I couldn’t wait for this season to be over about a month ago and now that it is… I honestly don’t want it to be!
My goal for Sochi Olympics, as most of you already know was to go out there and have fun, ski my best and know I couldn’t have done anything more – and I did just that.
I was really concerned leading into the Olympics that no matter what I tried to do, I wouldn’t be satisfied with my overall result. Even though I didn’t put a number on it, deep down I knew if I finished in the top 10, I would be over the moon. If I finished top 15, I’d be ok with that but if I finished in the top 20 or worse… I would be devastated.
With the way the season had gone, I wasn’t excepting miracles but I sure was going to get in there and fight as hard as I could.
Last year at the test even in Sochi, I crashed pretty bad on my first training run and pulled out of the race due to a few minor injuries. My first training run on the Olympic track just last week, I crashed pretty big again, knocking my head, putting a big egg on my forehead and scrapping my chin on the ice. I was ok but decided with 3 days of training on the track, I would sit the rest of the training session out.
Day 2 on the track, on my second run, I crashed again landing hard on my right hip. I picked myself up and headed back around to give it another go, now feeling a bit frustrated that this course was getting the better of me! On my 3rd run, I crashed again over the start feature landing on my other hip… I was really struggling now to hold it together but managed to do a good 4th and final run for the day making it all the way down to the finish!
Luckly, the men were racing the next day so I had a whole day to get my body back into feeling good again. I was pretty sore, had loads of physio and ice baths which got me feeling like a new person on our race day.
I definitely was a little freaked out with the numerous crashes I had. I called in an emergency skype session with my sport psych. We talked over a few things such as why I thought I was struggling on the course, how I was feeling, he also reminded me that I ski best when I am having fun and smiling. I decided to get back on the good road, put my pity card away and start to get excited about the race.
Later that night, our team psych sent me an email with a picture of me holding my bronze medal from X Games which brought a bit of a tear to my eye just remembering how great an achievement it was but also how much fun I actually had during that comp.
Race day finally arrive. I would have to say I was a little nervous but I was way more anxious and excited to get the race underway. I felt really good, had a massive smile on my face and was surprisingly quiet relaxed!
I knew for me to be fast I had to make all the landings and be super clean. I skied really well, nailing everything until I came unstuck halfway down! OH MY GOD…. What was going on with me, another crash!
I surprisingly felt totally fine about my crash, laughed it off and headed back up to the start to get ready to race (who was that person!).
My memory of standing in that start gate in my first heat at my 3rd and final Olympics will last with me forever. I was so excited, massive smile on my face and even gave a little “woo” while waiting for our heat to kick off.
I some how managed to surprise myself, my coaches and other nation coaches with how well I skied. I had obviously skied this well before but when you are lacking some confidence, it’s not always so easy to do. I guess I knew deep down that I had to ski out of my boots to have a good chance at even competing with the top girls.
My starts weren’t great but I managed to ski the top section well and catch the other girls in my first heat. In the 1/4 finals, I also didn’t get the start right and just as I was catcing the girls I overshot a triple roller jump, missing the acceleration and getting stuck in 3rd not being able to do anything more to catch the girls ending my day.
I was a little disappointed that I had overshot that one feature but it’s the Olympics and you can’t make mistakes like that to be competitive. I knew I had performed well, I had more fun then I ever thought I would.
When the race was done, I wasn’t going to leave until I saw the two Canadian girls who took Gold and Silver. I was so excited for them, they both very much deserved it. I had trouble holding back my tears when I hugged them both causing them to cry too but it was such a great moment
As the crowd had basically left, I sort of hung around a bit not wanting to leave… I stood there wondering why I wasn’t leaving like everyone else. I looked a little deeper and realised that I just didn’t want it to be over. I had such an amazing day that it made it hard to walk away. After a few tears, I realised how greatful I was to be able to end my career on such a great note.
I have been asked if I will ever compete again numerous times lately. If I got asked last week, I would have said “hell no, never again, can’t wait for it to be over”! Now, I don’t want to give a definite no!
This next year is going to be very tough while I try and find my feet in “life after sport”. I hope some great opportunities are just around the corner. I will finish my Sports Studies, keep my ear to the ground for media opportunities such as commentating, a little coaching with younger kids where I can help develop them as athletes, giving back all that I once took from all sorts of amazing people.
I am all packed up and am in transit back to Australia which I’m excited about. Looking forward to some sun and beach time for a while!
A massive thanks to the AOC for doing such an amazing job in Sochi, especially to Siobhan. And of cause our coaching staff, Kenny and Aerin for getting me through it all.
I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in my sporting career over the past 23 years. You have all played a massive part in my pretty successful sporting life. I certainly didn’t get to tick all the boxed and reach all my goals in skiing but I certainly did a lot. There are only few people who actually get to tick all the boxes, there isn’t one on the Ski Cross tour in the women yet.
- Senior National AUS Champion
- Medal at an Alpine Europe Cup
- Make top 30 in an Alpine World Cup
- Medal at a World Cup
- Medal at Winter X Games
- Win a World Cup
- Win an Alpine Europe Cup
- Win a crystal glob (World Cup overall winner)
- Win a World Championships medal, any colour!
- Win an Olympic medal, any colour!
Once again, thanks to everyone. This isn’t the last you’ll hear of me yet. I would still like to thank a lot of companies, people etc but until the end of the blackout period, I will have to stick to this for now.
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