U16 Alpine athletes, Cilla Nee from Westport, CT and Sonja Toishi from Lake Placid, NY, both had their winter season cut short due to injuries. Cilla will be attending Northwood School (NWS) this fall and Sonja will continue in NYSEF’s Winter Term Program. 

Cilla and Sonja had ACLs tears and have been working on their recovery this spring. Patrick Purcell, U16 Head Coach and Return To Snow (RTS) Conditioning Coach said, “our RTS program recognizes what it takes to reclaim and to improve each athletes ski strength. We take every training session and break it down essentially creating links that will eventually form a chain over the course of the program to transfer into their ski racing.” U16 Coach and NWS Program Director, Terry DelliQuadri said “Cilla is multi-dimensional, focused on much more than just her ski racing. Through NYSEF’s RTS program she’ll be able to get back to basics and gain confidence to move her forward towards her goals.” Regarding upcoming goals for the season he added that teammate, Sonja, “this recent injury won’t impede her progress towards reaching her goals.  This is because she’s such a hard working athlete, focused on the fundamentals and not afraid of going fast.”

We asked the athletes to answer some questions so we can learn more about their season, recovery and what their goals are for the upcoming season which includes joining the NYSEF Return To Snow (RTS) Program.

What are you most motivated about next season? 

Cilla: I’m most motivated to just get back on snow and to be able to ski again. 

Sonja: I am most motivated by winning. I want to be able to ski as well as I can and hopefully it will lead to some success.

How has your recovery been (after your surgery)? 

Cilla: My recovery has been great. I’ve been doing PT every day and it’s going well. I’ve been out of the brace for two weeks and have had no setbacks.

Sonja: Recovery has been going well, with online classes it’s easier for me because I can have more time to do rehab exercises.

What did you learn in your recovery so far?

Cilla: I’ve learned just how important PT and having a positive mindset is for the recovery process.

Sonja: I’ve learned that it’s a slow process and to keep working on your recovery.

Are you doing any conditioning this season?

Cilla: The only conditioning I’ve been doing is what I’ve been approved to do with PT.

Sonja: This summer, I am planning on getting a gym membership but my plans may change if these facilities remain closed for the summer. 

How are you staying busy with the stay at home restrictions?

Cilla: I’ve been staying busy by doing PT and focusing on keeping my grades in a good academic standing.

Sonja: I am doing my rehab exercises when I can and online school. I also like to draw and paint occasionally.

What are your goals for next season and long term goals?

Cilla: My goals for next season are to return to gates and start racing. My long term goals are to race FIS and to get into a good school.

Sonja: My next season goal would be to get back to skiing as well as I did before my injury. My long term goal would be to get on the U.S Ski Team.

What do you like to do in the off season?

Cilla: In the off season I normally like to play softball and run. I also enjoy babysitting and tutoring. 

Sonja: I like to play tennis, but I most likely won’t be able to play this year and I will find something new to do.