This is your last blog post from me…because the World Cup season is now finished! It was a big year and I got to race over 40 times in 9 different countries! These are all the countries I trained and raced in, although I went to some of them more than once: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, USA. I had some great races and got 5 World Cup podiums, but I also had some races that weren’t so great and I learned a lot of lessons from them. Having bad races and then learning from them is what made me faster for the next ones! Overall, I’m very happy with how the year went, and I had a lot of fun traveling and racing with my teammates. We work hard to be good teammates to each other and it makes the long season a lot more fun when you are friends with the people you live with!
This past week we’ve had three very exciting races in Sweden! We first flew to Stockholm for a city sprint, like the one I told you about in Drammen, Norway. They closed off streets and laid down snow, with banners and fences all along the side of the course. But what made the Stockholm sprint extra special was that it went around the Royal Palace! We got to race right in front of the palace, then they spread snow up and over the steps to form a hill so we went up one side, back down and around the palace, and then up the other side in a “U” shape. There were royal guards in uniform guarding the course, and the King himself handed out medals to the winners. That’s a pretty cool race, and I wish we had a race like this back home. Can you imagine if we raced around the White House and the President of the United States came to watch and hand out the medals at the end? That’s what it was like for the Swedish skiers racing in their home country.
The past two weeks, I have been training, traveling and racing in Norway. The first week I was just training, because we had a weekend off from World Cup racing. I drove with my teammates to Sjusjøen, which is where part of the Norwegian Birkiebeiner trails are. You might have heard of the American Birkie (and I bet your parents probably have!) but the Norwegian Birkie race is where it all started. There are hundreds of kilometers of groomed ski trails in Sjusjøen, and I only skied a fraction of them in the week that I stayed there.
Hi MYSL friends!
This week I’ll be answering some questions you’ve been asking about racing on the World Cup. But first, a short update on the last weekend of racing! After our recovery week and training camp in Italy after the Tour de Ski, we traveled to Nove Mesto, which is a small town that’s very into cross country skiing, biathlon and bike racing in the Czech Republic. We raced an individual 10km skate, and a 4x5km relay, and it was a huge weekend for team USA! In the skate race, we had four girls score points. To score a World Cup point for your country, you have to finish in the top 30 people. In that skate race I finished 3rd, so I got to be on the podium for the second time in a World Cup! It was really exciting and I was so happy to have another good race.
Hey there MYSL skiers!
Since I last wrote to you, some very exciting things have happened! I finished the Tour de Ski in 10th place, and 6 of my teammates also completed every stage race and finished the Tour. Sophie Caldwell and I both won stages of the tour; Sophie won a classic sprint, and I won an individual start 5km skate race. It was such an exciting tour for our team. I’m going to walk you through the day and what it felt like to be the first American woman to win a modern day distance World Cup!
Hi there MYSL skiers!
I hope you are all ready for snow, because I sure am excited to start the ski season! I’m writing to you about our training camp in Gällivare, which is in Sweden. It’s 100 kilometers North of the Arctic Circle, and there is no easy way to get there, especially from Minnesota! My travel day looked like this: I flew from Minneapolis to Amsterdam (Holland) from Amsterdam to Helsinki (Finland), and from Helsinki to Rovaniemi (also Finland), which is the official airport of Santa Claus! There’s a bunch of Holiday decorations in the airport and it’s a pretty big vacation destination for Finnish families. From the Rovaniemi airport we drove 3 hours to Gällivare, where we stayed in little houses on top of a mountain.