Monday, January 29, 2007

Strong Weekend, Worlds to Follow

Are, Sweden awaits us! The pinnacle of the season, the World Championships! I have to admit, I'm pretty excited to get up there and start the final stages of preparations for race day.

But first, today is a day of rest as we wrapped up three races in San Sicario, Italy where I had three solid races finishing 5th, 10th, and 13th. It was a great set of races that really got me excited to be racing again and looking forward to Are with confidence. Most notably from this last weekend was getting to see Britt Janyk find her stride. She was a thrill to race with as she finished two times 4th (I know how it feels!:) and we are looking towards Are with new found excitement. Currently we are close to Salzburg enjoying a day off. I'm sure today will be filled with...well...nothing!

I have attached two pictures. One of the pictures is of, what I'm now calling the North American Powerhouses; Britt Janyk, Lindsay Kildow, Julia Mancuso, and myself!

As always, I look forward to what lays ahead. The ups and downs of sport are always challenging but that's why I do it. If it was easy, I would be bored.

I'll leave you with a quote from Michael Jordan,

"I have failed over and over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed."

Big Smiles and Fast Skis,


Monday, January 22, 2007

24th Year Begins!

As the races in Cortina end my 24th year begins! It was my birthday yesterday and I was lucky enough to spend it in beautiful Cortina, then my evening in beautiful Bolzano. Shona Rubens and I passed the evening together eating pizza and drinking some amazing Italian wine. A few of the girls gave me some really sweet gifts and I received flowers from my tech, Pavel and coaches. It was as special a day as possible on the road. I feel so lucky to be doing what I do and collecting such amazing memories.
Today I'm enjoying a relaxing day in Bolzano, at a beautiful hotel, preparing for the next week of racing on the old Torino Olympic track. My last few races in Cortina weren't up to my expectations or my abilities. However, I know its inside me and I'm drawing on the lessons I learned in Cortina to get me back fighting for those hundredths!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Things Come in Threes...

We all know what they say, things come in threes. We'll, I hope my three crashes are put behind me for the year!

I arrived in Europe on the 4th of January with training right away in Burgeis/Mals, Italy. On the third day, after some great skiing in GS, I had the most spectacular crash I've had to date. Fortunately I didn't suffer any severe injuries although I strained my knee and hurt the Tib/Fib joint pretty badly with a bruised fibula. Lets just say it was pretty sore. I took that day, and the next two off as I had to prepare for a DH training run (and later race) in Altenmarkt, Austria. The first training run got canceled, which made me rather happy since I felt I needed at least another day to rest up. The next training run I skied the top pretty well, only to crash very early on in the course. This put me in the fencing with the wind knocked out of me for a few minutes until someone helped me out. I skied away from this crash with a slight black eye, a very bruised thigh, and no help in getting that knee feeling better.

Since I knew I'd lost my only shot at a training run I slowly side slipped the course so I could watch someone ski most sections. Hey, it's better than nothing! I finally got to the bottom of the course and exited where the side slippers do (just before the finish line). There was a lot of public around (yes, Austria pulls big crowds even for training runs!). Between the public and the rocks I decided to boot ski the last bit to the lodge. I picked up good speed on the hard snow from our track's preparation, however, I saw a wall of soft snow approaching me. I figured I'd make it. I didn't. I launched doing a face plant and loosing both my skis as they flew out of my hands. Now completely broken and extremely embarrassed, I collected my equipment and made my way (limping) to the cars.

So there you have it. A trifecta of falls within a few days, and I had to race a World Cup DH the next day with no training run. Luckily (or unlucky - you never know) the race was canceled after a day of trying to get it off. Saturday was supposed to be the Super Combined which I would not race, then a Super G on Sunday. At 6pm that night I found out they had decided to race Downhill the next day and move the Super Combined to Sunday and the Super G was canceled.

In the end, we raced DH today (Saturday, January 13), the start was lowered (taking out every bit of the course I had actually run), and I finished 14th. I was happy with this considering all of the above. Still, I know how much I left out there and I look forward to Cortina!

The picture above is from the right side of the starting gate in Altenmarkt.

Sometimes you just have to laugh! :)


Thursday, January 04, 2007

And So It Begins....

Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope 2007 will be a year full of immense happiness, growth and peace in your lives.

I've just hit the road again and currently find myself in Frankfurt airport trying to pass the time during this 5 hour lay-over. Ah, the joys of travel! Once finished this voyage, I'll be in Italy for a few days of training then I'll be in Altenmarkt, Austria for my first set of races in the new year. I'm looking forward to all that awaits me in sport and in life during '07.

This picture is one that Rob Boyd took December 17th! It says it all about the ski conditions then; however, I hear the weather has been colder so snow making has filled in the gaps that mother nature's left green.

Over the Christmas holidays I enjoyed a few days of skiing in Whistler, a Christmas at home, and a quietly profound beginning to 2007. I look forward to all that lays before me and I am thankful for the opportunities I've been given. I hope to utilize all these gifts to the fullest.

With Smiles,