December 19, 2013


Just like that, 4 weeks of racing in Europe is over...

Arriving in Switzerland was spectacular. We were greeted by oversized chocolate bars in duty free, big mountains, plentiful sunshine, and a few more hours in the daylight!
My dream come true!

Looking up valley from the wax area towards our hotel, which was up on the pass.
Looking up a different valley, this is Fluela Pass, where the race course went. 

Nice views in every direction

Looking across the race trail from the wax area towards the stadium

Soaking up that D
Davos is your quintessential Swiss town and has been the home of a World Cup for many, many years. The U.S. Ski Team has used Davos as a training base for just about as long, not only that, but they have stayed in the same hotel all those years. Heinz is the owner of the Hotel Kulm and he knows all of us by name as well as all the former U.S. Ski Team members that have stayed there over the years. He has quite the memory. It makes it feel a bit more homey and welcoming and for that, we are all thankful.

Another great part of the Davos World Cup was that they had a coaches sprint relay after our race on Saturday. We put together a team with my coach, Erik Flora, as the anchor. As the coaches and wax techs lined up to start the announcer casually mentioned the numerous Olympic medals, World Champions, and the like. Although they might not be as fit as they once were, they still had quite a bit of fight in them, making for quite the spectacle.

Lining up

Leg 1

Erik chasing down Kazakhstan 

Erik coming in to the finish behind Germany and Russia
 This was also the last World Cup we would all be together before Christmas so we had a Secret Santa party. We all drew names out of a hat and we had to find a gift for that person as well as write them a poem. The gifts had to be edible, disposable, or usable close to every day since there is always a lack of space on the road. I conveniently, had a final paper due the same night as Secret Santa. I also thought that paper was due 2 days later and didn't find out otherwise until the day before it was due. As a result, I have to admit my Secret Santa gift and poem was not the most clever or creative thing, but I got it all down and even got an A on my paper. Everyone reads the poem that is for them, opens the gift, and then guesses who it came from. I was Sadie's Secret Santa and because she knows me all too well, she wrote a variation of the song "Really Rosie" so I had to sing for everyone. If you've ever heard my voice, or lack thereof, you know not only how embarrassing this was, but also how horrible it was. Needless to say, we all had a great time!
The team with all their gifts!
Now, on to the races. Davos is at moderate altitude and has long, long, gradual climbing and also gradual descending. I thought at least the uphill would suit my strengths so I was excited for the weekend. During the race, I felt average, but could never get myself into the next gear that I needed for the World Cup. Whether it was the altitude, my lack of skills on the downhill, tired legs, or some combination of it all, I left quite disappointed and looking for more. The second day of racing brought a skate sprint. This is my worst event so I didn't have too many expectations. Everything went as smoothly as I could have asked for, I just wasn't quite quick enough to make the heats. The silver lining was that I was only 10 seconds out of the lead, which I believe is the closest I have been to winning a World Cup race. I also got to watch the heats, which turned out to be pretty exciting as the U.S. had a stellar day, with 4 girls making the heats and 3 of those girls finishing in the top 12 as well as two boys making the heats.
Here is Simi as the top of the hill

Girls Final

Me racing in the 15k Skate

 As I mentioned earlier, all the girls on the U.S. Ski Team travel with furry friends to keep us company and remind us of home. We decided to take a Christmas picture with all our friends.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!