Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And the Crowd Goes.... more cowbell??

Yesterday we were up at 5:30 leaving at 6:30.
We trained a few runs of slalom early before the hill got busy and the weather got bad. The training was really good and a lot of fun.

Then we got to watch the men's GS! It's amazing how different the results end up at the Olympics, then at World Cup. We have seen people seriously step up there game, such as Andrew Weibrecht, Julia Mancuso, Bode Miller, Kjetil Jansrud and Erik Guay in GS! Erik is usually a speed skier and came 16th yesterday. Moving up from 29th first run. IE he came second on the run! AMAZING.... Go red and white... plus leaf.



I love grandparents!!
Last night's hockey game on a big screen, outside in Whistler Village.... ps we won!
Today isn't such a nice day. It's foggy and snowy and tough conditions!
But our girls are powering through! The second run is at 1:15pm here or 4:15pm in the East. Our girls start:
Britt- 2nd
MP- 4th
Mitch- 8th
Shona- 9th
Let's go girls!!







Monday, February 22, 2010

Whistler!!



The last two days have been amazing. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I am surrounded by mountains.
This is the view from my room!
And this..
After he men's super combi, I walked down to meet Baye (Kevin's sister), Bea and Briar.
This is what I found...


Team Spirit personified!
We trained a few runs of slalom today. The snow was hard, the sun was shining and we couldn't have asked for a nicer day.
Brigitte and Anna at the top of the training hill.
In the village... the rings are like Santa Claus, you have to line up if you want a picture...

Creekside...
Memorial in the Village for Nodar.. the luger.

So Whistler is beautiful and incredible. But it will only get better, my family comes tomorrow!

PS The men's gs is on tomorrow!! Goo CANADA!!! And if you see colourful faces and a lot of red.... that's probably Baye, Briar and Bea (who is American but we forgive her for it).



Sunday, February 21, 2010

True North Strong and Free


Home Sweet Home... or as close as I'll be for the time being.
After an amazing breakfast at the Movenpick, we headed to the airport. Everything started off fairly smoothly. We checked in 5 bags each with only 140 Euros each of overweight. Getting into the lounge without our cards was a little harder, but we ran into our main issues once our flight to Frankfurt continued to get delayed.... and delayed. Our connecting flight from Frankfurt to Calgary left, but we were still sitting in Munich. So we got our flight changed for a few hours later from Munich to Chicago, Chicago to Calgary. Surprisingly all of our bags arrived in Chicago, but not a single one arrived in Calgary. We were looking good (and obviously smelling like flowers), in our two day old clothes, by the time we got our bags.
We arrived in Nakiska ready....
for a day off (filled with many loads of laundry... Kevin and I should have a competition who has more laundry after I get back from a trip), followed by 3 days of training. The food was so much better this time around in Nakiska! and it was amazing sleeping in a queen bed by myself!
The days of training were a bit up a down. The hill was injected, which was really good for training. 4 or 5 of the German girls were training with us, so it was a good environment leading up to the slalom!

Then we travelled to Whistler!
We landed in Vancouver and it was warm and sunny. I forgot just how much I love Vancouver and Whistler and the whole shebang (spelling?). It was amazing seeing how much red was walking around the city. Red, Canada, flags, HBC clothes... etc. In Whistler, everyone helping out, is so friendly and nice. Waiting for accreditation we were offered drinks and food.
I got to eat dinner at the Drury Hotel! I have really missed Drury dinners and Whistler. I think it is one of my favourite places to be.

I will try to take pictures today. Whoever is coming here, you will not recognize part of Whistler, esp with all of the security and police officers around. There are gates that are guarded, security x-ray machines, etc. All very intense. And I now know first hand, the security guards can not be sweet talked... whatsoever.

GO CANADA GO.
The men's super combined is on today! 9:30am start... aka NOW! Watch the bottom few gates of the downhill, that's where our slalom will be.
Giver Diesel (As Baye would say)

Friday, February 12, 2010

World Juniors

After attempting to race at Courchevel, France we headed to Chamonix, France for World Juniors.
It was nice going there because there were new faces there. The first day was FREEZING!! The girls raced super g, while Britt, Eve, Elli and I trained slalom. During the first run, the zipper on my jacket broke completely. I would end up skiing down with the zipper still up around my chin, but the rest of the zipper undone below that... aka a batman cap. So to look "cooler" I decided to tuck my jacket into my shorts. After training we watched the race.... STEPH came 10th!!
The next day was our night slalom. We got to sleep in and spend as long as possible at breakfast. We did an activation warm up and got ready to race. My first run was pretty conservative, so I didn't have much to lose second run. I ended up coming in 7th, which was definitely a lot better than last year, however I didn't reach my goal. They showed our race live on Eurosport (a tv channel here), which was pretty cool. The guys could watch our race from the hotel.
Free Food!
We took the next day off and trained GS the next two days (while the girl's downhill ran). Our first day of GS training was... interesting. We trained in the afternoon after the girls training run. We meaning Maddy Irwin, Britt and myself. There was only one run under the chair that was really flat at the top and had a road going through the middle of it. But no worries, as Speedy would say, they built a jump so that we could gap the road. I will add that the "small" jump that was built was as tall as me and had a significant flatspot behind it that we would have to clear. So we walked our skis across the road and skied the course in 2 sections.

Finally our GS race came around. The boys races were all pushed up two days because weather was coming in on the Friday that we were supposed to race GS. Well... for once... lucky boys! The day was not very enjoyable. It was foggy and snowing very wet snow. We were all wet and chilled to the bone by the end of the day. I think almost everyone was in a bad mood. The start was moved down, the hill was pretty flat and the course was short. Without saying too much, I was not very happy about my day.
We packed up that night and drove to Munich, then continued on to race a slalom on Sunday at Krakauebene, Austria. .... And in here, I got sick. Overtired, sniffly, no power, sick. I raced the SL (3rd.. but far back). Then we had two days off... filled with kaiserschmarrn and the best pizza I have ever had in my life!
I miss this... and those that are missing from the picture. (Gina and Christina!!)
And this... minus the heels.
And this boy! (Who has now made his writing debut... at least to me)
And my family (note: Mom is photogenic in this picture)
And this... minus the packing leading up to it.
And cooking, my cousins, Guelph, Steamers, English TV, etc etc!

We race one more day (tomorrow). Then we come back to Canada to train for 3 days (at Nakiska) before heading to Whistler. And I get to come back to all of this.
Happy Valentines Day! Eat lots of chocolate!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Backwards

I promise I will write about World Juniors, but for now I will just say.... I come back to Canada in 3 days!! And I just found out some of my cousins are coming!!
Home (sort of soon)!
And I knit a new hat...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here, There... Everywhere?




This has taken me a while to write. I will start at the middle of these next few days first by saying that... my computer took a turn for the worst. I'm no tech, but I can guess what a flashing file folder with a question mark means, and the prognosis isn't good.
Anyways, we took the car train and arrived in Crans Montana for a Europa Cup GS race and a FIS GS race. Usually at Europa Cups, the race coordinators put us in fairly nice hotels, especially in ritzy towns like Crans Montana. However, this time we were housed in a boarding school.
But the owners could not have been nicer. The food was amazing and they made sure we were entertained during dinner. The chef asked all of us our names, but then settled for mismatched nicknames. For example, I'm fairly sure I was named Martin (with a French accent of course). The morning of the Europa Cup GS, wasn't a great morning. We got up to the top before there was much light, aka the visibility in the warm up courses was less than ideal. Before first run, I heard more details about Kevin hitting his head. (PS Kevin hit his head doing a lincoln loop off of a jump) Thus, I was very worried and a bit of a mess. First run didn't go very well for all of us. It was a really long course and I'm sure my grunts and groans down the course did not come from aggression but from extreme fatigue. When we got back I was able to find an internet cafe and check on Kevin's status (which was much better than I expected to find). I can't believe that anyone can charge $3.50 for a cup of tea... that is theft for sure.
The following day we packed up the car and headed for another day of GS. I skied much better my first run. However, I thought I could let it go down a pitch and still hold onto my line, but this was not the case. I went out and spent the rest of the day knitting a hat. We traveled to Gressonay after the second run.
The hotel at Gressonay was really old. The doors were all huge with big, old fashioned keys for the locks. The night we arrived we went for a swim and had to wear those soft, European style bathing caps. I can honestly say that I don't know how women in the past, or anyone, has ever made those look good. I sure can't. Then we sat with all of the other teams in the hotel to watch the men's World Cup slalom. Aka we saw our Canadian guys kick it Canucks style (and Nolan threw down hard also!).
The next night was our slalom.
First run, I felt ready. The lodge was playing loud music, the sunset was beautiful, the hill was steep and the set was never forgiving. I skied better than I have in a lot of races this year. However, the course tightened up at the bottom. I decided at the top that I was going to try to run it as straight as I could and... even though I knew it was tight, I kept this mentality for the bottom. And... heartbreakingly missed the last gate.
The next morning Kate Ryley woke me up saying that the quota for the Olympics got extended and... I was going. Everyone found out at home before I did because of the time change. The amazing thing was that my mom found out on her birthday (that I selfishly missed).

That morning, we packed up and headed to Courchevel, France for a Europa Cup GS race and a regular FIS race. Britt and I took off the first GS to rest up for World Juniors. Yet, the next day, we got so much snow that the FIS GS was cancelled... so we got an early start to World Juniors. I have to say that France (esp. Courchevel) love fish. Fish was served at every meal, minus breakfast. Salmon patay for an appetizer followed by white fish and pasta.

A typical team photo shoot...
Of course I'm the overly aggressive one.
Photos: By Eve (no camera cord or computer...)
I will write soon about World Juniors!