A lot has happened since I last updated this blog, let me start from the beginning and give you a quick recap of what has happened since I left off.
A long long time ago, back in December of 2012, I was training and racing in Panorama. I spent a week training there followed by two weeks of racing. It was also the first time that the whole team had been together since our camp in Chile. It’s always great to get everyone back together after being spread out between BC and Colorado, the energy level of the group becomes that much higher and helps to keep everyone motivated.
At the races in Panorama I had some respectable results but far from perfect runs; however I was assured that my skiing had come along way and for me that was big personal achievement. Knowing that all the time in the gym and long hours on the hill were translating themselves to my skiing was satisfying.
As a result of my effort and skiing I was invited to join the team on a trip to Europe in January. Needless to say I was pumped to go skiing in Italy.
After Panorama we had a week off to spend some of Christmas break with our families and get some skiing in at our home mountains. I wish I would have had more time to spend skiing in Revelstoke catching up with old ski buddies and revisiting my favourite runs. Instead I got to go to Whistler as a prelude to our Europe trip. The team got together for a week of training and freeskiing. We had some great days of training and made some gains before jetting off to Europe.
The plan for Europe was to land in Geneva Switzerland, drive to La Thuile Italy which is located in the Valle d’Aosta, race for two days and then continue on and race 10 out of 11 the 11 days that we were there. The race hill in La Thuile was the steepest GS hill I have ever seen, conditions were far from optimal, icy in some places and very soft and loose in others. Racing in Europe is far more intense than in Canada, every racer is going all out every run, and there are a lot of racers. The track gets beat up very quickly and makes for tough racing. On our first day everyone skied out except Martin. The second day had a similar theme and most of our team was unsuccessful in reaching the finish line. Patrick hit one of the holes on course that took out half of the field and unfortunately sliced his leg open ending his Europe campaign. From La Thuile we moved on to Val Grisenche which was quite the contrast from the mega resort of La Thuile. Val Grisenche is a very tiny town tucked away at the back of a valley. It has one lift with two runs and the best slalom hill injection I have ever had the privilege of skiing on. Having never actually skied on a proper injection skiing the first couple of gates was a very big surprise and no one from our team had an outstanding performance. After re-evaluating our plan, Dykster and JP decided it would be more productive to spend three days training in Val Grisenche instead of moving on to the next race series. As a group we all made gains and personally I made a huge improvement. Finally we were all over the jet lag and ready to send it at the next race series which was in Sestriere, the site of the skiing portion of the 2006 Olympics. Here I finally finished my first race in Europe and all though I didn’t score points, it relieved some pressure. The next three races took place in Ancelle, France and I started to figure things out in terms of how to approach a race. All in all Europe was a great experience, it was an eye opener for sure to see the level of skiing there and gives me something to aim for. I learned a lot and I will definitely carry that through the rest of my career.
Upon return from Europe I had an exam to write and a bunch of other homework to catch up on which I am still actually working on right now. In the month since Europe I went to Apex for Downhill training, trained with the Revelstoke Ski Club, raced in Super G in Nakiska and even found some time to get some freeskiing in at RMR.
I am currently in Sun Peaks gearing up for the final push of the 2013 season and have just completed 3 days of training with Tyler, Roger and Dykster in preparation for this weekends race.
I hope to get an update up about how the upcoming race goes and a photo album from the past month and a bit.
All for now,