Olympic Installment

Olympic sprint qualifier
I've apparently suffered from over two months of writer's block - but putting this update off for so long means I'll only have room for the highlights!

Since I last wrote, I've raced U23 Championships in Val di Fiemme Italy, the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, World Cups in Finland and Italy and National Championships in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland.

There was a different team setup at each of these events, from a younger crowd full of dance parties and swagger at U23's/World Juniors, to traveling with some of the most experienced in the business at the Olympics to bringing it back Canada with one of the best crews you could ask for.

My best result at U23's was 19th in the skate sprint. Very far from the Afinal performance that I had believed in. I was less than half a second away from advancing to the semi's as 'lucky loser'. It was a blast skiing in a fast heat, with the eventual bronze and silver medalists of the day pushing the pace. I felt like I grew more as a racer in those 3 minutes of racing than I had all season!
Toblach World Cup

Meine Schweizer schwester!

Coupla chicas hanging out. Check out that view!!!
So - how was Sochi? It took time for it to sink in that I was going to the Olympics. It took a little more time for it to sink in that I was competing at the Olympics. And then it took the most time of all for me to absorb that entire experience. The Olympics sort of existed in two spheres. There was the incredible atmosphere of the people, the fans, the clothing, the 'hype'. And then there was the racing - the passion, the determination, the pure enjoyment of sport.  I describe my Olympic experience as everything that I know and love about of sport - but more so. It is like life on steroids. All of the emotions I experience in ski racing were heightened in the Olympic atmosphere. Going to these Games, I had it easy. There was no expectation on me and all I had to do was sit in the current and absorb the experience like a sea sponge. This sounds like an easy task - but it proved to be super demanding!

Chandra is moving on to next level life stuff - but her impact on my career and passion for skiing - well, it's next level too.

The Russians worked hard to get the scenes ready for the World to view. It may have been last minute, but they pulled it off!
I qualified for the Olympics as a sprint racer, but I was very fortunate to be able to start in the sprint, 10km Classic and 30km Skate. This was some of the most demanding and difficult racing I've ever done! However, if I can come out of those races - being absolutely annihilated by the world class competition - feeling motivated for the future of myself and my teammates in the sport, I think that's a good sign.
press conference

These girls. The Women's team in Sochi was a blast.
Facetime with my family in Canada moments after my first Olympic race. Technology!
Getting in touch with Mother Neature
The lessons I take away from the Games seem to be recurrent life lessons. My family is my most important ally. I love to ski race. Laughing and good friends cures anything. And I compete in the one of the hardest sports in the world.

10km Skate race podium
I wonder how many photos we've been in together? Thanks for everything girlfriend.
I rounded out the season with a win in the 10km skate race at Nationals and had a wicked time being back on Canadian soil and racing along my whole team again. Long time teammate, friend, roomie, Foothills alumni and awesome lady - Marlis Kromm - is joining the real world and leaving ski racing. I'm so excited for her future, wish her all the best and will welcome her back for a rollerski sesh any day.
Exploring the coast of Nfld on the last day. Speed touristing.
Nothing like some 'bubblay to celebrate.
He has a lot of patience to put up with my act.
Up-and-comer, Molly Miller, and I at the Fast and Female event in Cornerbrook

My brother, phil, is also moving on to life beyond the spandex suit. It is funny to think how absorbed we can be in the skiing world. Thinking that racing and results are the centre of the universe. I am so grateful that phil (and my whole family for that matter) has shown and continues to show me to zoom out the lens, take 5 and keep it real. I have so much respect for the phil as an athlete and I guess he's an OK person too. Kidding, obvs. He has shown me to risk big, live large, show love and that Sriracha sauce tastes great on just about everything.

The closing of the 2013/14 season brings a moment for reflection. I can now call myself an Olympian but I feel like my experiences and growth as an athlete and person in the last season is worth much more than that. I am so green in this sport - and the more I learn and know, the more I know I don't know - you know? Bring on the next Olympic quadrennial. It may not be a peach and cake but I'm ready for the adventure.

Spring time activities! Time for powder turns and surf sessions.