Sometimes I forget how amazing my life is. I am training to be in the best shape of my life and I get to go to the Olympics! I was reminded yet again how cool it is to be doing what I do when our team traveled to Snow Farm in New Zealand to train in real winter conditions in the middle of August.
Even despite one of the worst snowfalls in many years, the ski tracks were absolutely great, and most days I was applying heavy layers of sunscreen rather than reaching for the wind- or the rain jacket.
We skied at the Snow Farm for two weeks and even raced in a proper skate sprint race, where I finished 2nd to the World’s #1 ranked Polish skier Justyna K. This race was part of the New Zealand Winter Games, which are the most important winter sporting event in the rugby-crazed country. After the flower ceremony up at the Snow Farm, we attended the medal ceremony in downtown Queenstown (which is an hour’ drive away). We were presented with our medals on a stage and in front of many fans, complete with a ceremonial play of the winner’s country anthem.
In another mock-team sprint race, Justyna paired up with Anne-Marie (who just turned 17) to win over teams of Peri + Frederique and myself + Cendrine. It’s not every day that you get to witness an Olympic and World Champ Justyna work together with an up and coming Canadian teenager to win in the training race. Events like this make me realize how awesomely fun my life is (just like the memory of that moment when the Finnish World Champ Aino-Kaisa Saarinen tenderly carried Peri around in her arms during an interpretive “dance” at the Eagle Glacier last summer).
Besides having skied a ridiculous amount of miles around the ski trails at the Snow Farm, on one occasion I had my first ever driving lesson in a right-side driving car. It didn’t take me long to figure out the gear shifting, and thankfully I was practicing on a closed circuit. Actually, it was the real car testing facility, complete with ice fields, twisty snowy roads and many other driving “features” the car and tire manufacturers around the World come to test on their new driving creations. No cars, humans or fences were hurt during the lessons. Here is some video proof, best watched in full screen mode.
My next couple of months might as well be called a Death Camp Extravaganza. Some of the hardest training days of my life are waiting for me in Montreal with B2ten, in Mont-Ste-Anne with the Training Centre, and later on at the high altitude camp in Truckee, California. And the best part? There will be no real rest weeks in between! I’m excited to train hard and enjoy every moment of it.
Thank you so much for reading!