|A very happy Emilie after the sprint|
I had a bit of a rough start to the day on Friday. A week ago, I dropped a 40 pound trap door on my head and ever since, I have been getting headaches. Friday was no different, and I woke up with a headache once again. Having heard about so many bad experiences that athletes have had with concussions, it is needless to say that I was pretty scared. After either having problems with sickness or injuries for the last 3 years, I have become very wary of this type of thing. So, more than ever, I understand the importance of making sacrifices that will pay off in the long run. After talking to my coach, Kieran, I decided to not race. I was heart broken. I don't think I have ever been so disappointed about not racing in my life! About 30 minutes before my race, Kieran came to see me. He had talked to a doctor and he was pretty convinced that I didn't have a concussion. So, I decided to race! After about a 15 minute warm-up, I was at the start line ready to go...kind of. It wasn't my best qualifier but I felt A LOT better than I did in the Canmore sprint. I was feeling pretty confident that I could go a lot faster in the heats! Going through the quarter and semi-finals, my goal was to ski as efficiently as possible while testing out different tactics. When it came time for the finals, I was confident that I could win. I had super fast skis and got ahead on the first downhill, so I decided to just go for it!
|Celebrating my sprint win|
The best thing about Fridays race though, was something that you might not expect it to be. It was great to feel good skiing again and to win, but the best part was how excited everybody seemed to be about my win. Coming into the finish, there was a lot of cheering, after the race, I was greeted by my very excited teammates and coach and for the rest of the day, Nakkertok parents and skiers came up to me to give me a hug and congratulate me. Everybody seemed to be just as excited as me about the race. This is when I finally realized and understood that when I was going through tough times, everybody had my back. Having that kind of support is the best thing you could ask for as an athlete and it is hard to fully understand how important it is. I guess sometimes running into an obstacle (double meaning intended) is what it takes to fully appreciate skiing and everything that comes with it.
|My teammate Alex, very excited about my win even though she missed out on making the A-final because of a fall|
|Coming down Dirks Dive with Ember Large close behind in the 15km classic race on Sunday|