What an exciting season this has been.
After a few weeks of whirl wind travel, I left Canada with my 5th place result and sought out the sun for a week of rest before the final race of the season- World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
I was using this event as a dress rehearsal for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Being 'World Championships', there were many Australian representatives on site. The Australian Ski Cross team is usually a small one- Five people! In Spain we had a extra five staff from Australia, plus other Australian athletes competing in other disciplines. More than double the norm!
The weather in Spain was warm- 19 degrees one day! I have skied in Sierra Nevada before, but it was not as warm as this. The snow was so icy in the early morning and knee deep slush by 9.30am. This made racing conditions quite scary. A competitor and close friend of mine Karolina (Poland) suffered a bad head injury on day one of training, that has resulted her being medically sedated for a time. This is the second major head injury we have had in the female side of Ski Cross World Cup this season. I wish Kala, Tom and their family all the best and all my support in her recovery.
The weather and snow held up enough for us to have a race. Having my husband Ben cheering from the finish area and a free live stream to friends and family back home- I had to be ready to put on a great show!
During the race I attempted to pass eventual silver medalist Fanny Smith... Having a mind blank that the snow outside of the 'race line' was slush. I lost all my speed and failed to overtake her and I did not proceed through to the next round. I ended up 12th. It seems that is my destined World Champs result so far! Always 10/11/12 or 13th!
I decided that I would not allow this result to cast a shadow on what has been a great season for me. I have not ended the season with the ranking I desired, but I did manage to get on the podium! I managed to implement changes to my race plan, my mental game, my strength and conditioning and the management of myself on the road. To see some of these changes pay off, some that need more refining. To have been able to share in open, honest communication with my coaches and support team has been the biggest triumph this year.
Thank you to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, NSWIS, Ski and Snowboard Australia; Our program partners; Shawn, Danny and Martin; My personal Sponsors and Supporters; My friends and Family; And mostly to my husband Ben... Thank you for joining me on this exciting path. And I look forward to bringing better results into and at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
I have returned home just over one week ago and I am about to begin training again... To implement new strategies, more changes and more work than ever to get on that Podium in February 2018.