Team USA

Team USA
Sloan's Lake

23 January 2008

Slalom 2 in France

The last day of races in France went well for my USA teammate Allison Jones as she took silver as did my Winter Park teammate Adam Hall from New Zealand- I’m happy for both of them! After the races they race organizers had this HUGE pie/ tarte brought up to the village- just for us. It took a while but it was really cool and quite tasty too!

The next 2 days were full of crazy traveling to get home. We drove from France to Monaco to Italy to Austria to Germany and got on a plane to the states. I think we ended up traveling for something like 48 hours by the time I arrived at my parent’s house on Sunday evening. I had good trip but relieved that it’s over.

17 January 2008

Slalom in France

Despite my unfortunate luck with SL points, I am happy to report that my Winter Park teammate and traveling partner from New Zealand, Adam Hall won his first World Cup race today! This was his first World Cup podium and first win- way to go! And a US teammate, Allison Jones took the bronze, nice job! Hope more good luck for my friends tomorrow.

End of the road

I got news last night that I will not be racing the Slalom races here in Queyras.

The reason that was given to me is that I do not have the appropriate points. Unfortunately, there is no way that I could have known this because they are basing this decision on a points list that I can't find because it isn't posted. I am very sad and disappointed. I try to know the rules and know where I stand so that I don’t end up in this position. It is what it is, and I’ll be heading home in a few days.

15 January 2008

French GS #2

We got about a foot of snow overnight and the race hill was super soft, and warm up was powder skiing but I skied better today! Still not super fast but I improved on my times yesterday so that was good. First run I had a better focus and fixed some of the things I needed to fix. Second run wasn’t as good. I was still a lot closer than I’ve been but I nearly missed a gate on the top, so I got late, ran a little too straight the rest of the run to try to make up for it and just seemed to fight my way down. I almost scored my first World Cup points of the year, but second run cost me too much time. Bummer. I ended up 12th.

Tomorrow is a day off and they are having a party for all the athletes tonight. The Euro's sure do know how to make World Cup fun :)
Then we have 2 more days of racing SLALOM- YEAH!

14 January 2008

French GS #1

I’d love to say that I had a fantastic day and I skied super fast but…
I just didn’t. The snow was soft but surprisingly the hill was in really good shape and the snow actually held up quite well. The courses were fun but the race hill is not steep enough to be forgiving at all.

First run I was able to hold my tuck most of the run to help keep my speed up but then made costly mistakes in the wrong places and ended up with a really slow time. Second run I got late, my line got lower and lower until I had to make a big move to fix it and that isn’t fast. Bottom line, I was slow today, and placed 10th.

The good thing is that I think I know where I can improve for tomorrow’s GS.

13 January 2008

Queyras, France

There is a joke among ski racers that if you want it to snow hold a ski race. Well this has happened here in France. Until yesterday morning the hill here had very little snow and it was mostly man-made. They had just cancelled the speed races that were scheduled because the hill didn’t have enough snow to hold the races. Now, they’ve gotten about two feet of snow in the past 24 hours. This is not so good for racing either.
I was very excited to come here and race some tech events on firm snow as I had a lot more confidence after racing in Abtenau. Now I’m not quite so optimistic. It’s always good for the mountains to receive snow but soft snow and flat hills are very unforgiving. For me unforgiving is bad. My feet and legs are not always as smooth and clean as I’d like and even little mistakes add up quickly in these types of conditions. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

I’m might do some powder skiing today but maybe I’ll just take the day off as we’re racing GS tomorrow.

11 January 2008

SC # 3

The hill we’ve been racing on does not get any sun and they had not groomed so the track was slicker than it had been. When you run a course multiple days (without grooming) the track tends to get harder, slicker, and faster as you go. Although we weren’t running the same course, it was still very similar and this is exactly what happened to the track. I knew that it was going to be tough and I’d have to be ahead of it to have a decent run. Regrettably, that didn’t happen. On the first pitch I got behind and it stacked up on me so a few gates later I had to put on the brakes to try to make a gate but couldn’t do it and slid right by with speed. When I finally did stop I was too far down hill to make the gate. My day was over. I was bummed, but there were several others that ended up crashing or in the fence from similar mistakes, so I felt fortunate to have such a benign mistake.

On to France for some tech races!

10 January 2008

Super Combined (SC) #2

The snow did not soften at all over night, which wasn’t a shock at all, so the snow was still “bullet proof.” The set was better than yesterday and I had hopes that I had worked out my problems on my ‘not so fast or fun’ run yesterday. Unfortunately, I apparently did not have the kinks worked out and my run was better but only by a little. I needed it to be exponential better. My confidence took another hit.

Once again I took some free runs before the SL and my SL run was A LOT better. It wasn’t perfect or anything but I I actually skied fast and it felt so good. I think I took 6th or 7th in the SL run. I didn’t ski fast enough to make up for my horrible SG run but at the end of the day, I ended up 10th. Only one more SC race to go then it’s off to France!

09 January 2008

My first Super Combined (SC)

If I never have to talk about my skiing today, ever again, that would be alright. I think today was one of the worst races I’ve ever completed. I don’t know what is going on with me at the moment but I’m skiing in some weird mind warp place. I get in the start and I’m okay then the second I’m out of the gate I feel like I go into a different world. A world in which I don’t seem to know how to ski race anymore, it’s very bizarre.

The Super G this morning was very daunting even during inspection. The snow was “bullet proof” and people were sliding all over the place. The set was good and I thought I might be able to make something happen despite the more than firm snow. I was WRONG. I basically slid my way down the course, I did not ski it and I surely wouldn’t have called that a race run. I felt embarrassed to have skied like that.

Afterward I went back around and took a couple free runs before the SL and got some of my confidence back. It worked and I think I figured out what I need to do to ski better on this kind of snow. My SL run was A LOT better. Still not fabulous but it was what I needed; a good, solid run to feel like I could ski again. It’s amazing what a bad run can do to the psyche. At the end of the day, I ended up 10th. I feel much better going into tomorrow, another SC. The consolation is that a couple of my teammates had really good runs and got on the podium.

08 January 2008

Riesen Slalom aka Giant Slalom (in English)

Have I ever mentioned that ski racing can be very unforgiving and grueling? Today was a perfect example of both. It was a tough day, but not in the same way as yesterday. The weather was a lot better; we had a clear blue sky and the sun actually came out. BUT clear skies in mountains mean cold snow. So all that wet rain we’ve seen the past couple of days actually froze. Therefore, instead of soft, mushy, sugary snow we had hard frozen slush. I mean really frozen, like clear patches in the course. Both the condition of the hill and difficult course sets made for an exigent day of racing. I didn’t ski poorly but let’s just say that the combination of hard snow and challenging courses brought out the weaknesses in my skiing. My first run I skied pretty well okay but my second run I struggled to make through, in the end I hung on and placed 9th. My time was far from good, which is disappointing but I’m not dwelling on it, because I can’t change it. My consolation is that a lot of other racers found today very trying as well. I’m hoping that the SC goes better tomorrow. The Super G should be better as there will be less turning and SL is good on firm snow (at least in theory) I guess we’ll see!

07 January 2008


We woke up this morning to rain and fog----yuck! I was trying to remain optimistic for a good day of racing but it didn’t really work out that way. The snow was SUPER soft and the course turned into a mine field. Over half the field didn’t finish (DNF) or were disqualified (DSQ.) Fortunately, I was not part of the DNF or DSQ groups but I did stop, fall over and hiked to make a gate. I have got to be the slowest person at hiking and I’m not exactly sure why I bothered because after I finished my run I was over 20 seconds out- which is ridiculous. Whatever, I guess I wanted to ski a second run. Despite the not so fun first run, the rain and fog we tried to gather our composure and went back up and went out for second run. My second run was loads better but still not super great. I skied okay but still didn’t exactly find the fast track. I keep thinking it’ll all come together one of these days. I’m hoping I figure it out soon.

The schedule has changed and we’ll be running GS tomorrow instead of SL. Then they hope to get 3 Super Combined (SC) races instead of 2. We’ll see, the hill is in pretty bad shape.

06 January 2008

Austria Again

We’re in Abtenau, Austria for the start of the IPC World Cup. After many hours of traveling yesterday we made here at about 2 in the afternoon. We start racing tomorrow so we skied a few hours today in the rain and called it good. The weather is really warm and the snow is soft and slushy. The last time I was here it snowed 3 feet and races were cancelled, I’m not sure which is worse. We’ll start racing with SL. I’m happy and excited to be here, hopefully that shows in my skiing.

01 January 2008

Park City, Utah

Happy New Year!

I was a little bummed about having to race on New Year’s Day and not being able to celebrate last night, but that feeling soon passed. The morning was very brisk and cool as we arrived to the mountain. The race hill had been groomed and the sun was beginning to shine-it was going to be a good day.

I think sometimes your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Today my mindset was good and it paid off. The first run set was challenging to say the least. I watched 2 forerunners nearly blow out of the course before the 9th gate. I knew my line was going to be important and that’s all I thought about, turning early. I skied the line I wanted but didn’t let the skis run, I was sitting 4th. The second run set was a little less difficult and I tried to be more aggressive. The terrain was bumpy and tough, I made a few mistakes but I made it through. At the end of the day I had a Bronze medal around my neck! My first podium of the season and literally of this year! 2008 started off just fine for me. Yeah!