After the Park City NorAms, where i won bronze in the GS and finished both slalom races, I travelled straight to Korea for my first World Championships! After 2 days of travelling we finally arrived, exhausted, in High 1 Resort. There was no snow to be seen but after a good rest we discovered pistes of man made snow streaking through a vast expanse of deciduous tree-covered hills. It was somewhat icy and strange to ski on.
The ceremonies and suppers were held in a large banquet hall, World Championships posters and the flags of the 25 competing nations, hanging from the walls. A blind orchestra opened the Championships with an wonderful show. I was surrounded by the best skiers in the world, and seeing the winners receive their medals, listening to their national anthems and stories, and seeing them race at breakneck speeds was incredibly motivating. The magnitude of the event overwhelmed me.
On most race days we had a 5:30am start and took the gondola and up the hill with our kit for a 7am course inspection when over 260 competitors side-slip and try to memorize the icy course simultaneously - hectic to say the least! I then warm up and visualise the course, and remember sitting in the start, the team physio rubbing me down, trying to focus my mind. The racer before me started and I tried hard to see my line down the first steep section and ignore the TV camera in my face!
"10 seconds!...Racer ready!...Go!"
I made it through the finish every run, and into the finish enclosure where the team psyche and Paralympics GB staff were waiting. I was gutted to have fallen and had to hike in the first slalom run, but managed to get my head together for a better second run and came 8th. Fortunately GS the next day was much more successful, I came 4th. Sean Rose got an awesome 9th.
These World Championships were a vital learning experience for me in the build up to the Paralympics. I experienced and saw so much, including my first random drugs test! Disappointingly, I didn't qualify for the speed events but watched with the coaches and learned a lot about race line.
Next stop Whistler, to learn the terrain for the Paralympics!
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