Earlier this week we arrived in Bulgaria at the resort of Bansko. Last season they ran a men's Europa Cup event here and this season they decided to bring the women's World Cup event. The resort is actually pretty spectacular and so far the organization of the whole event has been great. The race hill is pretty challenging and demanding, you really need to fight and stay ahead of the course the whole way down. The weather looks to be good for the week and if that holds it will be our second week in a row of good racing weather for the season.
I haven't written in a while and have completely missed writing about the World Championships.... So let's go back there, although I won't be talking about my results, unfortunately.
The World Championships in Val D'Isere came to an end two weekends ago and we are now back into the regular World Cup schedule. At the World Championships I raced in the giant slalom, downhill and super G. The race hills in Val D'Isere were pretty challenging, both the men and women had two different race hills for the speed disciplines. It was my first time on the race hill at the World Championships and this usually doesn't happen because the season prior to the event we usually have a World Cup event on the hill. Unfortunately last season that World Cup was cancelled. The hill was steep, tight, and had lots of turns.
The highlights for the Canadian team were John Kucera winning the men's downhill, the first men's downhill championship gold ever in Canadian history. This was absolutely inspiring. The men then followed up with a bronze on the final day. I was no longer in Val D'Isere at this time but I watched closely from where I was training in Italy.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I watched the slalom event and saw my brother get his first world championship medal. It was another day in Canadian history, as the best result by a Canadian male skier in a technical event. I was actually watching the men's slalom race from my coach's house in Sudtirol. His wife and their two boys were also there watching and their oldest, Filip, had to hold onto my hand so that I would sit still.
The Canadians and the Americans have a home base in a town in Austria called Kirchberg and after the World Championships, once everyone was back in town, the whole village held a parade in their honor. My brother, John Kucera and Lindsay Vonn, who won two gold medals with the U.S. team, received gifts from the local area and were celebrated by all... it was very, very cool.
As for now, the excitement from the championships is definitely going to motivate me through the last World Cup races of the season. Last week I was in Italy, where we had a downhill race and a super G race.
I am looking forward to the end of the season but it isn't over yet. Until next time...