Okay, so here’s the story. After a brief stop in Choteau, MT (it’s out in the middle of nooowhere) for a break en route to Calgary, Canada, I don’t have a whole lot to say– 14 total hours of driving will do that– so enjoy a look at what happened at the end of Park City, what’s been going on since then, and where we passed through!
First up is a video of me receiving my 5th place medal!
Ski Jumps at Park City
To the left is the 120k ski jump at Park City…they’re still really high but are built into the mountain vs. the jumps in Lake Placid which seem terrifyingly high sitting on top of a mountain!
The video below is of my Curve 5 to Curve 6 transition in Park City. This transistion was really good because my top half was nearly perfect and I had a nice entrance into Curve 6. Curve 6 is the highest pressure curve on the track (and a double pressure turn) so it’s especially important to have a good entrance in order to keep your head from smacking the ice and yourself from crushing the right wall on the exit. A nice upper half of the course means a lot of speed at the exit of 6… I was going 78.1 mph!
Here’s what we’ve encountered so far in our journey through Utah, Idaho and Montana. Utah was fairly boring…the weather was very dreary and gray. Idaho had much better weather but was very, very flat. Well, Montana is too. However we found some cool stuff! First, this is what we saw entering Montana. How pretty!
Now, we also saw what we thought was a giant Jesus statue, but turned out to be a giant Mary statue on top of a mountain. The video isn’t great because you can’t necessarily realize how big it is, but you do get to hear us freak out which is fun in its own right.
Well, that’s all for now. We have to leave in about an hour for the track to take a quick track walk before our sliding session at 1pm. Pray for no flipping out of Curve 8, and no hard hits out of kriesel!
So the past two days have been hectic, crazy and anxiety-ridden, but here’s the good news (and pictures!)
AC Race #1 Podium
On the first Park City America’s Cup race on Wednesday, I placed 6th….and on Thursday’s race I tied for 5th!
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my performances. I competed against sliders with a great deal more experience than me and was able to hold my own. While I always strive to be better, I broke several PR pushes (I went from a 5.40 to a 5.23!) and several PR down times (from a 52.42 to a 52.09!) so I made great strides while training here in Park City. I’ve learned a lot and I’m super excited to come back here in January/February.
AC Race #2 Podium
Up next in the queue is Calgary. We have today to chill out and pack up, and we’ll leave tomorrow morning to make the 13+ hour drive up North. We’ll probably stop somewhere in Montana for the night and resume travel Sunday morning across the border and to our hotel.
Sunday afternoon we’ll have a track walk and official training starts on Monday and through Wednesday. We race on Thursday and Friday, and then drive back to Park City on Saturday. I fly out of Park City to Philly on Sunday evening so I can be home for Thanksgiving!
Another huge thanks goes out to everyone who wished me luck and thought positive thoughts over the course of these races….you have no idea how much I appreciate it and how much it helps! THANK YOU!
Additionally, a huuuuge thanks goes out to Catalina Arndt for taking a ton of pictures for us throughout training as well as during the America’s Cup races. Cathy is a Mom of one of the Youth Olympic Games competitors and is also a photographer. Thanks for the pics! I only put a few on here, but for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, I’ll post more there!
Tomorrow’s the first race of the season! Tonight I’ll take my final training run and then prep for tomorrow’s first America’s Cup race out here in Park City, UT. The International Training week (which was last week) and official training this week have definitely flown by…I can’t believe we’re racing tomorrow!
Training has been going really well for me. I’m starting to understand this track, and it’s also a ton of fun. Here’a quick look at yesterday’s exit of Curve 6 (1st run)…I especially like how you can literally hear how fast we come out of this turn which is where you hit your max speed on this track…I was going about 76 mph!
And here’s my entrance out of Curve 14 on my second run…I guess I got a little close to my coach?:
Anyway, we’re all pretty pumped for tomorrow, so I’ll make sure to post after tomorrow’s race to let you know how I did!
Today, I’m taking time away from sliding to write about a topic that is very important to me. First, about the title of this post. Yes, Aevidum is a word. It’s actually a pretty strong word. Here’s why:
When I was a freshman in high school, a classmate and friend of mine named Phil Cardin took his own life on November 6, 2003. His friends, family and the entire Cocalico community were stunned– what could make such a fun-loving, popular and athletic young man want to end his life?
The word Aevidum means “I’ve got your back.” The Aevidum club was first started at Cocalico High School in 2004 by Phil’s younger sister, Maggie, as an outlet to make the general public aware of the signs of suicide and depression. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, and is a public health issue that is entirely preventable. The Aevidum club is a depression and suicide education awareness initiative where informed adults empower middle school and high school students to:
1. Understand that depression is a treatable illness
2. Know the warning signs of depression
3. Use their gifts and talents to spread the Aevidum message of hope and be advocates for other students in need
Since Aevidum’s inception, the group has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Senate, Pennsylvania House, the nation’s top mental health experts, the mental health directors in Ohio and New York and professors at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, Florida State University and the University of Maryland.
We may have missed the signs of depression with Phil, but we don’t have to let tragedies such as his happen again. It’s time to shatter the shame surrounding depression and start saving lives across the nation. For more information on how you can pledge Aevidum, or start a club at your school, visit their website here. We have the opportunity to prevent another parent from losing a child, a sibling from losing a sibling, and a community from losing a friend. Some people touch our souls & stay in our hearts forever. Whose back do you have?
My lack of recent updates is mainly due to the fact that I’ve been too lazy to update. So I’ll start you off with a short video of our arrival in Salt Lake City on Saturday night and try to catch you up on what’s been happening over the past few days.
Our layover in Las Vegas was delayed about an hour or so longer than it was supposed to be so we finally arrived in Salt Lake around 10:30ish (so Midnight East Coast time) exhausted but happy that our sleds made the journey undamaged.
Our schedule has been fairly open throughout the day because we slide from 6:15-8pm each night. We have to be there an hour early to check-in to ensure we get on the start list for the session. Because the sliding session is so late, by the time we get home and shower/eat/wind down, it’s well after 11pm and we’re exhausted, which means no early morning wake up. Back in Placid, I like to be up around 7:30ish so I can be in the weight room by 9am. Here, we’re lucky to be up at 8am because we’re just so tired.
Fortunately, I’m not really bruised at all from my trips down the track. Some of my other teammates (mainly the guys) are pretty beat up from hitting out of Curves 6, 12 and 14. For those of you who don’t know, the track at Park City is completely different from Lake Placid. Firstly, PC is a gliders track with a ton of double pressures in curves. This means that as you slide through the turns, you oscillate….twice. Definitely an odd feeling the first time down. Lake Placid is more technical and the turns come at you more quickly.
Anyway, today is our final training day for the International Training Week. This Sunday starts official training for the America’s Cup races held on Wednesday and Thursday. Anddd I may get to see my Uncle Andy and cousin Austin on race days! They live out in Reno, NV and may make the drive out to see me race…fingers crossed!