What an INCREDIBLE Day!! It is still quite surreal to be quite honest. Let me explain in the shortish but most thorough way. Why?? Cuz I gotta go to bed and race tomorrow……
After finishing 25th the day before I knew I had to ski my absolute best today in order to qualify for the sprint parallel. In order to qualify you have to finish top 16 among the men. Tough task here at the World Championships. If you qualify then you race the next day in the actual event- duel/parallel/head to head… The GOAL was to qualify. I had the game plan of skiing ALL out. I had nothing to loose, so I went into todays event with confidence and an attitude of attack.
Attacked is what happened today! I remember while in the starting gate of my first run actually gritting down on my teeth and saying to myself “it is time to attack.” I exploded out of the gate and quickly was in a good rhythm. Felt the snow really well under my feet….it was really bumpy and choppy snow so I quickly made an adjustment to be really light on my skis. Boosted the jump and cleared the line. Then a flat section that led us into the wrap was next. I recall during inspection that if I wanted to take a risky but rewarding chance it was NOW. I took that chance and it paid off. I was fast going into the wrap and could hear my coach in the back ground yelling at the top of his lungs that “I’m Home Free.” It was a different kind of yelling today from him. I could hear the excitement in his voice. I was having one. I powered through the skate section and crossed the finish line. The announcer’s voice perked up as he was commentating on my run….”USA Tommy Gogolen with a very very fast run….7th Place!” My heart sunk into my chest in disbelief as I heard my teammates going ballistic in the background. What just happened!!
It was not over though… I had the 2nd run ahead of me. The nerves quickly kicked in. And I mean quickly. I have never ever been in this position before. Let’s just say it was a long hour and half to my second run.
Second run……I skied it exactly like the first run. I MADE IT!! I finished 6th place. I can not believe this. The Lord blessed me today beyond my wildest expectations. My goal coming into the Worlds was to have 1 result out of 4 to finish in the top 20s. Tomorrow I am guaranteed a top 16. and I am a top seed!! I race against the 11th seed, a Swede. If you like underdogs…well I am for sure one of them. Out of the top 16 men 12 of them have all meddled in a World Cup event before. Me…ahhh my name is barely known among these guys.
It has been a great day! I have allowed myself to enjoy these past few hours BUT……Tomorrow I ATTACK.
Thank you Lord for the blessings you have thrown my way. Sure don’t deserve em.