Merry Christmas! (December Race Recap)

It is the day before Christmas and all through the plane, there were Canadian athletes excited to return home. Our flight from Munich was filled with Bobsleigh, Ski Cross and other Canadian athletes who have been racing internationally in Europe before Christmas like us. Everyone dispersing upon arrival in Toronto to catch their respective flights back to their families across the country.

The last three weeks have passed quickly we races every weekend in Europe. The start to the season has been my best yet, I was happy with how I skied in all 5 races I competed in. That feeling of consistency has been a big focus of mine this year, wanting to make the great days I’ve had in previous years the norm going into this season. Like most athletes, the better you feel and better you do the higher your standards for yourself become. Stepping on to my first OPA podium, scoring World Cup points in both sprint events finishing 25th and 16th and having one of my best World Cup distance result in the past 3 years has left me feeling like my goals are more attainable than ever before. Not just lofty dream goals but things that I can and will accomplish this season and in my career.

Fun to make the OPA Cup podium in Pokljuka alongside some speedy friends.
Skiing to 36th in the 10km skate in Davos. http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

Amongst the excitement of the crazy weather, pouring rain and sleet of this past weekend’s World Cups in Planica, Slovenia were some of my best World Cup results on paper, 16th in the skate sprint and 11th in the Team Sprint with Emily. That being said, both days I fell just short of my own expectations; missing the semi-finals by a second and the final of the Team Sprint by less than that. They say we’re our own harshest critic, and I plan to channel that hint of disappointment within the overall really positive race period into my training until I get my next shot on the World Cup in Dresden, Germany on January 11th.

Skate sprint qualifier, Planica (SLO). http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.
Post race in the pouring rain and snow.
http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.
Team sprint, Planica (SLO). http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.
Finishing the team sprint semi-final, Planica (SLO). http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

But first Christmas!! I will be back in Whitehorse tonight to enjoy the holidays, good food and great skiing with my family and friends. Even with my mini Christmas tree and lights with me on tour the last few weeks, there’s nothing that matches being home for the holidays.

Christmas tree hunting in the Triglav forest!
My “petit sapin” making our hotel room more festive.
Mid-week ski up the Sertig Valley in Davos between race weekends!

There is so much to be thankful this year as I return home, the countless people who make it possible for me to be a ski racer, financially and otherwise, the staff without whom I would not be where I am, my friends, my family, and especially my teammates. As the new year approaches and I reflect on 2019, I am eternally grateful for my teammate Emily with whom I just spent the past month racing and traveling with. The past 8 years of my ski career would have looked very different without her there. I can’t imagine a better team sprint partner, mentor, friend, competitor to push me in training and pull me back up when needed. It’s safe to say, the process is always better with teammates to share it with.

Tagging off to Emily in the team sprint, Planica (SLO). http://www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.
Emily and I checking out the Christmas market and Lake Bled before the OPA weekend in Pokljuka, Slovenia.

Wishing everyone wherever you may be in the World, a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2020!

Dahria

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