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Fun in the sun

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Imagine a ski area that gets sunshine for 320 days out of the year. In Whistler it’s more like 320 days of fog, snow and rain!

But, in St Moritz, Switzerland this is exactly what the weather is like. It was my first time there and I now rank it as one of my favourite areas in Europe. But be ready to spend some money!

I arrived in St. Moritz on a Monday, sun shining and the surrounding mountains sharply etched against the sky.

The cross country trails there are endless, and people were out and enjoying the mountain air. You couldn’t ask for a more inspiring atmosphere. We arrived at our hotel and were warmly welcomed by the owners. Out in the front of the hotel the words "Congratulations Mel!" were written on a huge banner.

All the different teams stayed at different hotels. Outside, the hotels hung chamoix, painted with the flags of the countries that were staying there.

Our hotel was the exception. Instead of a Canadian chamoix we had an American chamoix! They always seem to overlook the Canadians, but they couldn’t have missed us on the slopes.

As a team, we had one of our best World Championships in a long time. Our results included a gold medal in the women‘s downhill, a bronze in the women’s giant slalom, a fourth place in the women’s super G, and top 10 finishes in both the men’s downhill and super G races.

I was not yet in St. Moritz on the day of the women’s downhill when Melanie Turgeon became World Champion. I watched it live from Italy where the technical team was training at the time.

It was very exciting and I was so inspired by her gold medal performance. She has been racing on the World Cup for many years and hasn’t always had the results that she has wanted. Through it all she has continued to work hard and strive to reach her goals. Without a doubt she has reached them and came out on top.

Her win has driven me even more motivation to continue to persevere through my own ups and downs to reach my personal goals in skiing.

It was also inspiring to see our men’s speed team show that they are contenders in the speed events. All of these positive results have lifted the spirit of the team.

When Genevieve Simard finished fourth in the GS I was very happy for her. I have grown up skiing and racing against her from the time we were 12 years old. We have always been strong competitors and feed off each other’s results.

If she can do it I know I can, and if I can do it she knows that she can. We have a great connection and that’s what makes us such a great team. The same goes with Allison Forsyth and Emily Brydon.

I am disappointed with my own results at the World Championships. I had expected to do well and that didn‘t happen. That’s ski racing – it’s frustrating for everyone at times.

But I will use the new energy that is surrounding the team to focus on my upcoming races. I am enjoying every moment of my racing and truly believe that I will be on top of that podium!

Another World Championships have come and gone. The event was exciting, fun, and the crowds were great.

Big events are interesting because you never know what will happen, and as a competitor you need to treat it like any other race day. I have come out of the championships with more valuable experience and I look forward to conquering the next big challenge.

This team will do great things – we have energy, drive, and the desire to be on top.

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