Monday, February 12, 2007

Taking the Lessons

Well, my World Championships in Are have come to an end and I unfortunately have no results to show for it. Disappointingly, I didn't complete either the Super G or the Downhill events. For the Super G I was nervous but also excited because I knew I could really do something. When I was in the start area I new Britt Janyk was in the lead and I wanted to be there with her. Unfortunately, I cut the line too much heading into a blind gate and consequently missed it.

In preparation for the Downhill event I had my work cut out for me. I wasn't feeling confident and started to feel the pressure of wanting to perform. Are holds a lot of emotion for me, for many different reasons. It was coming to the surface and affecting my ability to perform. So, I decided to take control of my situation and do everything I could to give myself the best possible opportunity to race to my potential on Sunday. I did some work with my sport psych Roger Friesen over the phone, I studied the video, trained GS, and before I knew it, I had found the athlete inside me again. I was back to that skier that I could count on to perform and race with everything I had. The days leading up to the Downhill I was skiing very well and my confidence had returned. On race day I felt ready to go. Then, in the course, I felt ,quite literally, like bambi on ice until I finally went out of the course, again, missing a blind gate.

I'm now stepping back from this experience and trying to find the lessons I can take from this experience so I'll be better prepared next time. There are always lessons to be learned and I'm determined to learn them. I want to win, and I will do all I can to reach that goal.

Even though the end results weren't there, it was a great experience to compete in the World Championships. The crowds were amazing, the spirit was strong, and the excitement was in the air. My coaches were working like I've never seen them work before (including injecting a training hill all through the night in -30 degree weather!) and my technician Pavel was great and extremely supportive. We have a great team, and we'll catch back up to the guys' medal count!

Watching Jan Hudec receive his silver medal was such a highlight - nothing beats seeing our flag raised. I watched the awards with Thomas Grandi, Mike Janyk, and Meg Ryley. I could feel their desire to be there when their time comes. I look forward to seeing what they can do.

After Jan's medal the boys came through with their bet to shave Mohawks! I have attached a few pictures for your viewing! It's a pretty exciting team environment to be a part of. I have also attached a few pictures of the amazing views from top of the mountain- everything is completely covered in snow and ice. It's amazing how it all still works.

Although sad about my own performance I am drawing lessons from Are and look forward to the rest of my career! So much lies ahead and I look forward to soaking it all in.

I now have a short break before my next world cup races in Tarvisio, Italy (where I won my first World Junior medal) so I'm excited to revisit this race site.

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me through the ups and the downs - you're who keep me going.



Thursday, February 08, 2007

Beautiful, Cold Are

Here are a few pictures I took yesterday morning before the Downhill training run that I wanted to share with you. Are is a beautiful place, although extremely cold with temperatures reaching -30 the last few days! And yes, those buildings are COMPLETELY covered in ice/snow!

Unfortunately my Super G race didn't find me cheering in the finish area, rather freeskiing down most of the hill after missing a gate early on. Although fast before I went out, it shows how fine the line is when racing! Britt Janyk did Canada proud though with a 4th place finish, missing the podium by a mere 6 hundredths of a second! It appears as though she is now carrying that 4th place curse! However, the podiums will come...we all know they will!
I'm now in the middle of the Downhill training runs. I look forward to racing Sunday!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Calm Before the Crowd

The stands are set up, the netting's nearly finished, the signs are being raised, the athletes are arriving, and the cameras are in focus. You might think something big is about to happen here in Are!.....