Update from the Olympic Ski Cross Course at Cypress

Date: 21st February 2010

So I am back in Vancouver and have had two days training on the course at Cypress. For a mountain with no snow...they have done a great job! The ski cross course at Cypress is ..in a word...big!!! Out of the start you have sharp steps cut into the snow followed by two large wu-tangs, when I say large, they are 15feet! They also have steps cut out of them, making it even more difficult to clear, making the start super important! After these, the course really starts to get busy and fast! You take a big jump into the first banked turn, and then you follow a long track of big jumps, double rollers, banked corners, step ups, step downs, a triple, a corner jump and finishing with the 2nd last jump that kicks you high into the air, with a long flat section coming into the last jump built from scaffolding and wood, which is 4.5m high, throwing you half way down the landing ramp and into the finishing area. It is a long busy course, some describe it "like doing 60 squats with heavy weight".

The mens event was spectacular today! Michael Schmid from Switzerland being unbeatable, clearing out on the competition, Andreas Matt of Austria in 2nd and Audun Groenwald of Norway snapping up the bronze after Chris Delbosco, the Canadian favourite got thrown high into the air on the 2nd last jump and crashing down on his side. The whole event was just spectacular and truly intense to watch!

We have another day of training tomorrow before the ladies ski cross kicks off on the 23rd with qualification 10.30am Vancouver time and the finals starting 1pm. Training has been going really well for me so I hopeit all comes together on the 23rd. I am super excited!!!!!!!!! A few photos below with the ski cross ladies while waiting for the bus to Cypress, roasting in the sun!!! And the view of the athletes village from across the river!

Olympic Opening Ceremony...Awesome!

Date: 13th February

Wow, I have just returned to Calgary after the Olympic Opening Ceremony...and it was brilliant. Team GB were the best dressed, or atleast up there, and the red beret went down really well...and it grew on me! I must say walking through the underground with the performers and volunteers cheering and giving high 5 fives made the hairs on my back stand up. Thats when it started to hit home I AM AT THE OLYMPICS!!! Walking into the stadium was overwhelming, its just surreal. Very special. I thought KD Lang was one of the highlights of the ceremony, and I thought the minute silence for the Georgian Luge athlete who so tragically died in training earlier that day, was also done very well. The feeling of being in their amongst all the athletes from all nations was really quite special. I slept in the Olympic village but didn't have a lot of time to find my way around or make myself at home. I did like that we got a little token which hangs on our accreditation and you can walk up to any Coke Vending machine, swipe it and get what you want...free! SO COOL! I then flew back to Calgary for more training. I think I will be heading back to Vancouver on the 16th Feb. Unfortunately due to legal reasons we are unable to put photos from the opening ceremony on our blogs, so I will put some from before we got on the bus as a team. Go Team GB!

Pre-Olympic Training

Date: 11th Feburary 2010
We have had a couple of great days training. Remy, Adrian, Derrek and I went up to Nakiska to get some milage in, as the run here at COP is pretty short and flat. We had perfect conditions, it was nice to get on some steep terrain again. There was no one around, other than one snowboarder who ended up nearly being taken out by yours truly, but there were no lift queues and we skied for hours. As I mentioned previously, the recovery facilities here are excellent so after a contrast bath and a spin and stretch, I woke up feeling remarkably good!!! We trained on the course at COP this morning, working on a couple of things and had a gym session this afternoon. I feel like a totally different person to when I arrrived here in Calgary, so fresh and strong again!!! Next stop...tomorrow...Olympic Village for one night for the opening ceremony! I think everything is going to become a bit more real tomorrow! Be in touch!

Team GB Function

Date: 8th February

Tonight we had a Team GB function which was held at the top of the Calgary 1988 Olympic Ski Jump. Unfortunately it was a bit foggy which is apparently rare in Calgary, but looking down over the 90m ski jump was awesome! It was a great event, there was particularly good platters of mixed sushi which I must say went down very very well! Not only was it was a great chance to meet the other members of Team GB across all sports and many members of staff from the BOA who had come across for the occassion, but also a chance to bring out our formal wear, and sport a suit that didn't really fit me, but looked snazzy none the less.

British Pre-Olympic camp in Calgary, Canada

Date: 6th February 2010

I am writing from the British Pre-Olympic Games camp in Calgary. I arrived here absolutely exhausted and completely run down. After a few days of rehydrating, eating, resting and doing physical maintenance I am feeling human again!! These past 6 weeks have been the hardest of my life! The facilities here are excellent! It has been a great opportunity to meet so many of the other British Olympic athletes. It is so nice to have access to a Physio, Maggie has been amazing, working on me everyday, fixing up season long problems! We also have a fantastic performance centre with hydration testing daily, spin bikes, power plates, rollers, balls, BOSE sound system, everything you could need for a good recovery as well as daily hot/cold contrast baths which work a treat!

We have access to a starting gate and about 6 features up at Calgary Olympic Park where we are training most days. We also have access to the Calgary University Gym which has fantastic facilities and everything I could need and more, to maintain my strength and power.

Remy has arrived from France and it is all starting to become a bit more real. In just a few days I will be an Olympian!!! I feel so proud to have earnt the only ski cross quota spot for Great Britain at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics! I will be, and will always be the first ever Ski Cross Olympian from Great Britain!!! I was told something pretty cool tonight, there are over 7 billion people in the world, there are 35 Ladies who are going to be Ski Cross Olympians, which makes me 1 in 200 million! What a brilliant statistic!!!!

My schedule from here on is as follows:

12th Feb: Depart Calgary camp for Vancouver Opening ceremony
13th Feb: Depart Vancouver and return back to Calgary camp for more training
17th Feb: Officially depart Calgary camp for Vancouver Olympic Village
18th Feb: Ski Cross Inspection Cypress Mountain
19th Feb: Ski Cross Official training Cypress Mountain
20th Feb: Ski Cross Official training Cypress Mountain

21st Feb: Mens Ski Cross competition
22nd Feb: Ski Cross Official training Cypress Mountain
23rd Feb: Ski Cross Qualification and Finals Cypress Mountain!!!!!!!!!

I also added a new video from Alpe D'Huez, it was good skiing! You can find it in my 'Photos and Video' section in the navigation bar. Enjoy! Ok bed time here, off to COP in the morning for more training up on the course! Be in touch soon!