Monday, November 23, 2009
Yesterday was my first Senior World Cup. I did not realize how big of a deal it was until we got out of the car. I saw the cameras and all the sponsor signs. It hit me. I was given new spikes for the race. On our gloves we have metal spikes on the ends of our fingers and they have to be a certain length (3mm) in order to be legal. The new spikes my coaches gave me were a little long and my teammate told me the day before to make sure to get them cut down, but of course I totally forgot. I put on my brand new pair of gloves and I realized the issue. My heart started pounding uncontrollably because if I was checked, then I would be disqualified. My first race...DQed. That was the last thing I wanted. The only way I could get out of it was to make sure I got the green light at the end of the race. The athlete must hit a button at the end of the first run. If the red light comes up, then all your equipment must be checked. If it is green, then you are free to go. This is all to make sure that no one is cheating and no one is sneaking weight. I got really lucky. The green light came on. My teammate went back to the hotel to get my training spikes, it was definitely a close call.
Posted by Kate at 9:37 PM
I pulled off and had a pretty decent run, it could have been faster, but I was just glad I made it down. In between runs, we usually just walk around and do what we want because we have 45 minutes until the next heat. I brought oreo's to the track and I was offering them to the sliders. Everyone was laughing at me but I didn't really care. I learned how do say "do you want one?' in German. Next week in Austria I will be prepared. I was in 16th after the first run and then on the 2nd run, I was gaining time as I was going down but I messed up really bad in 12-13. I hit the wall pretty good and when I came up on the out run I was laughing pretty hard. Everyone thought I had broken myself or something, buy my sled got it pretty good. It was cracked and I was super bummed about that. My run wasn't great but when the sled gets involved, then there is an issue. Hopefully my coach will fix it tomorrow before I slide. The worst part too is that I went faster my 2nd run and I still ended up 16th. If I would have cleaned it up then I would have gone so much faster. I was satisfied though, I just didn't want to crash, so I was happy. We fly to Austria tomorrow.
Posted by Kate at 9:06 PM
Friday, November 20, 2009
Yesterday I raced in Nation's Cup, and I needed to place in the top 15 to race in the World Cup on Saturday. I placed 5th. There are 10 girls from around the world exempt from racing in the Nations cup because of their last years performance.
So on Saturday, the 10 girls who are exempt and the 15 who qualified today will race in the World Cup. Erin Hamlin, Julia Clukey and I will race on Saturday. I'm relieved today is over.
This is how the World Cup works. There are 5 girls left contending for 3 spots on the Olympic Team. Erin Hamlin, who beat the Germans 99 race winning streak, is the current World Champion. She is pre-qualified for the next 4 races. If the rest of us do not place in the top nine, we will have another race off in Altenberg, Germany. One more girl will then go home. After the next two races if we do not get in the top 9 finish, we will have another race off for the final spot on the Olympic Team.
The next 3 World Cup races take place in Igls, Altenberg, and Lillehamer.
Thanks for all your support.
Posted by Kate at 5:08 PM
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Last week in Whistler we had a race and I did really well and won. As each week goes by, it only gets worse. I keep thinking ok, NEXT week I will have time to write and then the week comes and I get a run-down with what the team is doing, then I say "shoots!".
After the race in Whistler we packed our boxes. The sleds travel in the hard plastic boxes. I put any extra clothes to pad my sled. We place all the boxes in a U-Haul (a sponsor) Our team manager, Fred, drives the U-haul to the airport.
We traveled to Calgary on Monday. So now I am officially with the senior team. This is how it works. Everyone gets 6 runs to understand the track and then we race. For the newbies, we get an extra run, and if you are an A-seed (top 15) then you get 5. This was hard for me to understand because on the Junior circuit we can take 12-15 runs. On top of all that, we go from a higher start. So all of that equals stress. Also, you have to qualify to even race in the World Cup. The race is called "Nations Cup" and the top 15 in this race, race in the World Cup. This is because when the World Cup comes, they do not want to have inexperienced sliders crashing and slowing down the race. So pretty much Nations is to weed out all of the sliders who just are not ready to be in the big leagues. Sounds mean but it is true. I hope I do well tomorrow, I finally got my lines down on my last run today, so I am kinda sketched out.
One cool part about being with the Seniors is that we get to wear bibs for training. This is only for sponsor purposes but with the Juniors we never get bibs to keep, so I was excited. For everyone that was a Senior last year, they all got their last names and the countries' flag on it. Well for me, mine was blank and it only had a number on it. I decided to write my own name and write USA all over it, I dont know if it was allowed but I did anyway. If I qualify tomorrow, then the race on saturday is going to be televised, cool huh? You can watch on universalsports.com but I will let you guys know tomorrow how I do, send me some good vibes!
Posted by Kate at 4:33 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
Kate earned a spot on the US National World Cup Team when she won the final qualification race held at Whistler in Bristish Columbia, Canada, this last weekend. After four qualification races held at Lake Placid, Park City and Whistler, Kate had the highest point total of all the competitors. There are five women who will be representing the United States in the World Cup Races. Erin Hamlin, Jukia Clukey, Kate Hansen, Megan Sweeney and Emily Sweeney (yes, sisters - amazing) have all been selected to be members of the team.
World Cup competition begins this next week in Calgary, Canada. The following week she will be in Igls, Austria (right next to Innsbruck). Then the team will go to Altenberg, Germany and the final World Cup Race of 2009 will be held in Lillehammer, Norway. After those four races, the U.S. Olympic Team will be selected according to the performance in the World Cup Races. Three women will be selected.
Posted by Kate at 8:24 PM