Monday, November 18, 2013

Colorado and Levi

Well!  Since starting my fundraiser I have been ABSOLUTELY amazed by the outpouring of support that I have received!  It has been a very humbling experience!  I have a VERY LARGE amount of earrings and toques to make!  I can't wait to start!  This fundraising has meant that my family is finally no longer paying for my very expensive team fees.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  That is a HUGE burden lifted off of our shoulders.

On Oct. 31st I headed to Calgary for a little testing before heading down for a last little training block of slalom before our first race.  We did 6 amazing days of slalom at Loveland Pass.  The conditions were amazing, which led to absolutely great training.  By the time we finished our camp we all felt very well prepared to race.  Talk about a great team!  As a group this is such an amazing team to train and live with.  We push each other in training and are great friends off hill.  Its a great environment for fostering support and success.

After Colorado we headed to Levi, Finland for our first World Cup Slalom race of the season.

 Training in the morning before the race


My reindeer friend

We did two days of training on the training slope as we adjusted to the time change.  Race day was my first day not feeling super groggy when I woke up.  We did a great warm up on hill.  Our coaches shuttled us around in our Volvo rental cars as we pumped "mad tunes" and did four runs on great terrain.  By the end of our training session I felt sharp and clear about what I had to do on my skis.

The race hill conditions were amazing and the first course was an absolute ripper.  There was an uphill wind so I felt it was pretty important to really "crush" the flats from the very first gate.  There are pretty abrupt rollers on the Levi course but after the training we did this summer in New Zealand where we did a slalom course through a terrain park-I felt very confident about my approach for them.  I ended up skiing the way I have been in training.

First run...coming over the break over onto the pitch.

When I came through the finish on the first run and I saw that I was in 4th I was ecstatic!  What felt amazing about it that I felt I could very easily replicate my skiing for the next run.  I felt calm and tried not to focus on the result of the first run...I still had another run to do!

Second run the course was more turny on the pitch.  I felt I could still rip the flats up top but I wanted to be a little more smart on the pitch.  As I came over the pitch on my second run I hit my forearm very hard on a gate.  My arm went instantly numb!  Not the best feeling in the world but I refocused and continued to fight down the pitch.  I felt I didn't really risk it as much as I had the first run but it was still very consistent.  As I came into the finish I was a little disappointed to see how far I had moved back.  I was 6th with 6 more racers to go.  In my mind I thought I had moved into 13th position (the qualifying criteria for the Olympics is top 12)

Thinking I had just missed coming top 12.

When I realized I had come 11th I was super excited.  I am now half way through qualifying for the Olympics, this is my BEST EVER result and I felt like I skied very normally for me.  It was not a "super human" effort.  It came naturally.  It feels nice to know the training I did this summer was great.  I am also EXTREMELY happy for my teammate Marie-Michele Gagnon who ended up 5th overall.  It was great to see her smiling at awards and I know that our team has the potential to be up there every race!  I can't wait till Courcheval!

Next, we head back to Colorado where I will be competing in the GS and SL Norams that will be taking place in Loveland pass.  I am excited to strap on the "big boards" (GS skis are much longer than slalom....though downhillers have total permission to roll their eyes at my statement)

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me this summer.  It has felt amazing to have such a great result right after all this fundraising!  A weight off my shoulders!

Till next time!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I created two new videos I'd like to share with everyone!

The first is a video I made of my skiing from this summer in New Zealand.

This one is a video I made of some of my runs on World Cup this past season.

I would also LOVE it if everyone could check out my link to my online fundraiser.  I am currently trying to raise $10,000 towards my $15,000 team fees for this year alone!  Every dollar donated alleviates a ton of financial stress on my dear parents who are currently footing the bill for my skiing.  As an NCAA athlete I cannot accept prize money or sponsorships so I am really trying to do my part for my career by fundraising!  Any donation amount is acceptable and as I mentioned above, every dollar helps out a huge amount!  I am currently skiing the best I ever have and I BELIEVE I CAN make the Olympics.  I just need the funds now to get me there!

Thank you to everyone who can donate and thank you for reading my blog!  Enjoy the videos!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013


      Summer is always an interesting time as a ski racer.  In some ways in doesn't really exist, in others it is the busiest time of the year and in a third sense it is our only relaxing part of the year.  This summer I was centred in Canmore, Alberta to train with the rest of the National Team and our amazing trainer Matt Jordan and staff.  It is possibly the coldest part of Canada (at that latitude) as well as one of the most strikingly beautiful.  It always seems a place of extremes.  The mountains, the wildlife and this year in particular, the flooding!  While we were stationed in Canmore it had a record breaking amount of rainfall which led to a very bulging creek and river.  It managed to damage thousands of homes in the Western part of Alberta and we spent many a day (when we were done training) huddled indoors to escape the cold/wet weather.  That said the training environment was excellent and I think as a team it was one of our most productive training "seasons" yet.  So, in terms of warm summer didnt really exist.  Until our on-snow camp in Zermatt.

     In Zermatt we had an amazing two week camp.  The weather was incredible, warm enough to tan in the afternoons (or in my case burn) and it also meant really nice hard snow in the early mornings.  Every morning we would wake up around 5 and start our day amongst the hustle and bustle of the crazy tram rides up to the glacier.  Europe really knows how to "pack-em-in-there" when it comes to their transportation.  "Rucksac Bitte!" will permanently be engrained in my brain after my multiple trips to the summer glaciers.  Trying to fit 60 skiers in a tram when our skis and bag packs way more than a person each is always an interesting experience.  Once you get to the top of the glacier though you are treated to the amazing experience of viewing the Matterhorn from a little seen angle.  Often it peaks out of a layer of cloud.  Quite a sight.

     After Zermatt I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to visit my boyfriend and his family for a week.  It was so nice and relaxing in comparison to the hectic schedule we keep while we are full time training.  The small break allowed me to do a "mini" internship with my boyfriend at his work!  I was beyond excited to be able to go to work at an geotechnical engineering firm and learn/watch what happens beyond the school engineering curriculum.  I loved it!  We dissected site drawings, checked out job sites and made preliminary CAD drawings for the actual engineers to then work with.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  We also took a day trip to Cape Cod which is definitely a place I will be returning to!  After spending a amazing week in Boston I returned to Canmore reinvigorated to train and get ready for our next camp in New Zealand.

     We were in New Zealand for just under a month.  In that time we were a internet "dead zone".  Our first week was spent at the incredibly beautiful Lake Tekapo....with no internet access except for a cafe over a mile away from our house.  It was incredible training and very high volume we had multiple "millennium" days (over 1000 gates) in a row and the weather was once again very much on our side.  After 6 days of great training we headed to Methven to train at Mt. Hutt.  I even trained SG!  We had a great SG/GS block there and experienced some crazy weather days where we were the last people allowed off the mountain.  300 Methven school children were stranded at the mountain overnight as the road down was closed!  After carefully monitoring the upcoming weather and conditions we chose after our stint in Mt. Hutt to head back to Lake Tekapo instead of our original plan to spend the last week of our trip in Coronet Peak.  We finished off our trip with an incredible slalom block.  It is safe to say that it was an incredibly productive camp!  We ended our camp about 3 days early because of an huge impending storm.  The day before we left the winds at the top of Mt. Hutt were 250 km/hr!  Luckily it calmed down enough for us to depart without issue the following day!

I am now in Vermont relaxing, recovering and enjoying seeing everyone from school and my UVM team.  I am not formally attending school this year which has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever made.  It is nice still coming back here absorbing information second hand from my friends!  I cannot wait to start my studies again!

I unfortunately have no program on my computer right now to upload photos from but I will add some photos when I can!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I found a few photos of this spring to add!  After the busy schedule I have been keeping for the past two years my life seems to have finally hit slow motion for a little while.  I actually have had a little time to sit and think!  

I ended the season off with a third at Canadian Championships.  After coming 4th twice it was nice to finally step onto the podium.  After Whistler I headed straight back to Vermont to finish up my year of school.  As per usual I loved it!  I cannot believe how much I enjoy learning about dynamics, statistics, differential equations etc.   I am happy to say I am through my second year of civil engineering!  I cannot wait to get back into classes....however that will have to wait.  In what was one of the toughest decision I've had to make in a long time, I have decided to take the next year off of school to pursue the Olympic Games.  This may seem like a no-brainer to everyone but me....I still wanted to do both!  However, I am extremely aware of how amazing both options are....there was no bad option just different consequences.  

After I finished my exams in May my boyfriend and I headed back across the country with my car fully loaded!  This time around I decided to take the route through the states-wow was gas cheaper!  I must say that it was a gorgeous drive.  In comparison to last year through Canada where it was about 8 degrees and raining most of the way, this year it reached a soaring 40 degrees as we crossed the American Prairies!  I thoroughly enjoyed the drive across South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Washington.  The incredible change from the Badlands to the Black Hills to the rolling grasslands of Wyoming and Montana were stunning.  I cant wait to go back! 

I arrived home to a flurry of different activities.  I had an amazing week biking, hiking, catching up with my best friends and visiting with my amazing family.  It never seems long enough though.  As I departed there where still so many things I wanted to do and see at home!  However, it was time to fully get down to my job-training!  I drove to Canmore and am now onto week two of our intense summer training.  Despite not great weather (again about 10 degrees and raining) the training has been excellent.  Without school, I have had way to much time on my hands.  It took me this first week to get used to it.  I always feel like I am forgetting that I need to be doing something!  This "quiet" time has really allowed me to do some reflecting, organization and catch up on what feels like a year of missed sleep!  

Here are a few photos taken March-May!

 Arriving home in March for the first time since July and being greeted with a bouquet of flowers from my brother!  Best Brother EVER!

 Skiing 26 cm of fresh powder at my home mountain SUN PEAKS RESORT in March.

 Being thwarted from studying by my roommates hilarious fat cat Meeu.

My amazing boyfriend bought me golf clubs for my birthday!  A total rookie, but I am loving golfing!

Hiking with my best friends near the airport in Kamloops.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The seasons end...

Since my last post, once again, a lot has happened!  I competed in World Championships, tore my quad, attended school, raced NCAA championships, raced in Ofterschwang, raced NorAm finals, went home and now I am in Whistler at Canadian Nationals.

I will start with a little recap of World Championships.  They were in Schladming, Austria this year.  It was an incredible experience in general with massive crowds, lots of pressure, incredible performances and a ton of amazing course work done by the organizers and volunteers.  It was an amazing show.  45,000 people at the finish line cheering.  My performance however was a little lacking,  I was incredibly excited to race.  We spent a week preparing specifically for this race.  I had a better start number than usual and felt ready to rip!  However on the 6th gate or so of my first run I made a small recovery move and felt a very strange sensation in my right quad.  When I got to the finish I was in a very large amount of pain and could barely walk in my ski boots over to the hospitality tent.  I tore my quad.  After some taping by our physio Jenny, some pain killers and gritted teeth I went out and skied my second run.  I ended up 28th.  I was pretty disappointed with this result given that I had just come off of my best result ever in Maribor.  I ended up not being able to ski for the next two weeks because of my quad...very disappointingly I had to miss a University carnival race as I could not put pressure on my leg.

After some rest I got ready to race NCAA Championships in Middlebury Vermont, a mere hour away from Burlington.  It was a great event.  I got some good training in beforehand in both GS and Slalom and felt confident our team was as strong as last year.  Our first race was the GS.  I was happy with my first run and went into the second run vying to move into the top 5!  This was not to be.  On the long flat section in the middle of the course I lost my outside ski to some soft snow and got pulled onto a late line.  I ended the day 11th.  Our Nordics had a great day the next day as well and we went into day 3-the slalom day in the lead!  I was feeling very ready to race!  I was excited to ski my best event and I felt I needed to redeem myself after coming 11th in the GS.  Once again, it was not to be.  Upon coming onto the pitch I slid out of the course on my side and had to hike a gate.  Unfortunately there are different hiking rules for different types of slaloms (single pole, or ones with an outside gate)....and I hiked the wrong way!  I was disqualifed from the race.  I was extremely upset.  Less for myself....blowing out of the course is not that uncommon in slalom-but for my team.  I really felt (and still feel) like I let them down!  It is a much different experience to race as part of a team. You neither win nor lose based on just one performance but a good performance can inspire and a bad performance can dampen the effect of the team as a whole.  We have an undeniably great team.  I just wish I could have helped out more!  After the second run of the slalom I quickly packed up all my stuff and drove 3 hours to Montreal to board a flight to Europe.  I arrived in Europe on saturday and raced the Ofterschwang Slalom World Cup on Sunday.  I could feel immediately that my legs were extremely tired.  I tried to push through and go for it but at the end of the day you need your mind and your body to cooperate.  I ended up 37th after the first run.  I watched from the sidelines second run as two of my teammates put in amazing performance.  Anna Goodman came out of retirement to end up 15th overall and win the second run!  Mitch Gagnon ended up 4th...her best slalom result of the year.

I flew back to Burlington on Monday and wrote a midterm on Tuesday.  I flew back out again Wednesday morning to head to Squaw Valley for the NorAm finals.  Sometimes it is amazing what you can accomplish!  The first day of racing I ended up winning!  I was very happy and content to have a good result after so much travelling.  The next day I dnf'd in the second run but it was very hard to be in a bad mood in the Tahoe area as the weather was incredible!!!  I ended up 3rd overall in the NorAm slalom standings.  Something I was very happy with considering I skipped a norAm series in February to go to school.  The GS races were personally not very good performances but again worthy to note the amazing weather and the great course prep by the race organizers and volunteers!

From Tahoe I got to fly home (to BC) for the first time since last July.  I got a little teary when the plane landed and I saw all the places I had been missing so much!  It is amazing how many small changes can happen in 7 months!  Needless to say it was incredible to be home with family and great friends for the past week!  We got an amazing 26cm powder day as well which was my first day of free skiing all year!  Loved it!

I arrived in Whistler yesterday and tomorrow will be the Canadian National Slalom race.  Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A fresh start!

Since my last post much has happened!  January has been a busy month!  Zagreb was an incredible race for team Canada....and North America in general.  5 North Americans in the top ten and 3 Canadians!  Wow.  That is a first in a long time!  I unfortunately had a mistake early in the first run which costed me the race.  But despite me personal bad luck it was a joyous departure that night to Egypt!  Our team this summer decided to try a different approach for our short break in January.  We had five days off and it was actually cheaper for the team to send us to an all inclusive resort in Egypt then to send us home.  Not to mention the warmer weather and relaxation factor of a "mini vacation", it was a greed that we would try it this year.  I must say that it was a great trip.  Since we didn't have to travel nearly as far and didn't have to deal with jet lag it was time well spent.  We stayed in an area called El Gouna that was about 20 minutes outside of Hurghada.  This is on the eastern shore of the red sea.  Some of our adventures included riding camels. eating camel, driving dune buggies and ATV's across the desert, participating in a show that involved a man wielding and swallowing large dull knives and sun tanning.  We had a great time.  I would say it was also a great experience to travel with my team mates outside of a skiing environment.  We each have a very set routine on ski trips and on this mini vacation we were able to really just relax and enjoy each others company.  At the end of the trip we headed back to Austria for a few days of training before the Flachau night slalom.

Flachau this year had excellent conditions.  It is always a hill that makes me feel confident and excited to ski.  It it a rolly course with huge cheering crowds and a great atmosphere.  My thought at the top of the course was to ski like I had nothing to lose.  Starting in the mid 40's means that I have to beat 15 people to make it into the "flip".  You don't beat 15 of the top 45 racers in the world without putting your heart and soul into it!  I pushed out of the gate and really made myself attack the course from top to bottom and was incredibly happy when I crossed the finish line into 21st position.  I was thrilled to know I would have a second run and have a fresh course to ski on.  I wanted to not think about just finishing for the points but really racing the second run with the same attack as the first run.  I was thrilled to achieve my first top 20 result of my career.  I ended up 17th after a very interesting second run race.  I returned to the hotel after the race and immediately starting packing.  7 am the next morning I left to catch a plane back to North America to compete for my University team in Lake Placid, New York.  I arrived around 11 pm Wednesday night, attended my three classes Thursday (I currently am taking Differential Equations, Dynamics, Statistics for Engineers and Environmental Systems) and after class I boarded the team van and headed out to race again.  Friday we raced GS and I was pleasantly surprised to come in 3rd overall with UVM sweeping the podium.  The next day we raced slalom and I tried to ski it the same way I raced the world cup.  I figure every race is an opportunity to work on my "attack mode" and ski with precision and fluidity.  I was very happy to win the race and help UVM win the overall Carnival.  It is incredibly fun to race as a team.  The excitement of standing at the bottom and knowing we as a team need to perform makes it so exciting to watch and motivates everyone to really take care of their teammates.  Not to mention the amazing food brought to each race by each teams parents.  It is an incredible atmosphere and I found it an incredibly refreshing experience and a month of World Cup.  Sunday I again boarded a plane back to Europe.

We trained for a few days in Hinterreit, Austria.  I was happy to feel very solid on my skis.  I am happy with what I am working on and have a good idea of what I am working towards with my skiing.  As a team we headed towards Maribor, Slovenia with great spirit and feeling good on our skis.

Maribor was a great race this year.  It marked the first World Cup start for one of our young Canadian racers Mikaela Tommy of Quebec (watch out!  she's ripping in GS!)  and it was the first time in three years there has been enough snow to run the race.  The crowds were bulging thanks to how well Tina Maze has been doing this year.  It is always incredible to see over 20000 at the bottom of the course.  I started 46 first run.  I knew there were a few holes in the course but I felt that if I just stayed in the rut and really attacked like I had been training they wouldn't be a problem.  I crossed the finish line into 28th place which I was happy with but felt I could have skied a little better on the pitch and the bottom. I wanted to let it go a little more on the bottom and stand a little taller on my skis to take better advantage of the flats on the course.  Second run the snow looked amazing and standing in the start I knew how I wanted to feel on my skis in the course.  The actual skiing on my run felt not much different than how I feel in training.  I felt I let me skis run, I rolled my knees and ankles into the turn and I focused on moving forward the entire run.  I was very excited when I crossed the line into first but didn't think that would last for very long.  It was my first time standing in the leaders box.  I wasn't really sure what to do so I just watched the other racers skiing down and was a little incredulous as I managed to hold the lead for about 7 racers.  After I left the leader box I continued watching the race with the rest of my team and cheered with the crowd as each racer came down.  It wasn't till about 5 before winner that we realised that I still had the winning time for the second run.  I was once again slightly incredulous as my time continued to hold as the fastest for the second run.  When Tina Maze came on course as the leader after the first run the crowd went wild.  It is always an amazing thing to be in someones home town when they are in the lead.  The amount of excitement is palpable, the crowd pulses with energy and the sound decibels increase exponentially!  Tina had a super solid run and came down with a second run time that was 0.07 of a second ahead of mine.  Overall, she won over the second place finisher by 0.86 seconds and I ended 17th-tying my career best finish.  The first thing I did when I got back to the hotel was call my parents and let them know how well the race went.  There is nothing like sharing good news with your family.  We all got a little teary-eyed on the phone as we giggled at how crazy it seemed that I could have that kind of time on the second run.  I know that I had so much of an advantage starting early in the run but it still felt incredible.  After the race we packed up and got back into the van for the day long journey home.  I arrived home last night and the airline lost my skis.  I am hoping they will show up tomorrow.  I attended my classes this morning and felt the effects of jet lag as I sat through three one hour and 15 minute long classes.  I am so happy that I have interesting classes!  I am looking forward to resting, training, studying and relaxing for the next 10 days before doing one race for my UVM team then heading back to Europe for WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!  All very exciting!

Till next time,


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Hello Everyone,

Wow.  2013.  How easily time flies when your busy and having fun!  The year 2012 had many ups and downs.  Mostly ups.  Its been a year of schooling, lessons learned on and off the ski slopes and incredible friends.  I know I am extremely lucky to be able to race World Cup and complete University level schooling at the same time.  It has been no small task.  A few almost sleepless nights and many hours in the gym, classroom and planes later I am happy to say...according to my mom...that I am 37% of the way done my Civil Engineering degree AND I am happily competing in Europe.

I finished my final exams just before heading out to Panorama, BC for some NorAm races.  I showed up feeling almost light headed my brain was so emptied out!  It felt very good to race and relax!  The slope we race on in Panorama is demanding and steep.  It was a great race to get back into racing after a short break and really put the hammer down.  Though I was not completely happy with how I skied I came away with s 4th and 3rd place finishes in the Slalom and a 13th and 11th in the GS's (which I was actually happy about considering my lack of training and racing in that discipline lately).

After Panorama we headed to Sweden for a World Cup Night Slalom in Are.  Are is a seriously beautiful place.  The ski resort is on the side of a lake and at this time of year only sees light until about 3 pm.  It was basically like skiing in a sunset all day.  The race hill had perfect grippy snow and fun terrain.  I was incredibly excited to ski it.  I felt I had a good run.  I was very aggressive and clean but I was too round in the middle section of the course.  I ended up 31st.  One position away from making top 30.  It was a hard place to be in as I felt I had skied well and I REALLY wanted to race that second run.  Positively though it was my second best result ever in a World Cup.  From Are we flew back to Zurich and headed to our "home base" in Saal Felden Austria for some training days.  We struggled a bit with weather but we had some great training.  It was also Christmas while we were there which was very difficult.  I think being away from my family during the Holiday season may be the hardest part of our jobs.  I am a very family oriented person and so being alone in a hotel was pretty hard.  I feel lucky to have such great team mates and coaches to celebrate the holidays with.  We made the best of it by having a great Christmas dinner and exchanging small gifts and cards.  We trained both Christmas eve and Christmas day.  The training was excellent.  We went into our next race in Semmering, Austria feeling better prepared than the other teams that went home for Christmas.  Semmering was also a great race.  I loved the hill again and felt ready to ski with confidence.  I came down after my first run into 28th position.  I was very pleased with this as I started with bib 47.  My second run I also felt good.  My top interval was fast and I made it to the bottom with very consistent skiing.  I ended the night in 23rd position.  A tie for my best ever placing in a world cup.

We are now back in Saal Felden and just enjoyed the New Years eve festivities of Austria: FIREWORKS.  It sounded as if there was a war raging outside the hotel as every party group lit off fireworks!  It was an amazing cacophony of sound and light.  Today we had a very low key day off and will drive tomorrow to Zagreb, Croatia-the location of our next race.

Hope everyone is starting the New Year surrounded by family and friends,