Yesterday, I proved to the entire World Cup Ski Cross circuit that I can win a race without the finals being cancelled. At this time last season, Lake Placid was not at the top of my list of favorite races. I had qualified in the 18th position and got knocked out in the first heat of 32…this year, my entire perception changed.entire perception changed.
The course was technical and offered sections with options (there were multiple ways to run the rollers). These abrupt rollers, and the spacing between them intimidated the majority of the women’s field. Most would throw speed checks before each feature only to slap on the upsides of the next. I knew that if I was able to double these sections of the course I would have a strong chance of winning the qualification race and potentially the finals. A few of the top girls in the field had also discovered my little secret, one of whom was Fanny Smith, Switzerland’s newest young phenomena. I finished second behind Fanny by only four hundredths of a second (0.04s).
On race day I kept my game plan simple and focused on how much fun I was going to have in the next minute. I managed to win all my heats, which kept me calm, confident, and relaxed going into the final round.
My competition in the final round consisted of Fanny, teammate and world champion Ashleigh McIvor, and the WC point leader Ophelie David. I won the whole shot of the race and thought to myself “Ok, I’m leading! And I haven’t gotten passed yet! I might be able to win this thing. Focus Kelsey, focus on the course. Just keep a clean ski, stay aerodynamic…last jump…YES!! I DID IT!! I WON!”
The race was tight at the line, but I managed to hold off Fanny just long enough to take home the gold. Chris Del Bosco also won on the men’s side, with David Duncan finishing third. Ashleigh McIvor finished 4th, and Danie Poleschuk finished 8th. All in all, it was a great day for the Canadians.