Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Present

Well Well Well I finally got around to updating my connection to the Internet world. I guess I will give whomever reads this and enjoys it a little Christmas present. I'm going to write about two things in this one blog!!! WOW!!!! Merry Christmas to you!
racer in the History of the First I will write about my win!!! I WON! WOW it was incredible. I don't want to sound cocky but it wasn't surprising to me. I expected it this season, it was a goal of mine and it happened. The preparation was there, along with the support from everyone. It all came back to me. I had the platter in front of me and all I had to do was my part and I did. This victory was a special one. There were so many things that came a long with it. it wasn't only a my first win but it was historical in many ways. First off it was Kristian Ghedinas farewell. Kristian is the winningest racer on the famed Saslong. He has won on that course 4 times and medaled, I think around 12 more times. He took his farewell tour down the Saslong the day of the downhill on all of his old equipment. It was great to see because I respect Kristian. He was a great guy, always animated and happy to be skiing. He always had fun and made people feel comfortable around him.
I had the fortune of being handed his old technician, Leo Mussi. To have Leo preparing my skis for this race. I knew I couldn't have any excuses on that front. The night before the race Leo brought me into the tuning room and pulled out an old pair of Kristians old skis, they were the skis he used on his last podium performance in Chamonix, France in 2004. They have a piece of the top sheet missing and are very recognizable. Leo asked me If I would feel comfortable using them and I said "of course!" I knew then I was handed some magic sticks and they sure took me for a ride. I woke up the next morning and my stomach was aching. I talked to my girlfriend and told her I was nervous but it was a good feeling. I then saw Leo and told him I was nervous as well and he said he was too. He followed his comment up by saying "good things happen when I am nervous!" This really didn't make me feel any better, haha.
"I know what I need to do." They then said "okay do it!!!" and I would ski away with this powerful feeling inside me. There was so much confidence within me. It was funny, because I didn't finish a single training run. I went into the fence in the first one and my hammy still aches from it. Then the second one I missed a couple of gates in the The one thing that made me feel better was skiing. I got out on the warm up hill and felt so comfortable, I felt super balanced on my skis and had a very positive feeling. Then I inspected the course. As I was sliding down I could see what I needed to do and I told Brigham and JohnoSasslatt section of the course. I didn't have a feeling for the course at all. This was the same for Marco Sullivan, he in his history of running that course, has never made all of the gates, then he comes down and gets fourth!!! Congrats to him! I wish we could have been on the podium together.
I have much appreciation for the people who helped me get that win. I feel I have put forth a lot of calculated effort over the summer with my training and at our ski camps. I have noticed the progress and I want to thank several people for the efforts they put forth. Dr. Craig Buhler, if it wasn't for him I don't think I would be skiing today, plain and simple. He brought me back from injury and has helped balance my body out to where I can compete pain free. Scott Sanches has brought me to a level of fitness I have never experienced before. I feel balanced, I feel healthy, I feel athletic and this all leads to more and more speed. Kipp Nelson for supporting me in my training endeavors, if it wasn't for Kipp I most likely wouldn't have trained with Scott. The US Ski Team coaching staff. These guys are passionate about what they do. They also know what they are talking about. If it wasn't for their extra set of eyes. I probably wouldn't have had that course vision I had in Gardena. Brigham also has shown me time and time again, how much he loves seeing us succeed. This passion drives me and shows me how much they care. When we do succeed, I think he gets more excited than us!!

Now its time for Part 2

CHRISTMAS!!! For the second year in a row, I get to spend Christmas over here in the Euro land. Last season I had the opportunity to spend it at Resi Steiglers house in Lienz, Austria. It was a great experience and a fun gathering of friends, family and food. This year, I get to spend it with the Speed team in Bormio, Italy.
Some may say spending Christmas over in Europe without your family would be sad and lonely, but I feel different. Don't get me wrong, i do miss them but Christmas, is about the friendships, the gathering, the comradeory. When I am in the States I feel like Christmas is shoved in your face. I feel like I have to buy everything and be with everyone. I don't do it because I want to do it, I do it because I feel obligated to do it. There is so much tension flowing around me during the holidays, the world is about to explode, I cant think straight, aahhhhh. Right after Gardena I had the opportunity to go to Bolzano and experience the Christmas markets there. Shopping usually stresses me out, but this was exciting and fun!! I would walk around and witness the people enjoying themselves, partaking and sharing of other creations and tasting delicious food! Everyone was happy and friendly. The decorations around the city were pieces of art. I loved it. I wish Christmas was this way in the States. The real meaning of Christmas does still exist!!! I have seen it and I want to take it back to my home land!!!
I hope you find the real meaning of Christmas, and if you already have, please hold onto it! Go eat some cheese and drink some wassle! Go skiing if you have snow! Enjoy your time with your loved ones.
Much Love

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Earth is Getting Hotter!!!

Well Global Warming is real folks. I have to say it. I’m going to be out of a job in a few years if this persists! It’s sad. I do recommend reading or seeing An Inconvenient Truth. It is an eye opener! I don’t know what to think when I read this stuff. But it does make me want to put forth all the effort I can in trying to slow down this ever growing. The problem is I travel the world, driving, flying, staying in hotels, I consume consume consume, so I have little room to talk. I bought a terra pass, but I still don’t feel like that is enough. We as a group need to make a change in the way we live. We can take an example from Euros. The Europeans are quite efficient in their waste disposal, they don’t buy in bulk, over eat, or drive SUVs. For some reason we Americans don’t produce the most fuel efficient cars out there. Currently in Europe I am driving an unleaded VW Scharan (mini van!!! Oh yea) And the thing gets unbelievable gas mileage! 30-40mpg in the states the same car would get 20 mpg. Something is wrong here and no I am not mistaking kilometers for miles. I just think we can do a better job. And I think people will truly make an effort in this matter if they were simply educated. But in a situation like this the change has to come from the top. The government has to take the big steps, they have to provide avenues for us to make a difference, such as recycling, auto restrictions, mass transportation and renewable energy. I live in a city of nearly 300,000 people and we don’t even recycle glass. That is absurd!! We as individuals can make a difference, through simple efforts like car pooling, walking or riding bikes to work or the gym, using energy efficient materials. Remember it goes reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Heres a shot of the US Ski Teams training hill

Ahh the famous Tyrol region! Known for some of the best skiing in the world!

We flew into Munich under blue skies! And then drove to Innsbruck in 70 degree (20c) weather, it was fabulous! I was getting a tan but it was December 10th!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ski Salt Lake

During the week of the Beaver Creek World Cup DH’s I acquired my first head sponsor of my career! It is Ski Salt Lake. I am extremely excited to work with them. Not only is it a local organization, but I am truly passionate about skiing in Utah. Ski Salt Lake consists of four resorts, Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton, all of which are incredible ski areas. Whenever I am home and I have the chance to ski, I go up either of these canyons and experience their goodness! Little (snowbird/alta) and big (solitude/brighton) cottonwood canyons are blessed by the powder gods. They receive 400+ inches of snow a year! These resorts are what Utah skiing is about. The terrain is plentiful and it suits all skiing abilities, and the views are incomparable to anywhere in the US, it is a true skiing experience.

Here's a picture of me after hiking up High Rustler, Alta, October 22nd 2004 trying to get in some early season turns. And that I did, 3 feet of fresh with my brother and some friends!

Check out Ski Salt Lake at http://www.visitsaltlake.com/

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hometown Inspiration

Hey Hey!!! The season started off alright. I had some glimpses of greatness at Lake Louise in the training runs by winning one and top ten in the other. Then came the races, I skied well but had a few mistakes. Any minor mistake on a hill like Lake Louise compounds because it is flat and it takes a lot of time to get your speed back up! In the race I lost my foot up top right before a really flat section and I lost 1.3 seconds in that section, but made up one tenth by the time I reached the finish. To cap it off it was -27 decrees C which is around -30 F. For some dumb reason I though I could tough it out and not wear something on my face, which resulted in some bad frost bite and a lot of dead skin over the next week.

Then came Beaver Creek!!! The home turf! It was so exciting to see everyone and have the support of the home crowd! They were ecstatic! My family made it out as well, Ma, Paps, gran Paps, grandma wouldn't come out because she didn't want to get car sick, my bros!, aunties, cousins, and my friends, tyler, chris, and Jenn were there cheering me and my fellow Americans on! I felt their support and it was a huge motivating factor for me! I had the opportunity to go up into the stands during the combi and rial up the crowd! The people loved it! I sensed the kids passion and enjoyment. I took this experience into the next day.

When i woke up in the morning the snow was coming down and I didn't think they would run the race out of the top start but they did. We got it off!

The feeling I had skiing was amazing, I was in incredible balance and flying all the way down! This course was so rough this year and I felt so smooth! When I got to the finish I was .7 ahead and I knew I had a good run, a top 10 probably. Then as the racers came down I kept beating them all until Cuche knocked me into second and then Bode put me into 3rd! I was on the edge, waiting for Walchofer to come down. he was ahead of me then behind then ahead and then he finished a tenth or so behind me!! I was on cloud nine!!! My first podium! Leo Mussi prepared some excellent skis and I did what I needed to do. there was no better situation to do it under. The hometown crowd, first podium, friends and family!!!

Much Love for the support!