Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NAKISKA PRE-SEASON

We are toughing it out at Nakiska right now in the snow and cold. The first few days here it snowed like crazy, and now it is freezing. Today skiing was canceled because it was too cold to train. It was supposed to be -50C with moisture and wind chill... no thank you!
So on days off we fill the days with anything we can, concerts in small tea houses, knitting, catching up on tv shows, photo-shoots, media productions, games of Catch Phrase and Balderdash, etc.
This was Kelly's work of art from yesterday...
Before you watch this there are a few things you must know:
1) There was no snow at Nakiska before the slalom girls came
2) Anna organizes colourful photoshoots with weird clothing, then the rest of us take the pictures and post them on our blogs too
3) Matt Jordan is our dryland trainer and has us do many glute strengthening activities.
4) We have to tap our faces to try to prevent frost bite
5) We have a hydration test a few times during a camp and have to pee in a cup... no matter if we have to go or not.
6) Catsuit (Great Britain) = Downhill suit (North American)
With that cleared up.... ENJOY!


On that note, I will now "take all the photos [from Anna's camera] and put them up on my twitter, facebook and personal blog to show my 5 followers how crazy cool we are".
I GOT SWAG PHOTOSHOOT:
MP recently started a company called "I got SWAG" and makes AMAZING neck warmers to keep us warm and make us the team with the most "swag" (define: apperance, style, or the way a person presents them-selves).

Green Swag

Georgia

Anna loves her swag!

Mitch... slap slap slap slap.. slapslap

AWWWW Kelly.... is sort of hiding her swag.

That's better!! (Sweet Shoes too!)


Snow Fun! (before it got REALLY cold!)

I wouldn't do this now in the -36C... but at the time it was amazing.. SNOW!!
I like the more candid shots the best!.. Apparently

We met up with Chemmy and Britt and things got more... interesting.

I guess Mp's Swag works with anything...
I love Chemmy's Swag!

And Kelly should dye her hair pink... agreed? I had to crop myself out of this one, but Kelly looks amazing!

If you want some SWAG go to www.teamigotswagg.blogspot.com!!

I'll blog again soon with some colder pictures! Tomorrow we head to Colorado for the World Cups in Aspen and the Nor Ams! I'm racing my first World Cup GS on the weekend... Should be interesting... AND fun!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Frosty Lands- Levi, Finland

I woke up on race day ready for the first race of the season. It was a pretty typical day in Levi; we had a few warm up runs in the dark and then caught a bus over to the race hill. We were allowed one free ski run on the hill (free skiing was canceled the day before) and then headed up for inspection.It was the first time we had been outside of the town for a few days and we realized there were a few lakes around the hill. (I wonder if they EVER get warm!)

Everything at the top of the gondola was covered in snow!
The small huts
The snow guns
The lights
Jenny (our physio) stayed warm in her 23420903849 layers and heating packs though.

Finally, I got my first look at the start hut...

and the hill, which was in amazing condition.
The pitch!

I started 44, which was better than I thought I would be starting! However, I was pretty disappointed with my run. The race hill at Levi starts off fairly flat, then it gets steeper for a while and turns to flat again and I wouldn't say flats are my specialty... at all. I came over the pitch quite a bit back from the rest of the racers and wasn't able to make it up on the pitch. I didn't make second run, but I did get the first race under my belt. I feel ready for some training and to kick it hard in Aspen!

Before the second run, Anna, Eve, Britt and myself started walking up to watch Mitch.
We saw men in tents and Tipis.

People on a hot tub, with the race hill in the background?...

And dogs... or are they wolves... you can never be sure.

First of all, Finland is known for a few things, other than being dark and cold. It is known for it's Vodka, reindeer/caribou and it is said that Santa is from Finland because parts of it are above the arctic circle. The only one of these that I experiences was the reindeer!

We were excited when we saw our first reindeer and took a picture.

We pet and posed with the second.

However, the third didn't like being touched... he only liked kisses.

It took us a little while to trust that he wouldn't bite us or slash us with his antlers. It goes against all common sense putting your face by an animals face instead of your hands...

But this part of my day ABSOLUTELY made my day. I wanted a picture of a reindeer and he gave me a kiss to cheer me up, at least that's the way I look at it.

With everything said though... Mitch had a really good day. She made into into the top 30 in 30th position and finished the day in 16th! She was standing in front of the leaders board for quite a while! GOOO MITCH!

After the race, we rushed to the airport for our flight from Kitilla to Helsinki (1.5h). We stayed the night in Helsinki and got up early for our flight to Frankfurt (2.5h). We had a 4 hour layover in Frankfurt and headed to Calgary (10h) and then drove to Nakiska. I was sleeping in the car and Tim would shine his head lamp on me... it didn't seem to matter though, I'd fall right back to sleep. I passed out last night for 11hours and I get a day off today to relax and enjoy being back in Canada!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LEVI, FINLAND!

On my last blog, I said that my weekend was filled with playing squash, family and... eating. Kevin and I decided to try making mussles and bought a kg at the grocery store for about $6. This is what we created! A salad with ginger dressing, mussles steamed in wine, garlic, tomatoes, fennel, onions and celery, and a beer for Kev!

On Monday, I traveled to Levi, Finland. After 3 flights and about 21hrs of traveling I finally made it to Levi, Finland. In the airport I had to google all of the cities I was flying into to make sure I knew where I was going. I flew from Toronto to Copenhagen, DK; from Copenhagen to Helsinki, FN; and then from Helsinki to Kitilla, FN. Then we took a bus to our hotel. When we arrived in Levi, it felt absolutely FREEZING!! The thermometers said that it was -16C (or so), but it felt much colder! We were all raiding our bags for warmer clothes.

Levi is an.. interesting place. I have NEVER been so far north. Apparently the sun rises at about 10am and sets at about 2pm, but I have yet to see the sun. When the sun is up, it is completely overcast and dark. They always have lights on the hill and I ski with clear lenses. When we walked to dryland at 3pm... this is what we saw. (The flash does make everything look a bit darker though.)
I used my litebook in the morning to try to make it seem like I had been in the sun before training.
Looking from the top of the training hill, you can see the snow covering every part of the landscape; the trees, the river, the ground. But there are no mountains. This is the highest point I can see around and it is probably shorter than the length of Georgian Peaks and much flatter than Rogers!
The trees are covered in snow... so are the material parts of our helmets surrounding our faces after a day of training.
Our training hill with the lights.

After skiing, we do our usual dryland and then challenge the American team to a game of volleyball! I was in the sidelines today because I upset a muscle in my glute playing squash on Saturday... apparently I get too competitive and intense.
Anna trying Mark's move of tapping the ball over the net standing backwards.
Eve is defiantly the most consistent server on the team! POWER!

Tomorrow we train and then free ski the race hill! It will be the first time I see the race hill! If the snow is anything like the training hill, it is going to be very icy!
(Hopefully I will learn a better setting on my camera and have better pictures then!)