Sunday, November 29, 2009

Powder in Lake Louise

Today we had a great day skiing in Lake Louise. It was bluebird and about 15cm of fresh snow. Its great to get out there and just 'ski' - believe it or not, we don't actually get to go free skiing that often. We're either training gates, training in a SX course or doing drills. So it's always nice to just get out there and explore a mountain without racing gear on and 2-3 pairs of skis!

After a full morning in the trees, the open bowls and even a hike, we were wrecked (The photo was taken first thing in the morning...)

Below is Scott, Jenny and myself enjoying the sunshine at the summit of Lake Louise, Canada.

(Scott, Jen and I at the summit of Lake Louise)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Week 1- Canmore, Alberta

After an extremely long journey (Melbourne - Sydney - LA - Denver - Calgary - Canmore), I have finally arrived in Canmore, Alberta where I will be spending the next 2 weeks training.

It's not as cold as last time I was here, which is a bonus! I remember getting off the plane and walking outside Calgary airport, almost not being able to breathe! Going from 30 degrees to -30 is quite a shock to the body!

We headed up to Nakiska yesterday for our first day on snow. There were a few World Cup alpine teams there, including Canada, France and Austria, all training for the up and coming Lake Louise World Cup. On the main training hill was a sea of GS gates.

(See of gates at Nakiska)

We spent the day free skiing and 'finding our feet'. In the afternoon I started to feel a bit off. By the next morning, I could hardly walk! My vision was blurry, I went temporarily deaf and I had trouble breathing. I almost felt like I was about to faint. I went straight to the hospital, and was put on a drip where the nurses pumped in almost 2L of water into me. Apparently I had suffered from an accute virus and severe dehydration. My blood pressure had dropped to as low as 79 over 43 (normal is 120 over 80).

After a few hours on the drip and another 3L of gatorade, I was feeling much better by the afternoon. Not the best start to my overseas trip! Hopefully things go up from here.

It has started to dump with snow, so the plan is to free ski at Lake Louise tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a bit of powder skiing, as it doesn't happen every day, especially on the race circuit!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My adventure of a lifetime starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow I will head off overseas with the dream of qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Vancouver in February.

The national ski cross team will be based in Canmore, Canada, for the first 2 weeks of the season. Here we will be training out of Nakiska; home of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games. We will start off the season with lots of freeskiing, drills, alpine GS and super G gates training, and hopefully some powder!

We then head to Europe where things start to get a bit more interesting! We have 5 world cup races prior to the Olympic qualification date (Jan 17). By this date, in order for me to qualify, I must be ranked in the top 35 in the world. Not an easy task but definitely achievable! So I'm hoping for some really good results, perhaps 2 top 16 finished in the first few races to take the pressure off!

Dryland training has been very solid over the past 7 weeks here in Melbourne. I have been training twice a day, 12 sessions a week with one day off. Training occurs at the VIS (Victorian Institute of Sport), cycling on beach road, swimming and boxing. My fitness and strength is great at the moment, so I'm feeling confident heading overseas in good physical shape. I have also been doing lots of training on the custom made start gate (made by my Grandpa, Urs) in my backyard. This has been extremely beneficial in helping me to improve my starts; a vital part of the race!

(My very own custom-made back yard start gate. Thanks Grandpa!)

Although I'm loving this beautiful warm weather in Melbourne, I am looking forward to hitting the slopes once again!