I like this...
The morning before our race in Flachau, Austria I went out to take some pictures of the surrounding area.
Flachau- The hometown of Hermann Maier.
And the cloud's cowlick...
A castle... or just a hotel?
The cross-country tracks that lead to... who knows where.
Well, maybe this lady does, which is why she is aborting mission.
I found a few signs that you hardly ever see in Canada...
And the countdown is on!
The day was warm and beautiful, and as we warmed up the sun began to go down. On my first warm-up run, a gate hit me in the face... again. This time instead of moving my helmet it just decided to go right in for my face. My cheek is fairly sore. I have a little cut and my the bag under my eye is a little more purple than usual at this point in the trip... I mean, the "cute, little" bag under my eye....
Anyways, the snow was icy, the lights were shining and the course looked amazing.
I'm not going to re-live it fully, but on my first run I didn't ski the way I should have. I made a mistake about halfway down and then went up near the bottom. When I was sliding out of the course, I thought I slid between the two gates, so I pushed back into the course and finished. However, I ended up sliding past the outside gate... big mistake! In the middle of going out, trying to stay in and attempting to miss the red gate I was going towards, I lost track of exactly where I was. Again, BIG MISTAKE. Needless to say, I didn't get a second run. BUT...
Anna came 26th first run, and 9th second run putting her into 14th!!
She dominated the leader-board for quite a while.
The stands were full to watch her second run! (And all the other racers' too I guess...)
Nolan Kasper, a skier on the US team, wrote a recent blog on Outside Television. (http://www.outsidetelevision.com/blog/life-moves-fast/trials-and-tribulations) It talks about the trials and tribulations of our sport and how we are on a team, but competing against one another every day. He wrote, "We are all fighting against each other and this is an individual sport, but if you always take that approach, the sport will get pretty depressing and lonely. The key is to find little victories every day. Earlier today, I won four games of solitaire in a row on my phone… Win!"
In Flachau, I got a picture with my childhood idol Hermann Maier... WIN!
Actually I had two wins... when I came back to my hotel, I walked into my room, put my stuff down, went to the bathroom and realized that there were flowers waiting for me with a card. They were exactly what I needed... Kevin always seems to know!!
Last night and today it poured rain!! Our coaches went up early to salt our course and we followed a little bit later. Instead of taking the chair up every run and getting really wet, we jumped in the car and drove up a turny, switchback road to the start of our course. The course was one of the toughest we have skied in a while and the visibility didn't help. As soon as I hit the first few gates your goggles were covered and my mouth was filled with salt. Spitting on the way down the course is my new-found skill. However, the snow held up really well and today might have been exactly what we needed. Despite the weather, it was a fun and challenging day. It is days like today when I realize exactly why I love what I do. Days when the sun and amazing conditions are taken away. Days when you have to fight for what you want. Days when so many different things happen when you least expect them to!
Tomorrow we train in the morning and then drive to Maribor, Slovenia.
Here are a few pictures our physio, Jenny, took at the top of a FIS race we did.
"Pretend your boyfriend just cheated on you."
"Pretend you're a skater!"
"Pretend you just won!"