Professional trail runner, US Nordic Ski Team athlete and 2022 Olympian Sophia Laukli is now an “all-season” Salomon athlete.
Already a rising star for Salomon’s global trail running team, the 23-year-old from Yarmouth, Maine, has decided to use Salomon ski equipment when she puts her running shoes away in autumn and turns her attention to advancing her career on the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup circuit this winter.
“I think having this one common support between both of my sports can make me that much more successful,” Laukli said. “As a multi-sport athlete, I am trying to navigate a way where I can fully commit to the highest level of competition in each sport and have both running and skiing work together to help me improve in both. This is certainly a work in progress, but having Salomon behind me in running and skiing, I believe will make success in both much more achievable. From a non-performance standpoint, building up the relationship with Salomon across two sports felt like an important opportunity for my own career and makes it more meaningful. To me, Salomon is a one-of-a-kind brand, both in their products but also for providing this holistic relationship that I wouldn’t be able to find with another brand.”
As a Nordic skier, Laukli has already competed in the 2021 and 2023 World Championships and grabbed a podium in the 10km freestyle race at Val di Femme in January of this year. She finished 15th in the 30km mass start at the Olympics in Beijing. Seeing the success of Salomon athletes on the World Cup circuit played a role in her decision to place her trust in the company’s equipment moving forward.
“Salomon’s progress has become more evident as so many of the top skiers are skiing on Salomon now, so this has definitely helped motivate me to switch to Salomon and realize the quality of their skis,” said Laukli, who also has Norwegian citizenship through her Norwegian father. “There always seems to be at least one Salomon athlete on the World Cup podiums each weekend. Obviously, our performance comes down to our training and the athletes themselves, but having the right skis plays a crucial role, too. Finding good skis then requires a lot of collaboration and working closely with staff and testing skis, so it’s pretty clear to me that Salomon and the service team has got this dialed, which is very validating to know.”
Laukli joined the Salomon trail running team in 2022 and raised her trail running profile with a win at the 26km Broken Arrow Sky Race near Lake Tahoe, California. She didn’t know much about the Golden Trail Series before last year, but arrived on that scene with a flash, winning the 2022 Stranda Fjord Trail Race in Norway, the third leg of the series. She followed that with two more podiums—a 3rd place at the Pikes Peak Climb and a 2nd at the Flagstaff Sky Peaks race—leading to a 2nd place finish in the overall Golden Trail standings.
“I’ve been really happy using Salomon’s running shoes. My focus in running is trails, so being able to run for Salomon, a brand that is really a leader in the trail running world, is huge for me,” she says. “In terms of skiing, I was definitely motivated to switch simply because I was so happy with the running side, so I was confident I would be happy using the ski equipment as well, especially the boots because the brand is so strong in footwear.”
Laukli says she witnessed the success of Nordic teammates on Salomon skis and “heard only good things.” Then, an equipment testing session last winter cemented her decision to make the switch. Having spent the last few seasons balancing NCAA collegiate skiing (for the University of Utah) in the US with World Cup races, she is curious to see how a full-time World Cup season goes for her now that she’s done with school and NCAA skiing.
“I’m really looking forward to committing the whole year to the World Cup circuit, at least that is the goal,” Laukli says. “I’m really motivated for the North American World Cup races and hope to have some top results there.”
Long-term wise, Laukli is committed to taking her skiing to the next level and improving as an all-around skier—though “probably never sprinting,” she says—with an eye toward the 2026 Winter Olympics.
“I’m hoping to broaden my skills/abilities, especially for something like the Tour de Ski, where working towards a top overall position is very enticing,” she says. “I have actually just moved to Norway and joined the Aker-Daehlie team, so I’m confident this change and working with a new coach will be a good step for my skiing.”
When her season on the trails is over, the Salomon team of Nordic race technicians will be ready to help.
“We’re excited to have Sophia joining the Salomon Nordic family and reinforce our Cross-Country women’s distance team,” said Patrice Frison-Roche, who leads Salomon’s Nordic Racing Services team. “She has plenty of bright years ahead and we are eager to support her. As soon as she decided to become a ‘Salomon 360 athlete’ her goals automatically became our goals.”