I was 3rd in qualifying and had some killer starts in my first few heats. Round 1 was with my teammate, Julia, and she took the inside lane right beside me. I was fastest to the first corner and was able to give her some room to squeak through behind me so we could both advance. My semi final was with Ophelie David and I made a pretty sick pass on her halfway down to win the heat. My luck was not so good in the final. I was last out of the start - completely missed it - and had to get by Magda to go for the podium. I nailed the step-up halfway down and passed her to quickly come up on Ophelie. Karin was out in front. Ophelie and I were gaining on her through the drag race section toward the bottom of the course. Ophelie went left, I went right to go blowing by her. But Karin got bucked on a double just before the finish jump and bounced over to the right, so that my ski ended-up in between hers and I couldn’t get through. We both almost wiped out off the finish jump...I had to kick my feet over to avoid missing the gate on the take-off. I can’t believe we pulled it off. Karin said that she was so glad it was me that she got tangled up with because most girls would flail and we’d both go down. It’s nice to have the respect of the these girls and to be known as a solid skier and racer!
Here’s a summary of what went down in Voss, Norway: I won qualies by almost a full second, and then on race day, I was winning the final and my ski fell off halfway down...
I had Sophie (Denmark) to my right and she was a little pushy off the first jump, but I managed to get out in front and stay there. The two of us even got to rest up for the next run and just cruise, cause the other girls were so far behind.
Round 2 (Quarter Finals):
I took the far left lane because I knew Emilie (SUI) would take the next gate over, so she would keep Sophie off. We all got a little bit tangled up in the first corner and Danny (Team Canada) took a straight line into the second corner to pass us. The corner had five massive rollers in it, and she didn’t quite have enough direction to pull it off. She got bucked and absolutely launched off one of them…it was pretty spectacular. I don’t know how I got around her but I ended up in 1st again…and was able to take another cruiser run to advance to the semi-finals.
Round 3 (Semi-Finals):
Emilie and I met the #2-ranked skier, Karin Huttary as well as my teammate Kelsey Serwa. Kelsey got by me coming out of the second corner and then crashed on the next jump. She miraculously ended-up on her feet again, but had missed a gate and instinctively started carving back up the hill to get around the gate. Unfortunately she was cutting right across the track that I was barrelling down. I had to go really far outside to get around her, and her tips actually clipped my tails, but I did avoid what would have been a pretty serious collision. I just hung in for 2nd the rest of the way down to advance to the final.
Round 4 (Final):
I had a good start and was right with Karin going into the second corner, beating World #1, Ophelie David. I knew I had the edge on Karin, so I initiated the turn right where I wanted to, which didn’t leave her much space to pull it off. She went down, and I got around her to hold the lead. I was looking strong until halfway down the course, my outside ski popped off taking me out of the running. I had to stop on my left ski only, and by the time I was able to do that, I was way out of the course, with no hope of getting back up to in before Karin made her way down. So that left me in 4th. Frustrating, but I know I’ll get it one day…hopefully soon!
It was a busy week at home with all sorts of festivities surrounding the 1 Year Countdown to the Olympic Games. My medal at Cypress caught the attention of several TV and radio networks. The week started out with a celebration in the Village Square to let the community know about the plans for it as ‘Celebration Plaza’, a place to present locals with their medals after the Olympic Events. Davey, Aleisha and I were the local medallists at Cypress, so they had us speak about what it would be like to celebrate an Olympic medal right there with our friends and family. Here is a bit of what I said:
“...it would be such an honour. This is an amazing opportunity and we are SO fortunate to have the support we’re seeing now that Skicross is an Olympic sport. Our friends and family know how much we have put into this -- even before we had coaches and ski techs and funding -- so they would be extremely proud to see us realize our dreams. These seemed like far-off dreams until I was standing on the podium at Cypress the other day, at the bottom of the Olympic course. That’s when it hit me that I actually have a good shot at winning an Olympic medal one year from now. ”
CBC’s coverage of the finals in the race at Cypress were played up on the big screen for everyone to see, as we called out the play-by-play. I also participated in the Cake Cutting with Mayor Ken Melamed at the Main Stage.
Over the next couple of days I had interviews, some of which were live interviews, with the following shows:
CBC News: Vancouver at Six
City TV with Host Greg Harper
CBC Early Edition (Radio) with Host Rick Cluff
CBC News: Today
The Bill Good Show, CKNW Radio
Pontiac World of Skiing
Global National with Kevin Newman (walkabout through the village for The National at 5:30pm Saturday)
I just wrapped up my 5th World Cup Race of the year at Cypress , BC. I was having a lot of fun training on the Olympic course all week and qualified 6th on Thursday. Friday was race day and my friends and family showed up to support me - it was so nice to have them all there!
I won the first heat by a fair amount. In the second heat I was hot on Meryll’s tails and actually had to push her forward to prevent running over her. This sent me back a bit and the other two girls passed me. I made a pass into one of the big banked turns after a long flat section with two doubles on it. I was gaining on the other girl and thought I had to pass her to advance to the semi final. I pointed it right off the last hip jump instead of scrubbing speed for direction so I could make the pass but I overshot that tranny and couldn't hold it. I went down. I got up and skied down assuming that I had not advanced to the semi-finals. Turns out, Clara had already been disqualified for something that had happened up to when I attempted to pass her so I was still in the race!
In the semi-final I had a good start and skied well down the entire course finishing first. I had made it to the FINALS!!!
I came out of the gate first in the final, but got tangled up with Ophelie, opening the door for Aleisha to slide out front. Ophelie and I battled it out down the whole course until she got a little wild on one of the lower features and crashed hard. I made a good move off it and managed to get my skis back on the snow, just as I saw her flying up beside me, stilling gaining vert, partway through a backflip. I finished the race in 2nd! Pretty exciting to get the SILVER MEDAL on the Olympic Course!!!
As I was standing on the podium and they were playing our National Anthem, it hit me...I have a really good shot at winning and Olympic Medal.
Canadians took 5 out of the 6 medals at the Cypress Skicross World Cup. It was a pretty amazing day for the whole team!