Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Success at the last Olympic qualifier

It's long been a dream of mine to become an Olympian and I am so thrilled to have been selected to represent Australia at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

My journey began many years ago and it has been a long, hard road to get there. Two blown ACL's, 6 surgeries, 9 broken bones and fractures and 4 serious concussions were some setbacks I experienced along the way. I'm sure people thought I was crazy to keep going but I wanted it so badly, quitting was not an option.

My dreams were realised at the last Olympic Qualifier in Quebec, Canada. Going into the event I was positioned to qualify but there was still a slight chance I could get knocked out of the top 30 and lose my spot. My good friend Paula crunched all the numbers and made me a spreadsheet with all the other riders points, so I knew exactly where I stood and who I needed to beat.

All I had to do was land a safe run and that would pretty much guarantee my spot. It was still a little nerve wracking though! I was super stoked to put down my first run and take the pressure off. I was feeling pretty relaxed going into my second run and ended up improving my score by adding another trick.

The moment I finished my second run, I knew I had done it! I couldn't be knocked out of the top 30 and I knew I had just qualified for the Olympics. It was the greatest moment of my life!! Knowing I had just achieved everything that I had worked for and dreamed of for so long was an overwhelming sense of joy and relief. I will never forget that wonderful day.

I went the whole qualifying year without a coach or team and I'm so proud I was able to do it on my own. But I do get by with a little(a lot) help from my friends. I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me over the years. There is too many to list right now but I owe extra special thanks to my family and all my friends for their support. Trigger Brothers, Burton Australia, Oakley, Mt Hotham and all the Hotham crew. Amber, Alex, Steph, Ben Boyd and Paula Mitchell. And last but certainly not least Team New Zealand who have been there for me through thick and thin. I am so fortunate they took in a lone Australian and made me feel apart of their team. So thank you to all the Kiwi staff and athletes, especially Tom Willmott, Bex Sinclair, Rose Battersby, Janina Kuzma, Chris Rogers and Sarah Battson. I am forever grateful :)

Russia here I come!!

Wearing garbage bags in the rain during training in Canada
No rain, just ice for comp day in Quebec
Celebrating Australia day in Breck with Davina, Tori & Anna

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