The last week and a bit of my life has been a whirl wind to say the least. I had no doubt in my mind that I could win X Games, and I did. Crashing through the finish line was not what I had in mind but it was sure exciting to watch! The crash left my body in a mess. I was lucky not to break anything, but unlucky that everything in my body had just suffered some pretty hefty trauma.
I took as many days off as possible to heal up enough so I could ski. I wasn’t too worried about missing the first two days of training because I thought that getting myself to the point where I could move with relative ease was higher on the list of priorities. Four hours a day of combined physio and massage from Bianca and Kristi helped immensely!
After training, I watched the footage our coaches had taken of the course. It was easy to remember and visualize since there were jumps between every banked turn. On the second day of training, Stan took some helmet cam footage which I also studied and tried to visualize from.
Thankfully the course was well built with appropriate landings for every jump. When I finally got on the course the day of qualifying, things went fairly smoothly and I was able to figure it out by the time we had to race.
My qualifying run was nothing spectacular, but my skis were running fast thanks to Rod, James, and Zenon whom made them that way. Every banked turn made my back feel like it was going to snap under the pressure. I was grateful to get to the bottom in one piece, let alone finish in 3rd. A german girl starting a few numbers later had tied my time, leaving me in 4th position.
I went home that day, had an epsom salt soak, an hour massage, and hour of physio, ate dinner, had another epsom salt bath, then went to bed. I was hoping that when I woke up the next morning, all of my pain would be gone.
That wasn’t the case. Although I was feeling much better compared to the days before, my joints were still sore and my muscles ached with stiffness. I had to put the pain to the back of my mind until the race was over.
I made a couple passes in the early heats of racing until I was able to figure out the start to get the whole shot. It was a lot easier on my body to get out in front and stay in front.
The finals saw me up against teammate Julia Murray, Anna Hollmund (SWE) and Katrin Ofner (AUT). Julia was to my left with Anna on my immediate right and Katrin beside her. The gate dropped and I was able to get out early to lead the girls down the hill. I got to the bottom and saw Julia cross the line finishing in second.
Like myself, Jules had also suffered a pretty spectacular crash on the finish jump at X Games. If you think I went big, she went even farther, literally landing on the finish line. The result was a bone bruise on her knee, some torn cartilage, a strained graft, all on her previously blown knee, and four stitches in her chin. Ya, she’s one tough cookie.
What a great day for Canada. It’s nice to stand on top of the podium, but it makes it that much better when your teammate and friend is standing up there with you. Chris Del Bosco took the men’s race with Davey Barr and Nick Zorcic finishing in 7th and 8th
I achieved my only goals for which I had set this year: X Games gold and becoming the new World Champion. My next goal is to go for the overall world cup title.
We race again this Friday at Blue Mountain in Ontario.