The last two weeks have been very exciting. Two speed events have taken place, in Lake Louise and Aspen, and my teammates and I are off to a great start. Jan Hudec started the men’s downhill in Lake Louise with his first World Cup win ever. The following Saturday in Lake Louise I had a third place finish, and then just last weekend had my first World Cup win ever in Aspen.
Wow, pretty amazing. Let me share with you all that goes on around the results and a little bit about what it has felt like.
Two weeks ago at Lake Louise I stepped onto the podium for my first time with a third place finish. It was amazing. I have been on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team for 10 years now, I’ve had ups and downs, and it has all been worth it. My run down the course in Lake Louise was so much fun — I had come off my training run from the day before feeling pretty confident about how I was skiing the course and had just a few things that I wanted to touch up on for the race day. Most important on race day is trusting what you know of the course and sticking with the game plan. The morning of the race I woke up and was excited, even though it was -28 degrees outside.
I was in the start gate and all I could think was “let me onto the course”. I felt relaxed, but at the same time energized and ready to push out of the gate.
In the downhill I have been working a lot on keeping my feet relaxed in my boots. I find this really helps me to keep my skis running, which in turn lets you go faster. It is important to be over your downhill ski, but you don’t want to be too hard on your edges because the skis need to be running smooth on the snow. I can do this by relaxing my feet. On colder days it’s even more important to get your skis running because the snow has that much more grip to it.
My run was going well and I felt that I was executing the line just as I had seen it in my mind, while at the same time focusing on letting my skis run. Towards the bottom of the course, however, all I could think about was how cold my face was. I was going numb. The last stretch to the finish was flat, sitting in a tuck, and I just wanted to put my hands over my face to protect it.