In less than two weeks, 2011 Richfield High School alum Jon Soto Moreno will head to Beijing, China, to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics as a cross country skier! He is one of only four athletes chosen to represent his home country of Mexico—a dream he has been working toward for years.
Jon and his family moved from Durago, Mexico, to Richfield, Minnesota, 16 years ago, and he began attending Richfield Middle School. When he was a freshman at Richfield High School, Jon started running track—in fact, his skiing career began as “something to do in the winter” to stay in shape for track season!
“After the first week of skiing I started to really enjoy it,” said Jon. “With skiing, I learned to not fear the cold.”
Jon’s high school Biology teacher and cross country skiing coach, Mr. Tepp, suggested that Jon look into the Olympics to see what he can do to represent Mexico. Although Jon looked into it a bit at the time, once he graduated high school his focus was on college and his future career.
Jon continued to ski recreationally and trained for the American Bierkiebiner in Wisconsin, which is the largest cross-country skiing race in North America, and one of the longest.
“After college, as I was driving to work, the idea came back out of nowhere and I decided to pursue a shot at the Olympics,” said Jon.
The road hasn’t been easy. Since realizing his Olympic aspirations, he put in years of high-intensity training. Jon also works full time, and dedicates every free moment to training and recovery. He is up around 5 a.m. to get an early session in at the gym before his job begins. After work, he heads back to the gym or outside for a few hours of skiing, running or other cardio. Over the weekends, he works out in sessions of up to four hours. In the summers, he incorporates rollerskis, biking, strength training and cardio work.
Jon’s advice to high school athletes who want to go to the Olympics or become a professional athlete is that they need to have a love for the sport.
“Find all that passion and love, and then do it,” he urged. “Doing a sport because you really enjoy it can get you further than one you may not enjoy, no matter how hard you work.”
Making it to the Olympics is a long-awaited dream for Jon, who is incredibly proud of his achievements and excited to be able to travel to Beijing to compete. His goal is to enjoy the experience, and give it his all so he can clock one of his best races ever.
“I’m looking forward to going to the Winter Olympics not only representing Mexico, but representing the Richfield community, where I still live.”
Jon will be competing in the 15km Classic race on February 11. You can follow Jon’s journey on his Instagram, @jon.ski.mexico and through the official website of the 2022 Winter Olympics.