|Welcome to beautiful Davos Switzerland. Does it get any better than this?|
|Mountains and more mountains|
|The view from behind our hotel|
|Always great to be in Switzerland with lots of chocolate! The giant Toblerone I'm holding was 140 Swiss Francs in the Zurich airport so I had to pass on that one but I've still had my share of great chocolate.|
|The Davos stadium (Salomon Nordic photo)|
|Hotel Kulm, our home away from home on the road and where I will spend Christmas this year.|
"The battles that count aren't the ones for the gold medals. The struggles within yourself-- the invisible battles inside all of us-- that's where it's at." Jesse Owens
Qualification rounds have always been a challenge for me. I ski faster and more relaxed in the rounds when racing head to head against the other skiers but the first step is to make the rounds. My goal is to eventually confidently qualify in every World Cup sprint that I enter. I'm inspired by my teammate Andy Newell who with the exception of a couple falls, can't remember the last time he hasn't qualified for the heats (we think it is since about 2003 or 2005). I'm obviously not there yet, but I'm making progress towards that goal. The last time that I raced on this course in Davos, nine seconds separated the top thirty and I was almost 13 seconds out. This weekend I was a third of that margin away from the lead. It was my second best qualification ever if you measure based on FIS points (percent back) or total time back from the winner. I felt strong and fast. I skied relaxed with length, rather than with a frantic tempo which is not efficient on courses like this one requiring gliding and smooth skiing. So these are my successes this weekend and these are the steps which will take me forward to our races next weekend in Asiago, Italy. Those are the feelings which inspire me to continue to train, race, and put everything on the line each day.
Thanks for the cheers and support!