Saturday, 6 February 2016

A New Year

A lot has happened since my last update! January started with a tide of new beginnings. It was my first time training in Reiteralm with Team Evolution, a short 10 minute drive from our base in Radstadt. Following on from my summer training with Team Evolution in Hintertux, I have been working on my line, trying to make it more direct and less round. This has been coming on really well, and every day I can feel improvements in my skiing, especially in my GS.

Being able to train in Reiteralm was also really exciting. Reiteralm is renowned for being a huge training hub for many world cup teams and athletes, due to its ability to make plenty of snow and accommodate many teams for training. This meant that during my training I was alongside the likes of the Austrian Male Team and the Swedish Female Team, like Marcel Hirscher and Frida Hansdotter. (Very Cool!) Because of all the World Cup Teams training there, the pistes are always hosed to make the snow as solid as possible. This means that training is very tough and challenging, testing athletes to the best of their abilities. I personally found the hard, slick snow very beneficial, as it encouraged me to be more active in my turns and have increased pressure on the outside ski.

As well as this, the Scottish FIS Races were being held in Reiteralm, on the pistes which I was able to train. This was greatly beneficial, giving me a good feel for the skis and how the hills terrain worked. These races were especially important as they partially determined who would be selected for this years Winter Youth Olympics. Previously in Canada I had scored a personal best in GS and Slalom and I was feeling positive with my training, so I went into these races with an open mind and good feelings.

The races started with Slalom, and unfortunately these races did not go so well. The tough snow combined with the difficult course sets made the races so much more challenging than I could have anticipated. Major mistakes on 3 of my runs caused me to have huge setbacks on my times. However, on the one run where I did not make a mistake, I beat my bib number by almost 20 people and pushed my way into the top 30, giving me a prime start number for my second run. This run also gave me the position of top British Female.

However, in comparison to the slalom races, I could not be more pleased with my results from the GS races. In my first run, I skied one of my best GS runs ever. I can remember coming over the ridge onto the pitch and being determined to run the ski as cleanly as possible. I came through the finish and couldn't believe my time! This positive streak continued throughout the GS races, and I scored two personal bests in GS.

Although I had these new personal bests, I was still apprehensive as I did not know whether I would be selected for the Winter Youth Olympics.


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