Something I have never seen before, something Telemark World Cup has never seen before... 7000 people out and cheering at the Opening Ceremonies. Granted, the organizers were wise to hold the opening ceremonies amongst the opening for the annual winter carnival - nevertheless, the thunderous cheer that was let out as the US Telemark Team gave me shivers.
Although it would have been nice to think, the celebratory antics were not all for the Telemark group. The annual winter carnival opening had all the athletes from the Steamboat Wintersports Club doing something up on the hill, in the dark, with lights or flares on them. Freestylers doing back flips, young racers doing a torch light, older racers skiing down with toboganns of fireworks going off behind them, and ski jumpers with flares jumping through a ring of fire. The most incredible firework show I have ever witnessed. A very cool night.
As the only Canadian competitor, carrying the flag and walking across the stage..it finally seemed to clue in to me what I was actually doing. I am skiing at World Cup, wearing the logo for Canada. Hmm...that's pretty cool! I am skiing with, and competing against some of the most amazing Telemark skiers in the world..I'm stoked!
I know, however, considering the circumstances with my ankle (which is really tired from the last few days of training) and the fact that this is my first year on the circuit, there should be a limit to how much I should expect out of myself..and THAT..is hard for me!