|On the stage for the team naming!
|Calling Pop Pop!|
Brita Sigourney, Keri Herman and myself…we all got named to the
|The media and crowd after my halfpipe podium|
You guys! Guess what? It happened! I MADE IT! I AM GOING TO THE OLYMPICS!
If someone told me when I was young and skiing that I would go to the Olympics, I wouldn’t know if I would believe them, because I have always done this for fun.
Here’s what happened: It was down to the last two Olympic qualifying events, the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City (a double-up event). After my two runs, my first run score was holding strong in first place, but there were still five other competitors to go. I was sitting in the finish corral anxiously awaiting each run and comparing technicalities to my own — my internal dialogue was going crazy. I am sure the spectators could see it written all over my face. When the final girl went and her score came in, I had done it! I won! Which secured my spot to the first ever U.S. Olympic Freeskiing Team. My dad was on-site and it was so great to see his misty-eyed smile. I called my mom and my Pop Pop to tell them the good news. It was a sea of cameras and reporters interviewing me! It was such a rush and wonderful feeling. After awards I had to head home to take a quick rest before pipe finals that evening.
Halfpipe did not go quite as well as I had hoped; I ended up in fifth, which meant the pressure was really on for the next day. I decided to pull out of the slopestyle contest the next day to get extra rest and prep for pipe finals that evening. I was hungry and annoyed and ready to get on that podium for halfpipe. I had enough with the last four contests and not getting on the podium. I gave it my all and ended up third; I wanted first.
It was a successful event for me and I made my goal of going to the Olympics! I was hopeful that I would get the coaches’ discretion spot for halfpipe, but it didn’t go my way. After all my hard work and history of my results I really wished that I’d get the chance to achieve my goal for both disciplines. Instead of beating myself up and feeling annoyed and sad, I need to focus on the task at hand which is X Games this week…so wish me luck!
The culmination of the whole event ended with my teammates and I being named during a concert in Park City, Utah. It was so cool to be up on stage in front of a huge crowd of people. The announcer introduced each of us and we got to wear the first Olympic team jacket! Oh yeah — at the end everyone was chanting “U-S-A!” It was a surreal experience and no amount of video or pictures could ever do it justice.
I am extremely proud and excited to make the Olympic Team! This is a lifetime honor and the idea of representing my country is something that I will forever be proud of. This honor is something that no one can take away from me and I am looking forward to what this February will bring.