1.20.17 Tour de Ski; Heavy Medal
Hey there MYSL skiers and families!
A lot has happened since my last blog! I got ready for the Tour de Ski in Davos, Switzerland over the Holiday break, living with two of my teammates in a cute little apartment close enough to walk to the ski trails every day. Then we drove to Val Mustair, Switzerland, for the first stage of the Tour! The Tour de Ski is a crazy event we compete in every year where we race 7 times in only 9 days, moving across 3 countries!
Here’s what the tour schedule looked like:
Day 1: skate sprint in Val Mustair
Day 2: 5km classic race in Val Mustair, then drive 5 hours that night to Oberstdorf, Germany
Day 3: training, no racing
Day 4: 10km skiathlon in Oberstdorf
Day 5: 10km skate pursuit race in Oberstdorf, then drive 6 hours (in a snowstorm!) to Toblach, Italy
Day 6: training, no racing
Day 7: 5km race in Toblach, then drive 2 hours to Val di Fiemme, Italy
Day 8: 10km classic race in Val di Fiemme
Day 9: 9km skate race up an alpine mountain in Val di Fiemme!
If that schedule looked exhausting to you, that’s because it is! But it’s also a crazy amount of fun. Racing is my job, and I love to get the chance to try my best and go as fast as I can every day. So the Tour is a chance to do what I love over and over and over again!
During the Tour, I had two of my best races all year long! In the 10km Skiathlon, I was in a sprint finish for the podium. There was a long downhill before the final hundred meters of the race, and I finished right behind the girl who won! I was really excited and happy to get second place, and it was the first time I’d ever gotten on the podium in that race. The skiathlon is an event where we race the first half of the race on our classic skis and poles, then we come into the stadium and every skier has their own little box where they’ve laid out their skate skis and poles. You go into your box, also called your “pit”, and as quickly as you can you switch skis and poles. The best skiers can do this in about 15 seconds! It’s extra challenging because in the middle of a race, your legs and arms are tired and it’s hard to focus when you’re breathing really hard! For fun, you can try your own skiathlon next time you go skiing. If you only have one pair of skis just find a friend and switch skis and poles with them as fast as you can! Ski around a short loop as hard as you can, then switch your skis and ski another loop. It will feel funny at first to go from classic to skating so quickly! But it’s also a lot of fun.
My favorite race of the tour was the 5km skate race in Toblach. This was the race that I had won the year before, and I knew that I liked the course and that my skis would be fast. I went out and skied each hill on the course as fast as I could…and I won the race again! The best part was that my friend and teammate, Sadie, got third place so we got to stand on the podium together! It was such a special feeling for us, because we have trained together and worked so hard to help make each other fast, so when your friend does well it makes you happy because you know that you helped them get there!
The last day is a really crazy race, where we climb a mountain called Alpe Cermis. If you have ever gone downhill skiing, imagine racing back UP the hill! It’s a really hard race, but there are hundreds of people screaming and cheering on the side of the mountain. They hike up there on backcountry skis so they can ski back down, or they hike up with sleds! The kids run up the mountain for a little while next to their favorite skiers, screaming at them and waving cowbells. It’s a pretty crazy scene!
After the Tour was finished, we drove up to Seiser Alm, Italy, which is high up in the Dolomite mountains and it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever skied in the whole world. The food is amazing (and you know Italians know how to cook their pasta perfectly!) and it was sunny almost every day!
But this year, there was no natural snow at all, which was really sad. Winter is changing a lot all over the world, and places that used to always get 3 feet of snow now have brown grass on the mountainside. Luckily for us, the town made a 7km loop of manmade snow so that we could still train. After a week of easy, fun skiing it was time to start doing harder workouts again and get ready for the next World Cups! Wish us luck!