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Meet FRÉ Ambassador Anna Segal, Australian Olympic Skier & Two-Time World Champion

Jude Jacob Kayton February 02, 2020

About Anna @anna_segal 

Born in Australia, but currently living in British Columbia, Canada, Anna is a backcountry skier.She won gold at theWinter X Games 13, the2011 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, and the2012 AFP World Championships inWhistler, Canada.


My fitness journey

From about 10 years old, I loved running. We were an active family; my mom swam a lot and my dad ran a lot. Most people are surprised to learn that there are ski hills in Australia, between Sydney and Melbourne. I started skiing there when I was 4. At 15, I discovered that I excelled at freestyle skiing, which later took me to the Olympics, Winter X Games, and World Championships. 


My proudest moments

  1. When I won gold at theWinter X Games in 2009. It was so unexpected! I didn’t think I had a chance; I was competing against my idols, women whose posters were on my walls. This was when I began to think that I could make skiing my career.

  2. When I competed in the2014 Olympics. I had big obstacles, because I’d recently torn my ACL. I didn’t know if I could ski with my recovering injury. I also had a nasty head cold, but I was able to push through it all and ended up in 4th place.

  3. When I finished making a documentary with my sister calledFinding The Line. You can watch the trailerHERE. My sister is also a professional skier, and the documentary explores how we face fear differently and how we deal with it. The documentary also looks at everyday feelings of fear. My sister and I aren’t film producers, but we jumped into this big project. It was exciting to see it finished

How to face fear

There are physical effects of fear, such as an increase in heart rate, clouded thoughts, and feeling distressed. I find that breathing helps me calm my mind the most. Then, I can clear my thoughts and evaluate why I’m afraid. I try to evaluate if the fear is rational. I ask myself questions: am I prepared, am I strong, is the goal something I can visualize in my head? Finally, can I put the fear aside and go for it? But if I’m tired, or I can’t visualize the goal, or if my body is too sore, then it’s time to listen to fear and back down. It’s really useful to have a rational evaluation process to learn if the fear is getting in your way or if it’s there for good reason.


I try to meditate in the morning for 15-20 minutes. This sets me up for a clearer thought process for the rest of the day. I had a great sports psychologist at the 2014 Olympics who asked me, “You spend whole days training your body, how many hours do you spend training your mind?” Today, I use an app calledHeadspace that includes lots of different meditations; I follow the different courses and guided meditations. 

Overcoming obstacles

I’ve had 6 knee operations, 4 ACL reconstructions, an ankle reconstruction and a number of concussions. I find that after every injury you come back stronger, BUT you also have the memory of the injury in your mind and you remember the consequences of previous actions. Working through these memories is hard, especially when you are attempting something new.  Backcountry skiing is even more dangerous, including risks of avalanches and crevasses. I deal with these challenges by educating myself on safety and enrolling in professional courses.


What inspires me

I’m most inspired by other athletes, especially the women that ski with me. It is amazing to see how they handle different challenges, stressful situations, and how they multitask between work and skiing.


I’m also inspired byKilian Jornet, a mountain runner. I’m currently reading his autobiography. I like to learn about how other athletes push through obstacles, especially women in male dominated industries. Some of the athletes I look up to areCarissa Moore, one of the best surfers in the world;Robin Van Gyn, a Roxy snowboarder;Michelle Parker &Elyse Saugstad, two incredible skiers. 


Protect Our Winters,Fight Climate Change 

I’m part ofProtect Our Winters (POW), an organization founded in the U.S. by outdoor athletes who are standing up for climate change. They do lots of outdoor lobbying in the U.S., and the Canadian branch started half a year ago. POW uses athletes as a mouthpiece. You can join or donate by clickingHERE. Their website also includes a travel carbon-offset carbon calculator developed by North Face which calculates your carbon footprint accurately and recommends practical ways to offset it. You can try it outHERE.

My skincare challenges

I naturally have really dry skin and dry hair. Since I am always outside in the dry, cold air, my skin is dry. But because I’m an athlete, my skin also is sweaty, so my challenge is keeping it clean, but restoring the moisture levels. This can be really tough. 

 

My favorite FRÉ 

PROTECT ME moisturizing sunscreen with SPF30 is my favorite as it doesn’t clog my pores and it feels great. I also loveRECOVER ME for a powerful dose of hydration at night. I usePURIFY ME every morning and night to clean my skin. All of these products are part of my daily skin routine. I love FRÉ, because the brand promotes healthy, active women and also has a positive social impact on the community in Morocco, where they source their raw ingredients. 

 

RAPID FIRE:

  • Favorite exercise?Surfing 
  • What comes to mind when you think of FRÉ?Blue
  • What are you most excited about in life right now?Skiing
  • What’s something you’d still love to learn?French
  • If you were a hashtag, what would you be?#giggles 
  • What is your mantra?Be brave, not perfect 
  • What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received in your life?When one door closes another opens—from my Mom
  • What is an issue that you wish we spoke about more often? Inequality in sports, especially for women 
  • What’s one skincare tip you swear by?Moisturize every morning and evening 

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