candidate for the USA team. She submitted an application and shortly after learned she was accepted to compete at Universiade. Three of her teammates are from the University of Wyoming, who won nationals last year, and four other university skiers from around the nation round out the USA Nordic ski team.

Originally from Bend, Oregon, Malmquist has skied competitively for quite some time, and after a year off to play soccer at a university in California, she transferred to CMU in large part due to the skiing program. Competing for CMU has prepared her for this next stage of competition. “We have one of the most unique programs in the country,” she said. “Coach Dave takes care of us.” There is a focus on healthy competition and a solid team dynamic.

After receiving the news she was accepted, Malmquist had just a few weeks to fundraise before the money was due. She raised about $1,000 on her own, the Associated Student Government covered a portion of her costs and then she presented to the CMU Board of Trustees where she received the rest of the money she needed.

“I’m really thankful they made this a reality for me,” Malmquist said.

Although her eyes are on the upcoming competition, her education is the first priority. She is enrolled in all on-line classes for this semester, so she won’t miss a beat while in Kazakhstan going for gold.

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