New friends Maia and Alex Shibutani, these guys were so nice and fun to hang out with!
Hey guys! Sorry it has been a minute to get this blog up. I cannot even begin to tell you how nuts the last month or so has been.
Let’s start from the top. I had a great time traveling to Russia with all my teammates. All members of the U.S. Olympic Team have to go through team processing, which was a lot of fun. It’s a tiring, but awesome, trip through all the official Olympic gear we get to wear while we are at the Games. The USOC made us all feel really comfortable and helped us. I even lost my cell phone and a very nice man, Luke Six, from Germany got in touch with my mom and got it back to me! For the whole story you can read it here. Big thanks to you, Luke!
My teammates and I arrived in Russia and it was much better than the media made it out to be. Keri Herman (slopestyle freeskier) and I were roommates, which made me really happy; she is one of my best friends. A lot of people were talking about the accommodations and volunteers. Our rooms were nice, clean and comfortable. It was made even more comfortable when I was handed an airweave mattress pad. I hadn’t been sleeping well and then that, oh my gosh! It made my week. Have you ever tried one of them? I had been training hard and kept taking a lot of crashes and it made a huge difference for me. The mattress pads are amazing. All of the volunteers were friendly and fun-loving and were helpful. The Olympic village was such a cool place to be to meet athletes from all over the globe and hang out. There were fun games
|The first time I got to hug my mom after I won my silver medal. She made me tear up.
to play and always something to do or some new friends to be made. A lot of people talked about the slopestyle course being “huge;” well, I am here to tell you they are all “huge” and it is part of the fun and strategy to figure it all out. There were some features that needed some work and sculpting, but the park crew at Rosa Khutor was on point in fixing our requests. Opening Ceremony was such a cool experience, being able to walk into this stadium with all my teammates and every other country — what an experience. It is really hard to even describe the sound and the surreal feeling of the entire show. Walking in I had goose bumps and my teammates and I just kept giving each other these “Is this really happening?!” looks! As training wore on I kept trying to keep the vibe light and happy. It was by far the most intense competition of my life, but what is strange is that I knew it was the Olympics, but at the same time it was mostly the same competitors and coaches that I travel with all season — there just happened to be Olympic rings everywhere. All I kept thinking was, ‘Stay focused, but don’t take this too seriously…it is just skiing after all.’
|Gotta have my Frank’s! Even in Russia!
|One of the coolest moments of my life with my friends Dara Howell and Kim Lamarre
|My sister Shannon and my brand new nephew Chase. She had him as my mom was walking onto the plane to Russia…two weeks early! We joke that he wanted to see his Aunt Devin ski. Can’t wait to meet this sweet little nugget this week!
My mom, Nancy, even came to watch me compete. This was almost just a big a deal as the Olympics because she hadn’t been on a plane in over 15 years! She is a talented and busy lady who owns her own candle shop in Vermont, Wilmington Candle Company. She hand dips and makes hand lotions, body scrubs and all kinds of goodies. She shut the shop down so she could be there for me! My mom even flew over some of my favorite hot sauce for me — I am a sucker for Frank’s, I put it on everything. She’s the best! In fact, she and Joss Christensen’s mom Debbie flew over together. They could probably write a blog about their adventures!
Competition day was up and I was feeling good. I had been having fun with my friends, and I knew it was go time. Women’s slopestyle has some fierce competitors in Keri Herman, Kaya Turski and Dara Howell. I knew I had my work cut out for me. Qualifiers went well and I landed in fifth place, which was exactly what I wanted because they run finals from the last spot to first place (going last) and I didn’t want that kind of pressure on me. I jammed out up top listening to my typical DMX and hip-hop beats. My first run in finals went really well and I scored a solid score of 85.40 that I was happy about and kept me sitting tight in second. It was time for my final run and my nerves were still going a little crazy so I kept on listening and jamming out to my music; it really helps to keep me sane! My second run was going really well until my last hit I did a cork 720 and didn’t quite stick it, so as I was sliding down the hill, I thought I might as well penguin slide! I got to the bottom with a ton of snow in my pants, and as I am digging out the snow from my pants I hear the entire crowd laugh…of course it was on the big screen! I waited for each passing run to see if my score would hold…and holy cow…it did! I could hear my mom cheering and screaming in the crowd! As I walked up for the flower ceremony I thought, ‘Is this real life?’ I looked over at my Canadian friends on the podium with me, Dara and Kim, and asked them if it felt real to them, to which they responded ‘No!’
As I went through the press conference and drug testing then onward to the Coastal Cluster for the medals ceremony, none of it felt real. It felt like the best dream and I kept pinching myself thinking I would wake up, but it was real. Years of my hard work and dedication and working to pay for my training had paid off in the biggest way possible. This is the first time slopestyle skiing was in the Olympics — it is crazy to think I will be in the history books for my silver medal! As my media tour continues and I get to meet wonderful people who got up at crazy hours of the night in the United States to watch me and cheer me on, I am bombarded with emotions, pride, happiness and tears of joy. I am grateful for this experience and although I am the same girl I will never be same after living the ultimate dream come true.