Sunday, January 16, 2011

A week in Euroland

After the world cup in Flachau we headed back to the Canadian Home Base of Kirchberg, Austria....and the pouring rain. The next day we trained doing 5 runs in the rain. We were driving up to the top of the hill in an ttempt to stay a little more dry...but we were still soaked. Despite the weather it was good training! The snow was great. Icy and firm!

We then drove to Maribor, Slovenia. My first thought about Slovenia...beautiful and green! The hills are rolling with houses strewn across them. They are built in a different style than the rest of Europe which is kinda refreshing. Though it is very apparent that this country doesn't have the same history of a healthy economy as other European Countries. I'd love to come back and stay a little longer. In our meeting that night it was decided that the slalom girls would drive two and a half hours to Tarvisio, Italy on the GS day in Maribor. So at 7am we loaded into the vans and headed off. Training in Tarvisio was great. Ice and sunny! We did 6 high quality runs and then went for pizza just across the boarder in Kranska Gora, Slovenia. It was probably the best Pizza I've ever had! mmm!!! It is amazing...in the two and a half hour drive we went through three countries...Slovenia, Austria and Italy! And there was no snow within two hours of Maribor. No wonder they couldn't run the race!!! Though it must be said that they did a good job preserving the snow that was there. It just isn't possible at +14 to run a quality race!

That night we had our meeting and I found out some random good news! Apparently after being on injury status your points can only go up by 2% per list for the next 14 lists. So in december everyones points were dropped by 2.3 points...and they went back up in January...only because my points can't go up above 2%..I got to keep my good points!! So I went from being ranked 69th in the world to 48th! Nice!! So for the slalom in Maribor my bib was supposed to be 41. I big improvement from 55 at Flachau. I was very excited to race and take advantage of the great start number!

We arrived at the hill in Maribor to mixed sun and cloud and people boot walking down the course followed by two teams of volunteers with hoses watering the course followed by people slipping the course and finally buckets of salt being thrown down. They were trying everything to get the race off!! I have never seen anything like that the morning of the race before!! We arrived at the top of the warm-up course to the news that it was already cancelled. We did two runs in the warm-up course anyway. Then we got to run the race course from the pitch down. It was great to try out the hill even if we didnt get to race it! I love the hill and can't wait to do it next year (hopefully). The snow, however, on the race hill was completely rotten...as we skied down the course gates flew out and it was super crystally snow.

So we went back to the hotel and packed up. We are now back in Tarvisio, Italy for a Europa Cup slalom tomorrow. Really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

World Cup Photos

After Inspection...

During my run!




So stoked to cross the finish line!



Looking at my run time




Happy Person in the finish...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First World Cup

So tonight I just raced my first world cup. I feel like it has been a long road to get here and am super stoked on finally making it!!! YAY!

I managed to stay pretty calm about the whole thing until the race actually started. I did yoga off of youtube this morning and also watched tutorials on knitting socks...so exciting! ha! Basically I was trying to get activated and stay calm...I was really trying to nail the process of how to "race" my first world cup...not only just "ski" it. We went out on hill at 2 45 and I had a good warm-up...not spectacular but just good. I didn't start feeling like i was in a big race until inspection. Feeling the incredibly hard snow beneath your feet...slipping past Lindsey Vonn...looking down at the huge stadium lit up by incredibly powerful lights. There was music blaring and people were just starting to file in to the finish area as we left inspection. I was still pretty calm...I only betrayed my nervousness a little...by forgetting the 2nd half of the course immediately after I left inspection. I really had to work to remember what was happening down there!!!

After inspection all the racers went back up to the top and waited in the mid mountain lodge...they had big tv's in there so we could watch the race. It is really helpful when they send the camera man down the course!! We knew exactly what it looked like! It was a blessing and a bit of a curse to see the top girls go. They looked a little rugged. They made the now look very slippery and alot of them had issues on the bottom. I started to get major butterflies as I was watching the top 15 go. The realization that I was watching them on tv...and that I would be on that same TV really got me jittery! I went down to the start at bib 30. I was almost hyperventilating as I arrived at the start. That is where I got control of myself. It doesn't matter what race you are at...the atmosphere at the start is always the same. I just started to focus on my warm-up and not getting over-heated(it was 0 degrees...pretty warm for a night race!). About 5 racers before I went all I thought about was that no matter how this race goes I'll be fine. All I need is shin pressure and that skiing is the same no matter the back drop. In the start. I focused on the girl skiing in front of me...too scary to look out at the 20,000 people who were cheering at the finish!! I felt I skied well. My only thing was that I maybe backed off a tiny amount at the bottom where I knew (from the tv at the top) that girls were having issues...I had none at all. Coming through in 32nd place was interesting. I was really happy with the placing but also knew that I hadn't made 2nd run. Ah well. First world cup ending up at the end of the race 34th and .17 away from qualifying for 2nd run made me pretty happy! We stayed in the finish area for the 2nd run and watched our team mate Anna Goodman slay second run...moving from 27th to 15th position! Way to go Anna!! We also got our photo taken with Herman Maier...we couldn't help ourselves!

Overall it was a great start to World Cup and I can't wait to do it again in Maribor!

Thank you BC Ski Team, Brandon Dyksterhouse, John Critchton and all my family and friends for the amazing support! Photos will be uploaded later!

Monday, January 10, 2011

NorAm Races




video
video

First World Cups

I have some exciting news. I am doing two world cups!!! I am racing Flachau tomorrow, a night slalom, and Maribor, a slalom as well, on the 15th! I am pretty excited! I am driving to Flachau today for the freeskiing on the hill this afternoon. I don't have a camera but i am going to get my team mates to take some photos for me! Wish me luck!! And please continue to donate to Kelly's Coffee Fund! We reached the goal of $75 but why not go for $100!!! Thank you to everyone who donated! It is amazing what a small act of kindness can do!!

Cheers,

Elli

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kelly's coffee fund is up and running!!! Let the donations begin!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ok I don't know how to set it up yet but PLEASE check back later to donate to Kelly's Coffee Fund!!!

Will try again tomorrow!

Kelly's Coffee Fund....Donations accepted!

So after my Nor-Am win I went to Nakiska for some FIS races. They went well and showed how far I have still to come in GS!

After that I headed home for some great food, family and some great training at Sun Peaks! There isnt anything better than great training at home!! I love being surrounded by my family and doing the thing that I love at the same time!

On the 31st I headed out East. We flew to Montreal then drove down to our current location Sunday River, Maine. A quaint old town with lots of character!! THe hill is actually pretty big for out east!! We arrived a day early and free skied on the hill. It was slushy and almost rainy...it made us a little nervous about the races to come!

We woke up in the morning of our first gs race to wind!! It froze the snow solid on the hill. The race hill was solid ICE!!!! Luckily it was still a little grippy but it was incredibly different than what I have been training lately. The first day I had a great second run...I was 3 and the 1st in the splits...before crashing on the bottom. This gave me motivation to go for it today!

Today I came 3rd!!! My best gs NorAm result yet!! I was a long way out but I was second on the 2nd run and made up alot of time in comparison to my 1st run.

Tomorrow is slalom which is always very exciting however I have something else I'd like to mention. One of my best friends and team mate Kelly McBroom sustained a compound fracture of her left Tib/Fib. She has had surgery and has one more to go before heading home. This is particularily devastating because Kelly is just coming back from 2 YEARS out from an incredibly complicated knee injury. I am trying to find ways to make her life a little easier. I know first hand how hard it is to suddenly be left at home with nothing to do but recover. It is very easy to get incredibly depressed and as a friend I am going to try and not let that happen!!! I am setting up a little donation on the side of my blog...a "kelly's coffee fund". Hopefully this will brighten her long days ahead and show her how much support she has behind her!! I am hoping people will donate between 1 and 5 dollars..feel free to donate more. The goal being $75!

Have a safe and happy week...more updates to come!