There seem to be big gaps between blogs, but when I get home from a block of races or training, I have to put my school/A level hat on and get stuck into my studies – This time was no exception. I am about to go into my last term at my school, Kings Canterbury, but have lots of work to do after missing most of this term…hence my delayed blog.
First of all, I will finish where I left my last blog. I was in the lap of luxury in Steinplatte Austria. That didn’t last too long before we headed to Tarvisio, Italy for the World Championships. This is the second biggest event on the alpine skiing calendar, and happens only once every two years. There is a welcoming opening ceremony and a bib draw ceremony before the races, with bands and speeches and lots of fun and then a closing ceremony.
Then the races started. We were all a bit hyped up as this is what we had been training for all season and means a lot for the British Parasnowsport Team. You have to be selected to go to the World Champs, it is such an honour to be on the GB team.
We had a small team – but a powerful one…we were ready to do this. We had enormous support from probably the best coaches in the World and the best support crew with Duncan Freshwater, Catherine Smaill and kelley Fay, not to mention friends and family cheering us on and the management team back home.
First race was downhill, this has got to be our favourite these days. Brett and I had a plan and we stuck to it for the two days of downhill training, then put it all into practice for the actual race – and then some! This is when you need the best guide, (I have the best guide in the World).
We were travelling at 115km/hour and our competition were doing really well but we just managed to hold them off to win the first ever World Championship GB Gold in any alpine skiing discipline. Unfortunately, to find that extra second, I ploughed into the 3 layers of airbags in the finish area doing about 100km/hour…Ouch! I was stuck under the bags until I was pulled out by my feet. I suffered a bit of a bash to my head and a broken ski – It was worth the Gold medal though!
The next day, the decision was made by the management for me not to race in the Super G. I was devastated but I did feel awful. The following day was a day off so I would be ready to do the Super combi (1 super g and 1 slalom). I was a lot better but not 100% I had really given myself a big shake up in that crash and had hurt my ankle as well.
Thanks to our fantastic physio, Brett and I went on to get silver in the next 3 events behind Slovakia’s Henrietta Farkasova. It was a great World Champs for Brett and Me. We learned a lot from the experience and saw how the competition is hotting up a head of the Paralympics next year. There is more work to do but we will be ready!
As I write, I am in South Korea. We have been training in High 1 resort ahead of the test event in Pyeongchang, starting on the 9th March 2017. It has been a very clever move from our Performance Director to use these last 10 days as a rehearsal for the games next year and to see how we all adjust to the jet lag (9 hours ahead ) and the food. I probably faired the worst, as I have had gluten at some point (Gluten is lost in translation), it took me a lot longer to get over than usual but that was probably due to the jet lag too.