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Things heating up in Europe

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The warm weather has been heating things up here in Europe. Today after our training session on the hill I stepped out of my skis in my T-shirt and sat in the sun!

I arrived back here at the beginning of the week after a brief trip home, and started the week in the town of Saalfelden, Austria, training with the whole women’s World Cup group. We were here last month as well for training, and it is a great spot.

On Thursday we flew up to Sweden for the World Cup races being held in Are. This year they will run a super G on the Saturday and a giant slalom on the Sunday.

I am really looking forward to the next GS race in Sweden, not only because I had a good result there last year but also because it is just such a great area.

I feel confident and strong training these days and most of all I feel like I’ve gotten some rest. The season is long, and while it is very important to continue training hard both on snow and off snow, it’s also just as important – if not more so – to take good recovery rests.

My 12 th place result in the last World Cup giant slalom race felt great. The result not only gave me some confidence but it also put confidence in the plan that I have been working on with my coaches. My teammate, Gail Kelly, also had a great result by qualifying for her first time in a World Cup. And she didn’t just qualify, she boldly skied into 14 th place in the first run.

Both Gail and I have been following a plan since the New Year that was set by our coaches, Jim Pollock and Matt Kerr, to help us build toward top results in the World Cup events. We have scheduled great training and chose to start in some FIS races last month to get our confidence. I think the weekend in Arber, Germany proved that we are going in the right direction.

The World Junior Championships took place in Maribor, Slovenia this past weekend where the Canadians got some top five finishes in the men’s super G. Manuel Osborne-Paradis from B.C had the best result; he finished second in the race and Francois Bourque from Quebec was third.

The girls weren’t quite so lucky to get a podium, one reason being that many of them came down with the stomach flu just prior to and during the championships and couldn’t recover in time to race. I know how hard it can be when you are sick on the road and can’t get out of bed – there just isn’t anything that can be done.

The men’s World Cup team also made some results in the slalom event with Thomas Grandi finishing 10 th overall after having two DNF’s in his last races. My brother, Michael also started in the race and had a great first run. He missed the top 30 by only 0.1 seconds.

I spoke with him at the beginning of the week and he was nothing but encouraged by the result. He will start in the next World Cup slalom at Kranska Gora, Slovenia. I was pretty excited when I heard his result, and I know that his teammates were as well.

Our disabled national team was also over here in Europe for the Disabled World Championships. Leslie Clarke, a Whistler coach, was there with the team for the events that took place in Austria.

The Canadian team proved to be very strong, walking away with six championship medals. Our disabled team is one of the strongest on the circuit. They are now back in Canada and resting for their upcoming World Cup events at the end of the month.

Keep enjoying the snow because summer is just around the corner after a little spring skiing. Bathing suit anyone?

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