These past two months of training and competition have been quite the whirlwind and I’ve been loving every second!! Above all, though, I’m very thankful that I’m having the opportunity to compete, train, and travel despite the global pandemic going on… Over the course of each competition (and training day!) over the past few weeks, I’ve stood at the bottom of the course, completely in awe of the fact that international competitions are even occurring. With quite a bit of restrictions barring us from “normal” life, words can’t express how thankful I am for the normalcy that competition has provided for me. I am also incredibly thankful for the fact that I’m feeling so healthy: my knee feels great!! Despite this, though, I know that there’s still a little bit of healing left to do before I’m truly back at 100%, given the standard ACL recovery timeline. As such, managing my mental state balanced with that recovery perspective in mind has been a bit of a challenge (I just want to go, go, go!!!). Overall, I’m stoked that I’m improving day after day, all while being aware (and taking care of!) of my physical, mental, and emotional states.
For most of January, I had the opportunity to train with my home club, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, primarily with coaching from Bobby Aldighieri, a mentor of mine who always does a phenomenal job of supporting me and helping me to achieve my potential!! Since the Steamboat High Performance Team is quite small, I was also lucky enough to have incredible training buddies for the month — one of whom is Maggie Ryan, one of my best friends and most motivated, hardworking people I know 🙂 As a result, January ended up being a super productive month, where I kept my COVID bubble pretty small and really put my head down, focusing intently on my training and the start of my second full-time semester at Columbia University.
Steamboat, too, always feels like home for me! Every time I go there, I’m welcomed into the community with open arms…I feel like I’ve always belonged, even though I’ve had the pleasure of living there for smaller stints of time here and there. This time was no exception!! One reason as to why this was the case is because I was fortunate enough to coach the U15 mogul group for a few days of skiing and help build their Junior course!! It was incredible (and inspiring, really!) to see how awesome the next generation of mogul skiers are! They loved every training session and were clearly hungry not only to compete, but also to simply improve each day. That was pretty neat. (Not gonna lie, I was pretty impressed — some of those girls had much better turns technique than I did when I was 12!!)
In terms of competing over the course of the past month, I absolutely loved being back in the gate and putting on a performance! I’m proud of my skiing at US Selections in Winter Park, the Deer Valley World Cup in Park City, and the FIS Open, which also took place in Deer Valley. Because of my process, I won 3 events over the course of the month (two days at US Selections and a day at the FIS Open!). At the World Cup, a mistake on my bottom air unfortunately cost me a spot in finals on Singles Day, and on Duals Day, I met Kai Owens, one of my teammates – in the Round of 32 – and unfortunately lost the dual by a mere point. Overall, I learned quite a bit about what I need to do to compete at my best and am quite excited to strategically apply those insights to my next competitions… Below are some of my favorite runs from competition!
My duals run against Kai at the Deer Valley World Cup.
My FIS Open Superfinals run from the second day of competition.
My Superfinals run on Day 2 of competition at US Selections in Winter Park, CO, at the end of January.
On that World Cup Duals Day in Deer Valley, Kai went on to win her first World Cup ever, and two of my other teammates (Hannah Soar and Tess Johnson) rounded out the podium for a USA duals sweep for the first time EVER!!! I’m super proud of those ladies; even though I would’ve loved to be one of the gals duking it out for a podium spot in those last few rounds, I’m stoked that the US Women’s Team has finally accomplished this goal of ours!! Our team is so competitive; we’re stacked with a huge number of incredibly talented girls…it was only a matter of time! It’ll be pretty sweet to see what we all can accomplish, especially moving into next year’s Olympic Winter Games… 😉
Now, time to finish off the rest of the season with a bang!! After some rest and training at home with family, I’ll be heading to Almaty, Kazakhstan at the start of March for World Championships and World Cup Finals as an alternate. Though I didn’t qualify for World Championships, I plan to be the best Team USA cheerleader possible – and to take in the entire competition as a big learning experience!! There’s plenty to take in from observing the environment that I plan to absolutely crush in future events… My season will finish out with US Nationals in Snowbird, UT, at the end of March! Stay tuned 🙂
A top to bottom run from my training in Deer Valley over the past few days.