Warner Nickerson — American Skier, Perpetual Underdog, King of Fun (Ep.31)

Warner Nickerson is an American ski racer who was something of a World Cup walk on, and he describes himself as a “perpetual underdog.” But this underdog chalked up 41 FIS victories over his career, was a two-time NCAA All-American, earned four US National Podiums, and a couple top-30 world cup finishes.

Equally important, Warner knows how to have fun. In fact, Jon Olsson has declared, “Warner has more fun than all of us” (which is a pretty big statement coming from Olsson, who is a world-authority on Fun.)

Warner Nickerson on the Blister Podcast
Warner Nickerson, Fun King.

Warner and I talked for a long time, and we’re going to get him back on the podcast to round out our conversation. But today, Warner and I talk about his background, the business of ski racing and ski academies; how elite racers approach their equipment — and the thorny issue of sponsorships and athletes skiing on a sponsor’s equipment when it isn’t a good match for them. Finally, we talk a bit about the big race event that’s currently happening, Kitzbuhel.


• Warner’s review of the movie, “Scully” (0:00)
• Warner’s First Beer League Race (which happened last week)
• Warner’s Early Years + the first race he ever won (9:36)
• The problem of the “big business” of ski racing academies (20:24)
• Warner’s college experience (Colby), and his advice for skiers when choosing colleges (23:15)
• One of Warner’s biggest regrets in life (35:18)
• Warner’s time on the US Ski Team (36:20)
• Getting Cut — But Not Quitting
• Team Dreamin’ the Life – enter Jon Olsson (43:15)
• Q: How often are elite racers on equipment they don’t like? Aka, The issue of sponsored skiers — or any skier — being on the wrong equipment (47:25)
• Q: What’s your best Jon Olsson story? (58:38)
• The Crown Jewel of Racing: Kitzbuhel / The Streif (01:02:33)
• Race Approach: going flat out vs. slightly dialing things back to be able to correct (01:06:17)

1 comment on “Warner Nickerson — American Skier, Perpetual Underdog, King of Fun (Ep.31)”

  1. The Blister Podcast always makes for a good companion while spending time at the tune bench and the better they are the less work gets done. This is one where the files got put down and I largely just listened. Really enjoyed the candor Warner provided.

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