Ten reasons why Val di Fiemme 2013 is an awesome championships for team USA
1.) Steep climbs and hard courses. Gradual climbing does not exist on these courses and every hill is a steep wall. Fitness reigns above all on these courses and it’s awesome to see the US skiers hang with the best in the world
2.) Pasta galore! In true Italian fashion we are served about four or five different pasta options each day and it’s all delicious. The grocery store stocks rows of pasta options from almost neon colored noodles to the official Val di Fiemme 2013 pasta. Even the FIS family room serves perfectly al dente pasta all through the day keeping athletes, coaches, and techs well fueled.
3.) Espresso! The wonderful hotel Touring employees have figured out our team’s routine and espresso machine is cranking nonstop. The same FIS family room at the venue also has two espresso machines free for use so none of us are suffering from being under caffeinated.
4.) Great recovery options. The training done on the ski trails this week is only a small fraction of the equation behind fast racing. With so many competitions in a short period, it is absolutely necessary to recover quickly. To help in this process athletes go for afternoon jogs or spin on the two spin bikes which we have. We contrast bath by alternating between sitting for a minute in the cold bath and a minute in the hot tub in the sauna room. We also get massage work by Steph Caverhill who is volunteering her time to be part of the team this week. Her work makes a huge difference in the team’s success
5.) Retro spandex. The Marcialonga course runs though the valley and is a showcase for all the styles of spandex from the last couple decades. I’m frequently itching to trade my own USA race suit for some of the attire I pass while skiing under the Italian sun.
6.) Tricky waxing conditions. There hasn’t been an easy day of extra blue skiing yet. Every morning brings a new challenge with new snow or quickly warming temperatures. Our coaches and wax techs have worked incredibly hard, leaving the hotel at dawn, and testing all day to provide some of the best skis in the field. We may not have a tractor trailer wax truck like so many of the other teams but we have a staff which is putting their heart and soul into each race and I cannot thank them enough.
7.) Team. We’re a happy family. When you spend five months together travelling around foreign countries, you become very close. We all know everyone’s quirks and we have each other’s backs. While stuck in his hotel room with a chest cold, Simi put on a blonde wig and glitter and made a movie quite accurately portraying the women’s team. We couldn’t stop laughing as he lovingly mocked each one of us. Andy showed up at the first meeting dressed as an Italian with capris, a “Ciao” tank top, greased hair and techno beats. Not to be outdone, Kikkan walked in upside down the next day. The atmosphere is relaxed despite it being a championship week.
8.) Personal best results. While it hasn’t been a perfect championships, there have been many results which carry the team and we rally around these moments of success. Sophie started us off with a 20th in the sprint, Liz was 5thin the 10km posting the best women’s distance result ever, the boys all had great 15km skate races. I had my first World Champs top 30 finish in a somewhat unexpected and hard race with a 25th place in the 30km. And...
9.) Gold! Watching Kikkan and Jessie ski away from the field in the team sprint and climb onto the top step of the podium at the World Championships was unbelievable! So much hard work went into that race and we are all so proud!
10.)Momentum- Our energy is high and there are more great races to come! T