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!