Race day… Last race day might I add!! Wake this morning feeling pumped for today’s race. Pumped, but anxious because this is the last race of the Worlds. After breakfast I took off early to head to the hill to get in a little alone, focus,and train time in. Inspection begun…and nerves kicked in. Today was the Sprint Classic which includes GS gates, Jump, More GS gates, go into the wrap, and then a short skate at the finish. The trail is a world wide famous trail for hosting World Cup events on the Alpine skiing circuit. Super demanding, icy, steap and rolling knolls.
Start time!! Nerves nerves and more nerves. Jump in the start gate, no teammates because I was the last American down the hill. The goal was to limit the penalties. I figured if I slowed down a bit and concentrate on making clean turns I would avoid the penalties. Time to rip, I skied the top conservative (so I thought) got to the first big roller and nailed it….Pumped…. had a few turns before the jump, picked up a penalty as I knew I did not make a proper tele turn…the jump…boosted off it and nailed the line landing in a perfect tele turn, after the jump I opened it up and let the skis run baby…cranked a few turns trying to gain some time…had two more big turns left and got really late barely making the gates…headed into the rap (which was extremely dicey today) and then off to the skate where I have learned that the skate might actually be a strong point for me, weird…. got into the skate to be greeted by tons of fans… made the first switch back and met a few of my teammates inside the ropes running along side me cheering me to the finish…. powered through the skate and felt strong through the finish….instantly looked up a the jumbo tron…..saw myself in my yellow and purple suit, saw my bib number 53 then saw my place……25th….shocked…..and split second later my teammate comes up to me and throws a huge hug to me and says “Tommy, 1 penalty!!”
Finally I slammed a good run down without a ton of penalties.
Nerves nerves and more nerves…The second run was later in the day for TV purposes so that it would be aired prime time. 600,000 viewers viewed it two days ago. My teammates very pumped for my good run that I posted and encouraged me to put down one more run…it was good to hear that from a few of them.
Second run- Depending on how you finish the first run determines where you start for the second run. So instead of going 53rd like I did the first run, I went 25th and moved up a lot. This is a good thing because the course will be smoother since there were will be less traffic. Well as I am waiting at the top of the hill to race my 2nd run all the guys that are usually standing around are no where to be seen… Its all the guys that I have been watching and learning from all week..all the guys that have been finishing in the top 20….Arrrrrhh, nervous feeling it… I tried not to let any doubt or insecurity creep into my head but rather stay focused…
I am not sure if I mentioned this or not in my earlier emails, but I did have a personal goal for myself. That was to finish in the top half of the field. In the previous races, I have not accomplished that.
Race time!!! (I will make this one quick) This time all my teammates were at the top!!! They got me quite pumped up as I blasted out of the start and was in my charge attack mode. I skied the top fast, picked up a few quick penalties but charged on to the jump. Once again, nailed the jump and skied hard to the wrap…. hit the wrap well and then off to the skate….huge burden off my shoulders as I knew I had the hard part of the course done and I could let it all hang out in the skate. Killed the skate as I made up time there for some of the penalties I picked up. Crossed the finish line and was happy. Not as good as my first run. But I came to the World Championships with a goal set, and I reached it!! 28th place. I am thrilled!!!
My team and coaches were quite excited for my result as were a few of my new friends from other countries that I met.
Walked away from today, feeling…thankful. I am blessed with the opportunity just to be here. Thank you Lord for the gifts you have giving me.