The first World Cup races of the 2012/2013 season are just days away. This saturday, December 8th, will mark the first World Cup race since Nik’s tragic accident last March. It’s been a struggle -  losing such a close and inspirational friend but I feel that all of us Canadians want to perform our best in his honour. Both on and off the hill, Nik’s memory will always stay in our hearts.

Our new suits were revealed earlier this week. Most know the story already but for those who don’t, it goes like this:
We were at Cypress Mountain for the Olympic-test World Cup event in 2009. At this point Nik had shown potential but wasn’t on the national team just. Coming fresh off the alpine circuit, Nik didn’t own a ski cross racing suit; all he had were baggy snow-pants, which if he wore he could have kissed all chances of qualifying out the window. He figured that a slim fit pair of jeans would do the trick! So, Nik proceeded to race his first World Cup looking like a true Canadian – in denim.

As a fun way to remember Nik’s style and comical personality we will be racing the season in denim-looking pants with a red and white top. We will race in denim, proud to be Nik’s teammate and proud to be Canadian. We hope you continue to look down on us Nik and keep us safe. We are always thinking of you.

Not only will this be the first World Cup race since we lost Nik, it will also be my first World Cup race since I blew my knee last January. I have had no physical set backs with rehab and my knee feels just as strong, if not stronger than it was at this time last year. In dealing with traumatic injuries I have learned that getting back in the game is as much as a mental battle as it is a physical one. Right now my body is in top form and I’m sure it could withstand as many G-forces as any high-speed compression into banked turn could throw at it . My mind however is still a work in progress. Since I have not had many days racing with multiple people on a track since my injury I am slightly lacking on in confidence compared to this time last year. Right now my goals are strictly focused around the processes of racing, not the result. I will be building my confidence race by race, always trying to move forwards. I will focus on key elements such as being eager and aggressive on the track yet calm and focused in the start gate. Rather than focusing on results I will be filling my mind with positive thoughts and reminding myself of my abilities. This should prepare me for success in the future. After all, its not tomorrow or the next day that I need to be exceptional on, it’s later this year at World Championships and next year in Russia.