The decision between a professional career and university was difficult, but I made the right choice.

Filip Forejtek

I started thinking about America after my high school graduation when I was competing for the national team and even went to the Olympics while studying at a university in the Czech Republic. To be honest, I didn't have much of an idea about college sports in the USA before that.

Thanks to my connections in the skiing community, specifically Andrea Arnold and Adam Zika, I found out about this opportunity. Adam, who also studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder, convinced me to give it a try, and I'm glad he did.

During the Olympic season, I contacted the coach at the University of Colorado and ultimately decided to give it a go. I took care of all the arrangements and met all the admission requirements, and now I only have a year and a half of continued study ahead of me.

I remember that the decision wasn't easy at all, because I was part of the national team and my parents had differing opinions. My dad initially told me to stay but eventually supported me in giving it a try, even though he was already working in the ski association. My mom tried to convince me to stay.

In the end, I had to choose between three universities in the western USA, because they don't offer full scholarships to skiers in the east. In America, only about 30 downhill skiers receive a full scholarship. I'm very proud to have been named the best skier in the NCAA last year, it's the biggest achievement I've had so far.

That's why deciding whether to start working after school or try skiing professionally will be difficult. But I still have a year and a half ahead of me, and I'm sure I'll make the right choice.

Before the start of the summer semester, I had the opportunity to attend World Cup races in Europe. As college athletes, we can compete during the off-season, but if I win any prize money, I have to donate it to charity. I can only keep the amount that covers my expenses.

On the other hand, just during the current season, I had to adjust my program so I could start in the World Cup. I improved a lot in technical disciplines in Colorado because school races are essentially just slalom. When I flew to the USA, I was more of a specialist in giant slalom, but now I have the opportunity to compete in all disciplines.

We have perfect facilities at the university, everything is just for us and everything works without a problem. From a skiing perspective, the only specificity is the snow, which is different in the West of America than in Europe. This is due to humidity. The conditions are different in Europe, but it can be adapted to.

As for the field, I have a bachelor's degree in computer science, and now I'm studying a relatively new field of data science, which is a combination of computer science, statistics, and analytics. Recently, we have been dealing a lot with artificial intelligence, so I believe that my school has a future.

I like mathematics and solving problems. It's exactly the field I wanted to study.