I got back from New Zealand a few weeks ago, so this Blog is a little behind schedule, but I'm revamping my site, and I will be keeping it up to date the rest of the season! It was a great first camp as the new US Europa Cup team, coached by Ian Lochhead and TJ Lanning, and serviced by Nico and Toyo (they don't have last names).. And it's Monday, so check out these pictures instead of doing your work.
The trip started out with a BANG when all of my bags stayed strapped to each other, but not to the roof of our our awesome mini-van on the highway. Super coach Ian Lochhead seen here inspecting the scene of the crime, luckily no serious damage was done to my new skis!
Our first day at Round Hill on Lake Tekapo was epic, even though I decided to drag some face on my third run of the day..
The weather gods swiftly turned against us after a magical first day and gave us four days of rain. After watching 27 movies and playing 100 games of speedball during the first two cancelled days we traded our speed suits for our swim suits and rallied to the coast to enjoy what felt like summer..
On the 4th day in a row of cancelled skiing we started reconsidering our career's as ski racers for becoming bank robbers. A final decision has not yet been made..
When the sun finally did come out we had moved to a ski area called Ohau, which is an awesome funky little place with a real skiing soul. The views speak for themselves..
Summer camp beds, no internet, "tenoccer" (tennis-soccer) games to 100 on an epic concrete court, and lots of animals to keep us entertained.
After a successful couple days at Ohau we moved to Arrowtown to train and race at Coronet Peak. We stayed at The Turret B&B on Lake Hayes which offered us amazing views everyday, anyone visiting NZ should give them a call! The training at Coronet was cold and dry, almost like Colorado snow, and I made some key changes to my new boots and skis that had me feeling good about the upcoming races. Unfortunately, skiing well in the summer and finding top speed racing can be two different things and I didn't perform in the races like I could have. That frustration compounded with my sudden knee pain didn't lead to any results on paper. I stayed down in NZ after the rest of the team left, to race more in Australia and back again in NZ.. My knee continued to bother me off and on the rest of the trip and I didn't have any results to write home about. But most importantly, I made some critical changes to my technique and equipment which I am confident will come together into speed at the bottom of the course some November when I race again.. Here are some more pics from the rest of the trip.
Skiing in Australia was a fun experience, it kind of had a little bit of everywhere combined into one very unique feeling. A huge THANK YOU goes out to Mama Laidlaw who put up half of the race at her house, AND cooked for us. At the end of the trip all of the boys went Melbourne and saw an Aussie Rules Football, or "footie", game. The stadium was absolutely gigantic, with capacity at around 100,000 fans! Against the strong recommendations of the Aussie's the Kelley brothers and myself are now die hard Collingwood fans!
When we got back to New Zealand we had a few days before the races started to "rest." Obviously to a group of ski racers this means buying a car for $300 and jump it till it dies. In a landmark event that will go down in history as me feeling like the oldest and lamest man alive I elected to skip jumping the car due to my series of serious concussion and guaranteed whiplash. Congratulations to Warner Nickerson and Nolan Kasper for spearheading the operation and Adreas Adde, Espen Lhysdal, Michael Ankeny, and some other crazy Norwegians for jumping the thing.
This trip wouldn't be possible without my team of supporters from funding it, or without my amazing teammates and coaches, and everyone who helped in-between including (but NOT limited to): The Lazor Family, the Laidlaw's, Warner Nickerson, Daniel Ericsson, Johhny Davidson, and more!
I am looking forward to skiing in Colorado in a few weeks and continuing my fundraising.
Thanks for reading!