So I am a bit ashamed to admit that on the morning of race day, I woke up at 4:30 and didn't sleep all that well until the morning. But my monster bowl of cereal in the morning (with Shelagh Drury's granola) and an egg defiantly stepped up my energy level. I did my usual warm up and got ready in front of the tv where Joannie Rochette was doing an interview. She was talking about her mother and how supportive she was. And I'm sure we were all thinking the same thing, "How can we be nervous about this race, when this girl just lost her mother and still gave it her all?"
The slalom hill...
We headed out for a few warm up runs and inspection. Every gondola ride I had to take off my goggles and try to dry both the inside and outside. And no... I wasn't crying. But it wasn't raining, the visibility was comme si comme ca, and the race was running on schedule.
We packed a finish backpack at the bottom, with an extra jacket, hat, etc. and carried another bag with food, extra goggles, mitts, etc. to the top lodge. There was food at the top and two tvs so we could watch some of the first racers before we left.Boyfriend of the Year award goes to.... (thanks Taylor for holding him up)
I started 37th and left the lodge listening to my ipod and ready to go. Other than having to find a dense forest to nervous pee in at the top (is that pg... hopefully). I stripped down to my downhill suit, put in my mouth guard, tightened my helmet, put on my dry, fresh goggles and stepped into the gate.
I was telling myself what I needed to do, finishing with this is just a normal race, which you have done many of this year. Of course at that moment I look down at the start want and see... Whistler 2010 printed on the posts. Story of my life. I thought about everyone at home watching, people who had never seen me ski, people that have supported me my whole life. As they said go, I thought, "This is it... Would I go at this time if they hadn't said go or would I have waited?" But after this, it didn't matter, my mind reset to everything that I had been working on. I heard the workers cheering and tried my best to just ski. Ski like I have trained to do almost every day of my life.
The course was pretty smooth, the visibility was quite good and the course was a lot of fun.
I got to the bottom and looked at the timing board. And I will say that is one thing that is VERY different from most of our races. There were so many times posted. It took me forever to find mine and I didn't even know if that was my time... or someone else's.... or what place I was in... or.. anyways that is why there was no smile on my face. I waved, but my face was saying... where am I, what is my time, how did I do.. (what my teachers would call my "confused face")
After my run I did a few interviews (one for a Polish radio station- I don't speak Polish... note to self: If I have a Polish last name I should at least know one phrase). Then I saw most of my family and friends! I saw Kevin,
wearing a Canada Jersey, with a flag tattoo covering half of his face and a big #1 finger. My mom was smiling ear to ear and my dad couldn't put down his camera. I think the best feelings that I have ever had came that day. Hearing the crowd cheering, hearing the unity of Canada, seeing the smiles and joy of my family, and just the feeling of my run.
I didn't stay at the finish for long, so that it would feel a bit like a normal day. I skied down the the bottom lodge for some food (obviously).
Then it was time for second inspection. The course was straighter at the top, but very similar at the bottom. The amazing steep, turny bottom!
I got ready again, feeling a bit more relaxed and waited for the started to shut the wand and say go. The fog was a little bit worse, but all in all the weather was very much the same as first run. I felt okay all the way down, but not incredible. When I got to the bottom and saw that I moved back and was behind the leader by 1.12, who I had beat the first run I was disappointed. We always joke around saying that that is one of the worst feelings in the world. And although it was one of the best days of my life, I was still disappointed about moving back.
However, all in all the day was incredible. Canada is amazing and I thank all of Canada for the amazing experiences all of the athletes had. We are such a strong nation! I had so much fun listening to the power of so many people united, feeding off the energy of my family and just skiing. The feeling of skiing... It is like nothing else.My momma and I...
I finished 20th that day. Brigitte- 17th, Mitch (Marie Michele)- 31st (after a big mistake first run), Anna- 19th. Anna is another strong Canadian. She tore her ACL earlier in the year, and decided to do rehab, work hard and wait for surgery. Anna raced without an ACL, overcoming so much and still coming ACL. Standing ovation anyone?
After the race I saw all the people that stood in the rain watching. I saw my cousins, Kevin's family, the Bunston's, my Parent's, the Collins's, etc. Thank you to all of you for coming and watching and making my time so much more amazing.Kevin came to watch!
That evening, many of us headed down the the Canada house for free food, candy and... dun dun da daaa.... K'naan tickets.
The boys stayed back to watch the semi- final game... which Canada won, while the girls yelled, "I love you K'naan!" (and Nathan and Ev... minus the love) The concert was amazing.
We all hung out that night and it was the bet night. Seeing my family and friends, and spending time with some of the people that have been there with me through everything!!
Thank you everyone for making my experience memorable and like no other. Thank you for the support and the many things that everyone has done for me.
Thank you Canada for the best experience of my life. I love you all!
Part 3: Closing ceremonies... coming soon.