12.13.16 Christmas Season in Davos
Hello MYSL skiers!
I heard that Minnesota finally got some snow, and I hope you’re all out with your families enjoying the winter weather! I’m writing to you from Davos, Switzerland, where I’m surrounded by grassy fields and no natural snow at all! The only snow in town is man-made by snow-guns, and then brought in by trucks to be spread out on the race course in a shady valley so that the sun doesn’t melt all the snow. If you’d like to see what it looks like, here is a really cool video showing you what “snow-farming” is and what the course looks like in Davos, where I am now! Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIwYDyTRNgY
The course here in Davos is one long ribbon of snow, and there aren’t any crazy steep hills, but for 3 kilometers it winds it’s way up the valley before turning around and going back down again. Because it’s gradual climbing and descending, you never get to rest and that makes the course very sneaky because you can get too tired without realizing it!
The sprint course here is two laps of a circle, and you go up a short but steep hill each lap before coming down the other side in a really fast tuck. Then, you have a really tricky sharp right hand turn before sprinting to the finish! It’s a very exciting day but there are also a lot of crashes because of the ice on the corner. I was able to make it through each round in the sprint heats all the way to the final, so it was a good race for me!
Every year we come to Davos and stay in the same hotel, and now in my 6th year here it feels like my European home. The US Ski Team has been staying at this same hotel since before I was born! Many of the hotels in Europe are quite different than the big hotels in the US…they’re smaller buildings and run by families. So when you stay in the hotel, you get to know the staff and owners by name and they remember you year after year! It’s really fun for us to see our friends in hotels around Europe every year, and they take very good care of us.
The other thing I love about Davos is that every year here we do a team-wide Secret Santa. Usually, we all pick names out of a hat and then write a poem about the person who’s name we drew. Then, we all put the poems in the lobby and everyone has to find their own poem and guess who wrote it about them! But this year, we mixed it up and instead drew a portrait of the person we picked, and donated $15 to a charity or organization that you think they would like. They were really fun to see and guess who’s drawing was who, and when you found your own drawing you had to guess who created it. Andrew, one of the wax techs, drew me and then donated to MYSL for me, because everyone on the team knows I love the MYSL! So that was pretty cool!
Happy skiing! Enjoy the snow!