I managed to stay pretty calm about the whole thing until the race actually started. I did yoga off of youtube this morning and also watched tutorials on knitting socks...so exciting! ha! Basically I was trying to get activated and stay calm...I was really trying to nail the process of how to "race" my first world cup...not only just "ski" it. We went out on hill at 2 45 and I had a good warm-up...not spectacular but just good. I didn't start feeling like i was in a big race until inspection. Feeling the incredibly hard snow beneath your feet...slipping past Lindsey Vonn...looking down at the huge stadium lit up by incredibly powerful lights. There was music blaring and people were just starting to file in to the finish area as we left inspection. I was still pretty calm...I only betrayed my nervousness a little...by forgetting the 2nd half of the course immediately after I left inspection. I really had to work to remember what was happening down there!!!
After inspection all the racers went back up to the top and waited in the mid mountain lodge...they had big tv's in there so we could watch the race. It is really helpful when they send the camera man down the course!! We knew exactly what it looked like! It was a blessing and a bit of a curse to see the top girls go. They looked a little rugged. They made the now look very slippery and alot of them had issues on the bottom. I started to get major butterflies as I was watching the top 15 go. The realization that I was watching them on tv...and that I would be on that same TV really got me jittery! I went down to the start at bib 30. I was almost hyperventilating as I arrived at the start. That is where I got control of myself. It doesn't matter what race you are at...the atmosphere at the start is always the same. I just started to focus on my warm-up and not getting over-heated(it was 0 degrees...pretty warm for a night race!). About 5 racers before I went all I thought about was that no matter how this race goes I'll be fine. All I need is shin pressure and that skiing is the same no matter the back drop. In the start. I focused on the girl skiing in front of me...too scary to look out at the 20,000 people who were cheering at the finish!! I felt I skied well. My only thing was that I maybe backed off a tiny amount at the bottom where I knew (from the tv at the top) that girls were having issues...I had none at all. Coming through in 32nd place was interesting. I was really happy with the placing but also knew that I hadn't made 2nd run. Ah well. First world cup ending up at the end of the race 34th and .17 away from qualifying for 2nd run made me pretty happy! We stayed in the finish area for the 2nd run and watched our team mate Anna Goodman slay second run...moving from 27th to 15th position! Way to go Anna!! We also got our photo taken with Herman Maier...we couldn't help ourselves!
Overall it was a great start to World Cup and I can't wait to do it again in Maribor!
Thank you BC Ski Team, Brandon Dyksterhouse, John Critchton and all my family and friends for the amazing support! Photos will be uploaded later!