The first World Cup week of 2012/13 is in the books.
The Östersund races went alright. I was happy with my ski speed and look forward to hitting more targets in the future. I scored my first World Cup points of the season in the pursuit. My favorite part of those first races was hopping in behind race winner, Norwegian Tora Berger, during the sprint and matching her pace for a lap.
While racing in Europe, it is always exciting to see familiar faces from back home. Many thanks to Danika Frisbee and her father, Mike, for coming to visit and cheer! It was also great to have Chelsea Little from Fasterskier onsite to cover the North Americans.
Most of the Östersund races happened after sunset. Much of the course was illuminated by white lights, making the stadium seem as bright as day. However, a few parts of the course, out of sight of spectators and TV cameras, had only spotty yellow lights. By comparison, those sections felt like the middle of nowhere.
The week before the World Cup opener the Canadian cross country team was training at the same place as us. One night we had a guitar jam with the Canadian gals. (L to R: Lowell Bailey, Annelies Cook, Chandra Crawford)
A couple days ago, we traveled to Hochfilzen, Austria, site of World Cup 2, in a heavy snow storm. After Sweden, I am excited for longer daylight, natural snow and mountains. Race schedule: Friday- sprint, Saturday- pursuit, and Sunday- relay.
During the first half of training today, it was snowing so hard that the range workers had continuously sweep off the shooting mats. 25 minutes later, it cleared off enough to see a little sun. What a welcome sight!
Strength training in Austria with Canadian biathlete Megan Heinicke (photo: Rosanna Crawford).
Finding weight room facilities to maintain strength during the race season is very difficult, so sometimes we must improvise.
In my last blog post, I shared a little bit about the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Lately I have learned a bit about holidays in other places:
In France, November 25th is the feast of St. Catherine. Unmarried 25 year old women are labeled “Catherinettes” and their friends traditionally dress them up bachelorette style to wish them a fast end to singleness. Here are a couple of Catherinettes from the French team, dressed up by their teammates:
During the first nights of December, the Krampus comes out in the Alps. He is the devilish counterpart to St. Nicholas and comes out to terrorize naughty children. Watch out for the Krampus tonight!