SKI: You deal with the repercussions of injury every second of every day. How do you overcome your fear?
CW: “If you prepare enough and trust that your body will react instinctively, then the fear of hurting yourself won’t be so inhibiting. One of my downhill coaches would say, if you try to slow down when approaching a big bump at 60 mph, then you’re actually less prepared than you would be if you hadn’t.”
SKI: How do you feel about the pressure on athletes to always go bigger?
CW: “The more competitive the sport is, the further you have to push yourself. It becomes less of a battle against your own demons and more about your ability to make a living. You need to personally decide how far you want to push because there’s always going to be someone willing to push more.”
SKI: Why did you retire from racing?
CW: “The greater the risk, the smaller the margin of error. That’s the attraction. Risk is personal. I found myself in a position where I no longer wanted to risk everything. That was a little disappointing—not willing to risk everything.”