San Candido/Innichen World Cups, Italy and Frostbite!

Date: 23rd December 2009

We have just finished the first two world cups for the season. The races were held in San Candido/Innichen in Italy, Sud Tirol, just near the Austrian border. We travelled across from Lienz Austria after a few good days of training up at Molltall Glacier. Many thanks to Jonathan and Fletcher for sponsoring me and making me a personalised race suit for the season :) Much appreciated! We arrived to freezing temperatures between -18 and -23 celcius. The trainig went quite well and it just felt good to be back in a course and on the circuit again!! I was pretty nervous! Natalie came as a representative from TASS to support me, which was very much appreciated. The first race I took a very round line, probably covering the most distance of any athlete…not fast! I qualified 41st and missed out on the finals by about 0.8. The 1st event was won by Anna Holmlund from Sweden. After watching girls and then all the men in the freezing temperatures (-23) I came inside to find that my big toes had turned black and I had frosbite. The beauty of it was,I could not feel it! I had always thought frost bite was somewhat fictional...hmm apparently it is pretty dangerous though…so I went to the doctor as advised as it swelled up and was kind of a dark grey colour. They said I couldn't race the following day in the 2nd world cup and that they needed to put a hole in my toe, I wasn't having a bar of that, so I told them I would come back for the hole after my competition was finished. So I left the hospital and planned on returning the following day.

So I was determined to take a straighter line in the 2nd World Cup. I skied better but missed qualification by 0.37 finishing in 39th. The strength of the field has really increased, everyone has been working hard and although I didn't qualify, which I was disappointed about, the result was not bad, however, I know I can do better! Anna Holmlund went on to win this event as well. So I returned to the hospital after the event, as promised, now the doctor told me she needed to put a hole in the end of my toe, so a different doctor came in and had a look, said lie back and I just assumed he was going to put the hole in it... I looked down and he had removed the end of my toe with a pair of scissors!!!!!!! Not an exaggeration! It was now red, flat, raw and it hurt! Great! The good thing about the frost bite was it was frozen, dead and I couldn't feel it, now it was really painful, red and open! So I have at least 5 days off snow, but potentially more as the end of my toe is soft and hurting, I don't think it is ready to be pushed into a ski boot! Off to Munich for the night before flying to Granada for 10 days in Spain, spending Christmas with Chio and her family and ideally doing some training up at Sierra Nevada, I will see how I go with the toe!! Merry Xmas!

Training in Austria

Date: 14th December 2009

We are now near Lienz in Austria. Remy and I travelled across from France, stopping to see Marty in Liechtenstein and stopping in Innsbruck for the night. We had a meeting with the Kneissl team in Innsbruck in the morning and headed to the factory in Kufstein in the afternoon. Thanks to Dieter, Nick, Florian and Max for everything, your support is very much appreciated!

We arrived in Lienz to some difficult weather and met back up with the New Zealand team. The glacier had high winds, fog and no visitbility, we were concerned, but luckily they towed us to the start with a Groomer and we were able to atleast achieve some good start training. We freeskied in Silian the following day, testing all the new skis, and then finally did speed testing of all the skis at a little T-bar in the middle of no where! (Bloody freezing!!!!!) The good news is the Kneissl's are still the fastest!!! Yesterday we had a great day up at Molltaller Glacier with perfect weather. It was great to get into a course again, some good features and get some feeling back. It was a great day! We are hoping to get a couple of good days training up there before heading to San Candido/Innichen, Italy on Friday, fingers crossed the weather holds up. I will attach a few photos below, including some from recovery sessions in the river nearby! I guess next update will be from the first World Cup, getting pretty excited now, it has come around fast!

Started training in France!

Date: 1st December 2009

I have been fortunate enough to receive a TASS 2012 scholarship from TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) which has allowed me to change the way I have been doing things and really focus on this season. Training until now has been going very well off snow, working under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Michael Chiovitti. We have seen great strength and power gains and am hoping to really see a difference on snow.

I spent a couple of days in LA catching up with the Bennett family which is always a hoot! Then onward to Heathrow and down to Fareham to catch up with relatives and meet up with the representatives from TASS before driving across the channel to France. After a long drive I finally arrived at destination... Peissey-Nacroix, France. I brought the snow with me, that's for sure! It hasn't stopped! After a day of rest, we hit the slopes today at Tignes and it was great to get back on my skis. Loads of fresh snow and I felt strong on my feet. It looks like the first events in Grasgehren, Germany have been cancelled so I guess the first event will be the world cups in San Candido Italy on the 21st and 22nd December. So far so good! Be in touch soon!

Back in New Zealand Training - Winter Games cancelled

Date: 6th September 2009

After success in Mt Hotham at the ANC Continental Cup SX events, I was back on a flight to New Zealand in time for the Winter Games SX event. The field was strong with the Canadian, Japanese, Australian, Spanish, Romanian, Ukraine, Swiss, New Zealand and of course British world cup athletes present. Unfortnately I brought the weather with me across the sea and the conditions were terrible. Snow/rain/sleet/wind/more wind/some more wind/no visibility/fog....all in all not terribly safe. On the training day the course was icy from the snow being blown off the top an the berms were full of fresh snow. There was no fencing as it blew away, and one of the top Swedish SX guys broke his leg with the varying snow conditions. Hoping it might clear up, we went out on the event day to very difficult conditions. We inspected the course but the light was so flat, and it was so difficult to see that it was postponed. The event was off and on about 5 times during the day, and after another inspection at close to 2.30pm, finally the event was cancelled. They tried to get the event off on the Friday but cancelled it at 7.10am as the conditions were the same. It was unfortunate that the event did not go ahead but the events team did everything in their power to get it off the ground, but the weather just made it impossible.

Although the bad weather stuck around for a couple more days, we had a great time none the less. Queenstown is never short of something to do. Once the weather cleared up, there was fresh snow everywhere, we got in great freeskiing, excellent training and was even asked to do a photoshoot for NZ Ski. After the mountains had been shut, we were up at Remarkables at lift opening time and straight up to fresh powder, chutes, drops and open runs. It was great, look forward to seeing the photos! We managed to get in a couple of good days on the course at Cardrona and also on the jumps in the park. Great company, great snow, awesome conditions, overall a top trip! Now it is back to Melbourne and back in the gym for me. I have successfully met the IOC criteria for the Olympics so now I just need to train hard, get over to Europe, ski fast and earn me a spot in Cypress!!!

2 x 2nd Place results ANC Ski Cross events @ Mt Hotham

Date: 25th August 2009

We just had two SX Australia New Zealand Cup events at Mt Hotham, Australia. I feel like all the training is paying off and I am really pleased about the results. We had very difficult conditions to work with, rain came and washed away a lot of the course and the snow. The events department at Mt Hotham did an amazing job to get the events off. We had rain, gale force winds, bad visibility and wet snow, but they did everything in their power to make it happen.

We had quite strong fields with Magdalena Iljans (Swedish, world cup winner, 2nd at X Games 2009) as well as a Swiss young gun Fanny Smith, Noriko Fukushima (Japan,world cup winner) and the Australian national team, Japanese national team, Kazakhstan and other aspiring Ski Cross athletes. I skied well in qualification and my starts were quick in the finals. I won my first heat and was very pleased with myself. I went into the Semi final with Magdalena, Noriko (both world cup winners) and Reina Umahara (A top level GS japanese skier) I mentioned my starts were quick, I was right on it, and I just flew out of the start, out into the front position and held it the whole way down...I was gob smacked, did not believe what i had just done and I had moved into the grand final. The weather came in so badly that they were unable to run the grand finals and the small finals that day, and they postponed those two remainig final heats to the following day. I was a bit gutted as something was so right on Saturday, I was so switched on!!!! We went out Sunday morning to almost equally difficult conditions, they finally ran the finals and I intially got out into 3rd position which I was not happy with, but then I did a great overtake over the Swiss girl over a jump and moved into 2nd position behind Magdalena. I finished with 2nd place behind a world cup winner whom I had beaten the day before in the semi. I think this was the most satisfying result to date.

They decided to try and get the 2nd event off, so we all did our qualification run for the second event. I qualified 2nd and they were unable to run the finals due to the weather, you couldn't see 2 metres in front of you! So the qualification results stood and I finished with another 2nd place. STOKED!!!!! I have now more than met the criteria for the Olympics so now I just have to focus on top 30 results at the World Cups next season and do my best to get there. The whole weekend was really encouraging, and I now feel that when I continue working as hard as I have been, that I can give this northern winter a really good shot!

I am now in New Zealand again, pretty tired, having a rest day preparing for the final ANC SX event at the Winter Games at Cardrona which will be held on Thursday 27th August. I am looking like a contender for the overall ANC cup now, I will be in touch to let you know how I get on. Please find below a photo from the second presentation. 1st. Fanny Smith SUI, 2nd Sarah Sauvey GBR, 3rd Noriko Fukushima JPN.

Pappas and Co. Alterations

Date: 14th August 2010

I returned from New Zealand to Melbourne on Tuesday 11th August after a few more days of good skiing, good company and great conditions. Even managed to squeeze in an appearance in the Queenstown newspaper, that photo with the guy mooning everyone in Horni Misecky whilst I stood up there on the podium none the wiser... never grows old!!! Thanks for the write up Mitchey! I will be sure to pack the "Vist Specials" aka 'flawless red 80s disco pants' upon my return! Watch out Lavabar!

With one hundred things to sort out before heading up to Hotham for a week of training before the Continental Cup events, team Pappas gathered and set themselves up for a night of unpicking, sewing, windstopper, lycra, and permanent markers! With the new ski cross rules and measurements for the 2009/2010 season released, team Pappas ensured everything met the requirements. Many Thanks to Meils, Ed and Andy for their hard work, much appreciated!!!

Training in New Zealand

8th August 2009
I arrived in Queenstown on the 25th of July to absolutely awesome conditions. Staying with Mitchey the NZ Ski Cross girl in Queestown with her family, we have had access to some excellent training conditions up at CoronetPeak and Cardrona. We have done loads of freeskiing, off piste, jumps and start training with an awesome gate that Mitchey engineered and made wtih the help of her dad. New Zealand has some of the most spectacular views as you will see in the photos below. I head to Australia next for some training at Mt Hotham before the 2 SX Continental Cup events before heading back to NZ for the Winter Games on the 27th August. Training off snow ispaying off, have been noticing differences and I am thoroughlly enjoying time here. Will be in touch soon!

Czech National Champs - 1st Place Horni Misecky, Czech Republic

5th April 2009

After placing 2nd in the last Europa Cup, I went out the following day wanting to win! I felt good and I had a great qualification run, clearing out on 2nd place by nearly 2 seconds. I had the best starting gate in every heat and was confident. The conditions were excellent, although quite warm, the course held up well and the weather was perfect. I won each of my heats comfortably and went on to win the final, clearing out on the rest of the field. 1st place in the Czech National Championships! It was a great feeling to finish the season on such a high note! After the event, Craig, Greg and I drove down to Prague to show them the flashing dance-floor at the Karlovy Lazne, that I have talked so much about! It was a great trip all round!

Europa Cup - 2nd place Horni Misecky , Czech Republic

3rd April 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates, I broke my computer! My knee took some time to heal after my crash in Japan. After taking a large amount of pain killers and anti inflammatories I made myself compete in the World Cup events in Switzerland at Grindelwald and Meiringen. I was hesitant due to my knee and in pain, and my results reflected this.

I had a few days rest and I decided to drive from France to Czech Republic for the final races of the season. A short 16 hour drive and I arrived in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech, even got there without a map of Czech! The course was good, but the conditions were warm, my knee still didn't feel 100% but I was happy to give it my best shot and keen to try and end the season on a good note.

In the qualification run for the Europa Cup, I fell inside hitting my hip on the ground off one of the jumps, thus I had a slow qualifying time which left me with the outside gate. This was a huge disadvantage given the first turn was on the left and I was on the far right. I had a good start in the final but could only get across into 3rd place. I had really wanted to win this event, so I sat in close behind Helena Gallland from France, and slip streamed her into the final jump, then pulled out and overtook her over the jump and into the finishing area. I was stoked, and very excited. Mainly because my tactic had worked! So I finished 2nd in the final Europa Cup for the season. A good result none the less coming back from my knee injury! :)

World Championships - Inawashiro, Japan - injured!

February 28th 2009

After flying from Oslo to Geneva and sleeping in my car in P51 parking area at the airport,,,it was really really really cold and I didn't sleep well, once I heard the first plane flly over head, I returned to the terminal at Geneva airport to warm up before departing to Tokyo. I was greeted at Tokyo airport by a number of Japanese volunteers who were very friendly and helpful. I caught the bus to Inawashiro which was about 5 hours away and headed to bed after arranging my accreditation. I slept well, but was incredibly jet lagged.

We were in the 2nd training group so i woke up, at some breakfast and was so tired I went back to bed. I rolled out and went to training not feeling terribly switched on. My inspection wasn't great and my attention span was less that ideal. The conditions were warm and wet, the jumps were large and the course was fast. On my first training run, I did not realise the kick on one of the largest jumps into the steep section and I flew, i sat backseat and came down hard. It hurt but it wasn't too bad. I managed to get back up to give it another shot. I tried as hard as I could to stay forward and yet again off the same jump I entered the jump full speed, sat back and absolutely launched, landing about 50m later, smashing my knee up along the way. My initial reaction was "I have really hurt my knee" but followed closely by "I have to go up there and do that jump again cos if I don't do it today, I won't do it tomorrow" to which a doctor who had arrived to assist me responded "you won't be doing that jump tomorrow". I sat in the snow hoping the pain would subside, hesitant to let medical staff look at my knee and assist me. I didn't want to face it. I continued putting their help off, until about 30 minutes later when i was still unable to move and my knee was swelling more and more by the second. I finally let the doctor look, and the on hill diagnosis was "We think you have broken your patella and proximal tibia and going by the swelling here we think you may have torn your medial ligament as well" not what I wanted to hear.

I was taken to a hospital about half an hour away for x-ray and MRI. To every ones amazement I had escaped with bad bone bruising through my patella, tibia and femur but had escaped relatively unharmed compared to what I was expecting. I was out of the World Championships though, and that hurt. I watched the competition from the sidelines. At least another 4 girls were seriously injured off the same jump. I spent the week on crutches and am hoping to be able to compete again this season. I will have to judge the pain as I go along. Next it is back to Meribel for a rest and hope to recover in time for the Swiss World Cup series in Grindelwald and Meiringen. I will let you know how the knee comes along!

Branaes World Cup - Sweden - 29th!

February 23rd 2009

The course in Branaes was good. Perfect conditions, rollers out of the start, a tight top section which opened out into almost a downhill set finishing with a series of large jumps and double rollers into the finish. After a few runs of training I posted a reasonable qualification run. I had placed 29th and unfortunately due to television, the organisers only took 16 ladies for the finals which was disappointing. A video from training has been uploaded to my website under the media gallery section. So although I enjoyed my time in Sweden and the course was good, it seemed to all be over quite quickly and we prepared to travel to Japan, Inawashiro for the 2009 World Championships.

Voss/Myrkdalen World Cup - Norway - 30th!

February 18th 2009

It continued to snow in Myrkdalen, by this stage there was about a metre of fresh snow! The training day was cancelled as there was far too much snow on course from a safety perspective. There was a pretty nice opening ceremony held in the centre of Voss, where we all got to walk across the stage and collect a goodie bag from Kari Traa! We were stoked with the goodies in the bag! The following day we went out for training, they changed the course slightly for the FIS event, making some jumps bigger. It was extremely difficult conditions, the course was soft, it was chopped up and bumpy, there were holes in the course, a lot of competitors were losing their skis from the holes in the course. There were a number of concussions and plenty of crashes! Qualification went quite well, I was in 30th position and gained a spot in the finals. I had a good heat and knew that I had a chance if I really gave it a go. I was pumped and willing to give it everything….that I did! I had a great start and got over the first jump and moved into 2nd place behind Meryl Boulangeat, in an attempt to try and hold my position I skied a tight line (which I had not skied before) and I realised why…the rollers were far more savage on the inside line and they just threw me about, I was a bit out of control and then crashed hard - straight on my head!!! It hurt! I was GUTTED! But everybody said it was a great start and I really went for it and in the words of Heikki “You showed great courage”. Only 1 heat of of the 8 ladies heats finished with 4 competitors on their feet! It was tough and rough! I think this was the highlight of the season so far, I know I can be in the mix if I can just stay on my feet! Well…that headache hung around for the next 5 days! Potentially a mild concussion but didn’t want to face it. We loaded up Andra’s car and Mitchey, Andra, Sophie and I car pooled all the way to Branaes, Sweden and arrived about 9 hours later. Next update from Branaes!

Voss/Myrkdalen FIS Ski Cross, Norway - 7th

February 15th 2009

After a short stop back in France, I washed my clothes and packed them back up and left for Norway. After flying into Bergen, I took the airport bus into town, and with the assistance of a shopping trolley (best 1 euro I have spent) I loaded it up and made my way to Bergen Train Station! Classy! I took the train to Voss and was greeted by the organiser of the event who conveniently offered to take me to Myrkdalen as the public transport stopped in Voss! I arrived at a Christian Hostel and was pleased to go to sleep! Craig my team mate arrived the following day and seen as it was the last accommodation in town, we shared a tiny room with a put up bed instead of a desk. It had started snowing and didn’t seem like it was going to stop! We were unsure whether they would be able to pull off the FIS event due to the huge amounts of snow that had fallen. The organisers were VERY keen to get an event off and we went out for training. It was soft, it was bumpy, bad visibility and there were lots of rollers at the start of the course which were pretty intense. It continued snowing and one line had been slipped in the course. We all did a qualification run and everyone was sure that they would not run finals given that there was so much snow next to the course and with 4 people, it would just seem dangerous. But no, they ran the finals, some competitors refused to start it was really difficult conditions. I managed to crash twice in my first heat, once at the top of the course in the compression, then my ski came off into the corner jump. It was a crazy event, but I finished in 7th position which was quite good, there was not really a lot to report from the event.

Cypress World Cup - Olympic Test Event - 26th place

February 9th 2009

Well what a week! One of the more difficult weeks I have endured! It started with a foot of snow in London, therefore Heathrow shut down and all flights into or out of London were cancelled for the whole day. So out came the insurance policy and off I set to find the cheapest flight via anywhere other than London I could. There were massive queues everywhere but I managed to buy a KLM flight online, which happened to be the same one as Em. I am not sure whether it was just being run down or all the sprawling across the floor at Geneva airport trying to book flights online, read insurance policies, while moving up in the queue or what but I had a bad head cold that made my head feel like it was going to burst on the aeroplane and my ears as if they were at completely different levels.
We arrived in Vancouver and were put up at a very nice hotel in downtown Vancouver! After a pretty rough sleep, and some serious jet lag, We went out the following day for training. The conditions were very warm, about plus 5 and sunny. The course was a bit different to normal. A lot of features about 14 jumps, berms and a lot to think about. Some of the jumps were pretty big and due to the slow snow it was difficult to gain enough speed to make the landings. We had a second day of training and went out for qualifications the following day.
Qualification went quite well, there was one corner table jump at the bottom that I just couldn’t clear, but other than that it was alright. I skied into 27th position and had qualified for the finals. I went to pick my race skis up at the bottom and couldn’t believe what I saw…a huge chunk out of my base, right down to the core about 6 cm long! I had obviously hit a big rock in the course or at least landed on it. I was pretty annoyed about it, and after seeking some help from a few technicians I was off to get it fixed asap, as I only had 2 pairs of skis and the training pair was in pretty bad condition from general use! When I got back to the hotel, Coni one of the Swiss guys offered to help fix it and he glued it up and did a great job of it! I went out for finals the following day. The finals started at 1pm so the course had had the sun on it for hours. It was really wet and slow and the landings didn’t hold up very well, there were troughs in most of them. Em was in the first heat and I was in the third heat. After Em’s heat had left I heard over the radio at the top, “racer down, 2nd last jump, we’re going to need a blood wagon.” I had a bad feeling it was Em and shortly after I was notified that it was. She had injured her knee and she passed a message up via medical staff to tell me that she was OK, worried that I may not start my heat but rather get down to help her. I guess it is times like these when you really wish you had some support staff. I can’t say I felt 100% confident, Em had just been taken off in a blood wagon and I knew the landings were a bit sketchy. I guess I didn’t give it everything, I had a good start but over the first wu-tangs I just fell into 4th place and sat there. I finished in 26th position. At the bottom I ran off to get all of Em’s stuff together and got over to the medical centre asap. I spent the next hours/days helping Em get everything together, comforting her, arranging MRI and talking with her insurance, getting her to the doctor and Airport. She has done a pretty good job of it and it looks like she will be out for the rest of the season after having surgery. Get well soon Em, I miss you already! It was all quite a draining experience and a long week. I was very happy to arrive back in France for a much needed rest. I am off to Norway next and on to Sweden and Japan after that. I will be in touch!

World Cup at Lake Placid - The Coldest Place on Earth!

24th January 2009

We left Flaine, and departed for Lake Placid, USA. Em and I met up in Newark, New Jersey airport. It had been a long few days and upon arrival into New York Albany airport, my luggage as per usual, did not arrive. This time I was not alone, most teams were without luggage but by the time we arranged for my luggage to be sent on and got the keys to the hire car, it was already getting on to 8pm. We got to the hire car, which they had told us was in parking slot 24, we made the comment “wow that’s pretty big for a small car, I would call that intermediate at least!!” and we put all our bags in the car and tried to put the back seats down to get the skis in when Em said “Mate, I can’t open the boot.” So I said well try the ignition to check we have the right car….”Mate they don’t work in there either”…we had managed to load up someone else's car with all our stuff! After laughing quite hard we got all our stuff out and I started walking around the car park pressing the unlock/lock button repetitively. Luckily we found our car about 200m away. We managed to get a Chrysler Cruiser which we thought was terrific, total style! We set off in the wrong direction for Lake Placid, 15 minutes hadn’t gone by before we had to stop and ask directions! We ended up stopping for a pizza along the way in a ghost town. We were pretty tired by this point, after all the travel, I was seeing double, Em was dozing off and we still hadn’t reached Lake Placid. So after a dangerous drive, we finally arrived at the Olympic Training centre, when we got out of the car…oh my god….I understood at an instant why this place was called the coldest place on earth…it really was! It was somewhere down around –40 mark, it hurt to breath, you just coughed! We ran inside and were told “You aren’t staying here and the accommodation lady has left for the evening”. No one was able to tell us where our hotel was, we were so tired and it was so cold, we just wanted to go to bed. No luggage, freezing cold and no accommodation….this was getting better by the second! Luckily one of the ladies felt pity upon us and luckily there had been a recent flood in the training centre, thus a section of rooms had been damaged, had no carpet and water damage, so she said she could set us up in one of those rooms for the night and we could sort it out in the morning when the lady arrived at 8am. Thankfully we grabbed the room key and got straight into bed! We were in the first training group in the morning and we were absolutely shattered!!

We slept very well, we woke up and arranged where our accommodation was. My bags had arrived over night which was perfect and we travelled across town ate breakfast and got ready to go up for training. The event was being held at Whiteface mountain. We got up there for training and it was savage, the snow machines were blowing in your face it was –35, it was painful, everyone had every bit of their skin covered, I didn’t think my body was going to function! We couldn’t believe there were people skiing out of choice…as Em told one of them “this isn’t pleasurable, this is punishment, we have to be out here, now get inside and get yourself a hot chocolate!” A lot of teams still had no luggage so the training group was small. The course was quite flat, open and had a section with about 4 doubles in a row and quite a big step up jump. The first jump was quite difficult, you either had to suck it with no speed or jump for your life at full speed and still not make it. We took a run and went inside to warm up, took another run, went inside to warm up, our boot liners had a thin layer of ice all around them, the boot shells were rock solid, it was absolutely freezing out there!

It warmed up to about –20 the following day, we realised that this cold snap was not normal when locals said it was the coldest snap they had had in years. I was glad to hear it, and –20 seemed totally acceptable after the first day!! We had another training day, I managed to double eject off the first jump and went off the second jump on my stomach like a penguin. You know when you are winded yet you can still hear people cringing from the chairlift… this crash hurt my shins quite a lot but I was not alone as a few people did exactly the same thing! We had qualification the following day. Because the course was so open, every mistake made a huge difference in time, I was slow in qualification and quite disappointed but they took 32 girls for finals so I was in 29th and ready for my first heat of finals for the season.

Finals took place the following day, I had a difficult heat, but pulled out with quite a good start, I was in 3rd and then didn’t give 100% into the first turn and came out in 4th. It was good to get into the heats again and it made the trip very worthwhile. Final placing was 28th. The following day, we stacked the Cruiser full and also gave Chloe a lift to the airport, 3 people, 3 big bags, 7 sets of skis, and a number of small bags, it was a tight squeeze but we did it! Amazing what you can fit into a small car! Em and I travelled back to Europe before heading to Canada in February.

Update from Les Contamines World Cup

Date: 10th January 2009

We are now in Les Contamines, France for our second world cup of the season. The course was excellent, fast smooth and lots of flowing features! We managed to get in some great training and things were feeling really good, even grabbed a few compliments from other nations coaches which was very encouraging. It was the sort of course that one minor mistake and you lost a lot. After being so pleased with my skiing in training, I don't know whether I stiffened up from nerves or what, but for a double feature that I managed to ski really comfortably on the 8 training tuns, I managed to open right up into a T jump over...not fast! Thus losing speed onto the flat. Mainly disappointed that I could have been right in there on a good run, I ended up in 38th place, it wasn't too bad considering but I am looking forward to Flaine, event though my tib and fib are hurting already! I have taken many positives from this event and will write again after the 3rd World Cup in Flaine!