I came into the last race of the season knowing that I had to win if I were to pose a shot at taking the overall World Cup title. The way the numbers worked out, I needed to win and the girls who were only points ahead of me in the standings had to place in third position or lower.
This was totally doable in my eyes. I finished 2nd at the previous race held in Branas Sweden, so I knew I had the skills and confidence to finish on top here in Voss?
The course was fairly basic other than a steep wu-tang right out of the gate. Europeans have yet to figure out how to build a proper one of these. Often, we see them here and they are not tall or wide enough. The final product either forces us athletes to ditch speed on the face of the take off, or to hit it at full speed, only to send us flying up and out. Both strategies are not ideal.
Luckily, I have the upper hand with quirky featured like these wu-tangs. I am able to press both legs on either side of my body in an abrupt move so that I travel farther out than up. This puts me on the snow faster from which I can skate ahead to create distance on my other competitors.
I use the wu-tang at the start of the Voss track to my advantage, leading the first two heats top to bottom. In the finals, Anna is on my inside. The gate drops and I’m ahead of her off the wu-tang, landing a split second before she touches bottom. I try to skate ahead but she has advantage of the inside line and leads the rest of the way to the finish. Passing on this course is tough so I am waiting for a hole to open up to sneak by, or for Anna to make some sort of pilot error. Real estate runs out and the finish approaches fast. Second is my final result for the day.
I make up ground on the overall points but not enough to move from my third position. I am only two points off of Heidi who finishes in second position in the standings.
Sure, its frustrating knowing that these girls had the advantage of attending one more World Cup race than I did earlier in the season, which they happened to finish 1st and 2nd at. This gave Anna an extra 100 points and Heidi another 80 points. I look at the difference between my final result of 610, Heidi’s of 612, and Anna’s of 672. Rats
Either way, Im pumped to have a successful consistent season under my belt and look forwards to improving my overall ranking for next season. I have earned the right to call myself World Champion, X Games gold medalist, and was able to finish on the WC podium five times this season.
I am hoping to add one more title to the list of accolades for this year when we head to Lake Louise April 1st and 2nd to compete at the Canadian Nationals.