My recent absence has been the result of being a volunteer at a World Cup Ski-Cross event being hosted in Canada. WOW! It is an awesome experience.
As a result of being at this event and helping out, I have been on hill for 7-8 hours per day making sure that the execution goes flawlessly. It is a chore when you combine the skill and egos if 110 athletes from around the world(23 counties) with mother nature and the Federation International of Skiing head man from Switzerland. The only thing that comes to mind is 'prima donna'. However, I am working with the greatest 30-40 people that could be imagined and it is a blast.
I have missed another day of workouts, but I am not hurt by it. I spend my entire day working to make certain that the race course is in a safe and fast condition. It involved being on my skis all day as well as running up and down the hill in my ski boots. from an overall physical perspective I am feeling the pain of a workout, so it is a workout!
What is cool about this event is the environment. It is an international high stakes game with the best of the best at the table. As the Olympics are around the corner, this event is the last chance for athletes to make it to the Olympic team for their country. with the stakes being what they are, the best of the best are on stage. The media is here from everywhere(the event is being broadcast live to Europe), sponsors are having parties all over the place, fans are pushing to get the best vantage point.
Today the competition was a qualifying round. It was held in a TT format where racers individually raced the course trying to set the fastest time possible. Out of 110 athletes only 64 get to race tomorrow. If they dont make it past today, almost assured they will not be going to the Olympics. The intensity reflects the goal that many have chased their entire lives. Some on the hill have raced on other disciplines earlier in their ski careers. As ski cross is in the Olympics for the first time, the stakes are high.
The intensity was awesome, watching the concentration of the racers is one that could only be world class. As i watch the racers ski towards me you can see the focus, it is awesome. Today was eaSY relatively speaking, Tomorow here is the scene; imagine roller derby on skis. the course is about 10 meters wide, and 4 people take off down the course at the same time. They are racing for the finish line. In most cases it is not a bad deal, but remember this is an Olympic year!
If life provided the chance I would do this full timer and loving doing it!
I will post some awesome photos tomorrow of young men and women chasing their dreams! Until then, I am exhuaset so I need to get some sleep for an early start! Cheers