Catching Up with Sarah Hendrickson

Sarah Hendrickson

Sarah Hendrickson. Photo by Sarah Brunson / U.S. Ski Team

At the age of 20, Sarah Hendrickson’s resume stands out among those within her field. With accolades that include a U.S. title, a World Championship gold medal, and a World Cup globe, the 2014 Olympian continues to put women’s ski jumping on the map and pave the way for those to follow her. 

After injuring her knee six months before Sochi, Sarah had two options. One, to give up on her Olympic dreams, or two, fight her way back. And as anyone could’ve guessed, giving up was never really a path she was willing to take. 

Fast forward to January 2014, after countless hours in the gym and physical therapy, the Park City, Utah native made history as she was named to the first-ever U.S. Olympic Women’s Ski Jumping team, alongside teammates Lindsay Van and Jessica Jerome. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Sarah became the first woman to jump in any Winter Olympic Games and finished in 21st place overall.

See what Sarah’s been up to since that day, what she hopes to accomplish next, and how she stays in Olympic shape! 

First and foremost, congratulations on such an inspirational and successful career you’ve had so far! Looking back on this past year, what would you say was your most memorable moment? It was an amazing year, but also a really hard year.I think I expected myself to be over my injury after the physical barriers were gone, but the mental side has been a huge struggle for me. Not having confidence in my training and my knee was something that didn’t come easy, but everyday I get a little bit better. I had an unforgettable time in Sochi and that will stay with me forever. Of course the results were hard, but I just have to be happy that I rehabbed in time to be apart of the first ever Women’s Ski Jumping Olympic team!

Sarah Hendrickson (Instagram)

Olympic ring pride. (Instagram)

What has life been like since Sochi? Has it calmed down at all?  Not really. I had another knee surgery [post-Olympics] so rehab and physical stuff never really calmed down. I also tried to do some media stuff and work with my sponsors to keep me busy because I really like doing that, but didn’t take much time off from ski jumping because I really missed it. Now I am back on World Cup and just thankful to be healthy again.

Do you have any specific goals this World Cup season? I need to find my passion for ski jumping again. In the past year it has been really masked by the media and the hustle of the Games. Of course I loved some parts of that, but you can lose perspective on the love of your sport. I just need to enjoy jumping again and then the results will come. I know I can be at the top of my game again, but it will take time and a lot of smiles.

 You’re always so positive. Is there a motto or inspirational quote you live by? Never give up because dreams do come true! When I first injured my knee in August 2013, the possibility of not being able to compete in Sochi and losing sponsors definitely crossed my mind, but it wasn’t what happened. All of my friends, family, coaches and sponsors encouraged and supported me through my recovery, which meant everything. My journey to Sochi may have not been as smooth as I had originally planned for it to be, but it was never an option for me to give up on my dream of becoming an Olympian last year.

Your Instagram account suggests that you love staying active year-round, but what are some of your go-to exercises when training? I tend to stick with squats, lunges, planks and time on either a treadmill or stationary bike.

  1. Squats 3 sets of 10 at 100 lbs. on an average/medium day.
  2. Lunges 3 sets of 8 per leg at 40-50 lbs.
  3. Planks I typically do 3 sets of plank, holding for a minute each time.
  4. Cardio I spend about an hour on either the stationary bike or treadmill. When running, I typically increase my speed between 5.5mph-6.5mph and incline to roughly 3.5.
Sarah Hendrickson Hiking (Instagram)

Hiking in Park City. (Instagram)

Are they the same in the offseason, or do you switch it up? Yes, but I definitely do more things outside to supplement my routine so I don’t get bored or worn out. I like running, hiking, mountain and road biking, and doing pilates.

It seems like you might kind of live out of your gym bag most days! What are some of the things you always have on hand? At times, yes! I always have my Nikes, a sports bra, tank, and shorts in my bag, in addition to a Kellogg’s bar, Red Bull, and a USANA water bottle.

Speaking of nutrition, what are your go to pre- and post- meals when training? Before training, I love to mix some greek yogurt with fresh fruit and Special K granola. Afterward I like to stick with either a USANA Protein Snack or a Chocolate Nutrimeal shake. I also make sure to have my HealthPak™ on hand to help me get the nutrients I need to refuel afterward.

With all of the New Years resolutions being made—especially towards weight loss—do you have any advice for those wanting to start living a healthier lifestyle or train for a big event, like a marathon? Set a goal you know you can achieve and work your way up from there. Don’t overwhelm yourself and set an unrealistic goal. Push through the days you don’t feel like working toward it. You have to remember that some days are going to be tougher than others, but if you stick with it, the end results will be worth it.

*The mentioned athletes are either distributors or dedicated users who have received compensation for their partnership and/or complimentary USANA products.

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