» Montreal, QC
I am the Overall North American Cup Champion for the 2009/2010 season!!!
I can’t believe it but it’s true! I’m completely happy and a little bit amazed at everything that happened this season, and today especially to make it happen.
Coming into today’s race Will Brandenberg of the U.S. was ahead of me in the overall standings by 18 points. I hadn’t given up yet, but Will is an amazing slalom skier so I had prepared myself for the fact that he would probably win the title. This might have helped me a little because I was totally relaxed in the start of the first run, and laid down one of the better slalom runs of my career. As predicted Will laid down an even better one from bib 1 and was sitting in second.
Going into the second run I was a little more nervous because I knew that if I wanted to even have a shot, I would need to have another run like my first. But I figured it was better to lay it all on the line and blow out knowing I had given it everything, than put down a mediocre run and know that I could have been faster. With that in mind I laid down another of my better slalom runs, made a decent mistake at the bottom, but was still in there. Mari and I were standing in the crowd at the finish watching the remaining 10 racers and I remember saying, “Well, I was second on the season, that’s pretty good right?”. I knew that in order for me to win, Will had to ski out, and I had to be somewhere inside the top 15. (The whole season I’ve been trying not to get stats and numbers in my head because that has thrown me off my game in the past) Watching Will come down was one of the most stressful things I’ve done in my career so far. As he came over the knoll onto the last pitch and into view I thought, oh well that’s that.. So when he crashed through a hairpin on the 2nd last roll in the course, I couldn’t even believe it! The crowd (mostly Americans) let out a collective groan, while I let out a mini scream of joy before I caught myself! I still wasn’t sure I had won until Travis told me I was 13th in the race and that gave me 2 more points in the overall. I was stunned. I was ecstatic, relieved, surprised, overwhelmed. It was incredible!
Will and I have had a good battle over the last half of the season and I can’t even imagine what he’s feeling right now, because we were both so close right up to the last run. If he had won I couldn’t have been too disappointed because he deserved it just as much as I do.
The title means I have a spot in every World Cup race next season! That doesn’t mean I will race every, or even close to every one, but if the coaches feel I’m ready, I’ll be in there!
It means so much to me to have won the title. I can remember a few years back when I first started racing Nor-Ams, watching the top guys and wondering how in the world I would ever be able to compete with them.. And now I’m the one on top. It’s a little surreal when I think about it! A lot of hard work has paid off this year, and although this is a big step in my career, it’s only one step and hopefully there are many more to come!