As you already know, the east coast was slammed by Hurricane Sandy last week. I was just leaving Montreal when I found out about the severity of the storm. Not to mention, my family is from the northeast and live 100 miles inland. They were mostly unaffected by the storm but power outage was their main problem. Anyway, my own personal storm is happening right now since our training has picked up to a very high level. The main goal is to stay in great shape in preparation for the next World Cup in Nagoya, Japan. Also we need to stay healthy and well rested if we want to perform our best. If you have the right amount of both, you have The Perfect Storm.
I have been fighting a cold since we left Montreal. It’s hard not to get sick after 2 weeks of competition and traveling. Almost every skater on the team has been sick in this past week, so it goes to show you how hard the training is on our bodies. We make big jumps in our strength and conditioning while our immune system is playing catch-up. I think it is fair to say that we are training harder than ever this week. Our coach, Steve Gough, isn’t taking it easy on us. It is a crucial point in our training and he is the right man for the job.
Last week I got my first medal on the World Cup circuit. We placed a respectable third in the relay with Korea and China ahead of us. I will never forget receiving that medal. We made a lot of progress as a team since last season. Just getting to the A final after not skating together all season was a huge success! I applaud the coaches/staff and the team for a job well done.
Following the relay we skated an exhibition event called “The Madison” relay. The race was setup as a points race with 2 skaters in a relay team. I was on a team with JR Celski racing against the best skaters of the other countries. It was a grueling race with 5 points laps and 30 total laps. The ice was bad to start with, and with the amount of teams out on the ice it was complete chaos. I battled with the Dutch, Russian, Canadian and Polish teams to get to the front of the race. Every pass was risky, there was a lot of bumping and grinding, it was brilliant. Everyone was completely exhausted, specially after 3 days of intense racing. I remember moving up through the pack getting body checked by multiple teams, and just shrugging it off like we were playing on the football field. Then I would push JR to the front for the points lap. We ended up second behind the Canadians (Charles Hamlin and Olivier Jean). There were no awards so it was purely a race for bragging rights.
Here is a link to the relay: click here
For other races from the world cup, click here
So far I am very excited with my first two WC’s completed. I had a great experience traveling with the team and getting my first medal. We had some great times in Calgary and Montreal, and plenty of racing experience. Lets get ready for the next WC and trials immediately after.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions!