So I totally did not expect to take the gold this past Wednesday in Alpe D’Huez France. Once I was in the finals I figured I was going to end up either second or third…not first! I’m pretty stoked right now. Here’s how it all went down.
The women’s second semi final round saw Ophelie David of France stacked up against Olympic champion Ashleigh McIvor, young-blood Marielle Thompson and myself. So in short, three feisty Canadians versus one quick French lady.
“We are ready for the next heat. You can proceed with the next round” announces Joe Fitzgerald.
Into the gate the four of us go.
The boards drop and all four competitors charge forwards. I have everyone to my right as we work our way over the first two rollers and across the first jump. It’s tight. We are all shoulder to shoulder heading into the first turn. I yell at Ash, “I’m inside! I’m inside of you!”. Oh I sure hope she gives me some space to get around this gate. Being the amazing teammate that she is, Ash leaves me just enough space to squeeze by. I am in the lead now. Further down the course Ashleigh informs me that she’s coming in hot and heavy on my inside. I repay the favor and she whips by without trouble. We finish one and two and both advance onto the finals.
Exhausted from the intensity of each heat as well as the sun’s draining rays, Ash and I slowly return to the start to race the final round. First, Fanny Smith of Switzerland picks her gate. Next is Ashleigh and then me. I’m zonked and can barely imagine putting the last bit of energy I have into this run. There is no time to rest. I tell myself that I just have to push the limits for one more minute, then I can relax. This is my motivation.
“We can proceed with the women’s final heat,” shouts Joe over the radio.
Oh how I resent these words. I’m so tired.
“Ok let’s go”
The gate drops and its a four way fight for the lead. I’m touching Heidi and Ashleigh whom crowd my left and right sides over the first booter. My skis are running fast and I quickly scoot in front of the group. How did this happen? My only thoughts now are to ski tight and clean. Take away all possibilities for them to make an easy pass. I feel pressure on my tails and know that the girls are close behind. There is no room for error. Over the last jump and onto the drag strip, I keep expecting one of my competitors to beat me to the line. My insecurities quickly come to a halt as I pass the finish and claim the win.