Shasta Elementary School fourth-graders chatted live with U.S. Olympic nordic skier Rosie Brennan on Monday, asking her questions about competing, maintaining friendships, and confronting challenges.
It was the first live video chat between the students in Dena Morosin’s class and Brennan, a two-time Olympian, four-time U.S. champion, and back-to-back World Cup holder. As an athlete mentor with Classroom Champions, Brennan will work with the class throughout the school year, providing video lessons once a month on life skills such as goal setting, community service, leadership, emotions, community, perseverance, healthy eating, diversity, and feedback.
Morosin’s class will incorporate the lessons into their classroom activities and prepare for the video lessons. The class also will do three live chats with Brennan during the year.
Classroom Champions is a non-profit organization that partners Olympic and Paralympic athletes with students and teachers. This is the seventh year Morosin has applied for and been accepted into the program.
“My students learn so much from their Olympic mentors regarding life and social skills, and it gives me the opportunity to bring these lessons into class for my students,” Morosin said. “Our students need to have as many role models in their lives as possible, role models that care about them and help develop their character.”
Monday’s live chat was a way for the students to get to know Brennan. One of the questions asked Brennan about a challenging time in her life.
Brennan recalled being cut from the national team.
“That was really challenging,” she said. “But I learned that it’s never a good idea to let other people define who are you and what you are worth. I decided to let my self-worth by defined by my effort not by the numbers next to my name.”
Brennan was at home in Anchorage, Alaska, while she talked with the students, but was getting ready to leave for an extended tour in Europe for the competitive racing season. Her next race will be over Thanksgiving weekend – the World Cup in Finland.
Brennan talked about becoming a mentor for Classroom Champions in a Sept. 16 post on her Facebook page.
“My journey as an Olympic skier has been full of lessons and as I continue to learn, I’m doing my best to help youth learn, too!” she wrote. “This season, I’ll be working with @classroomchampions as an athlete mentor and will be mentoring two classrooms on goal setting, perseverance, leadership, healthy living, and all the little things in between. … I’m bringing my #athletemindset to kids across America.”
Brennan, 33, grew up in Park City, Utah, and learned to cross country ski after watching the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
On Dec. 13, 2020, she became the second American cross-country skier to win back-to-back World Cup races. Brennan is a four-time U.S. champion and represented U.S. at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the 2019 World Championships in Austria. She competed in the 2022 Olympics, placing fourth in freestyle sprint, fifth in class team sprint, and sixth in the 30K freestyle.