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,