Tag Archives: ski racing

World Cup Debut

12 Dec

These past couple of weeks have flown by. We started racing right before Thanksgiving, and before I knew it, it’s 13 days until Christmas! A lot has happened, that’s what I’m here to tell you!!

So… last season, I qualified to start World Cups in Downhill and Super-G for this season. My schedule had me doing my first World Cup in Lake Louise for the Downhill on the 30th of November. The Friday before Thanksgiving, we had a GS race, which doubled as a qualifier for the Aspen GS World Cup, and to my surprise, I qualified! This was extremely exciting for me because I’ve raced at Aspen my whole life, and I know the hill, and it’s practically my second home hill. I was also extremely nervous because I see GS as a very challenging event. The field is very deep and the race hill in Aspen isn’t very forgiving.

I kept my nerves in check the days approaching the race. We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with my family and extended family from Tahoe (most of whom had changed their flights so they could watch my first ever World Cup!) and then I left the next morning. The athletes got to free-ski the hill the day before, and that was the beginning of the steady uphill of nervousness. I played it cool, did my normal routine and went to bed. The whole night, I woke up at different intervals, wide-awake and ready to go.

Going up for inspection!

Going up for inspection!

Finally it was the morning. I warmed up, ate breakfast, and took a couple free-runs. Then it was time for inspection (even this I was nervous for!). Being on the same hill, inspecting the same course as girls I’ve been watching for forever, knowing I was going to race against them today, was a crazy feeling. Waiting for the start was getting hard to handle and then once I was at the start warming up for my run, the butterflies were going nuts! I was breathing so forcefully and so quickly in the start trying to get the nerves under control, that I got lightheaded. The run itself wasn’t my best skiing ever, sorry to disappoint. But it was fun. I made my way through the finish corral, signed a bunch of autographs (which was one of the coolest parts) and finally got to see my family waiting for me. They had made posters to help cheer me on, which were super cute. I didn’t end up qualifying for second run, but it was a good experience and something I will never forget.

 

During the GS.

During the GS. Photo by: Kevin Pritchard

My sisters and me!

My sisters and me!

Two days later, I departed for the Lake Louise World Cup! After getting kicked off our first flight because the Swiss team had 49 ski bags and screwed up the weight of the plane, we flew up to Calgary, and drove the three-ish hours to the Lake Louise Chateau. Let me tell you, this hotel is so cool, especially right before Christmas because it’s all wintery, and there’s Christmas music, and a huge lake with mountains towering around it. It’s breathtaking.

View from the top.

View from the top.

The next three days were full of inspecting, waiting around for my start, taking a training run, barely making lunch at 2:30, recovering, doing video, doing meeting, eating dinner, and then going to bed. Each day was basically the same, but then the first race day was here. By then we had inspected the course four times (including that day) and ran it three times so I wasn’t nearly as nervous for this as I was for the GS in Aspen. Then we had to wait… and wait… and wait some more for weather holds. Finally, about three hours after start, I got in the gate. I ended up 51st… which was last, but I skied well! I could’ve skied better, but it was a great feeling being the 51st fastest women’s downhiller in the world. Cool right? The next day was about the same, with about an hour less of waiting. I was 48th! Still last though…

Waiting for the DH...

Waiting for the DH…

The next day was the Super-G, which I was really excited for. I love Super-G because after only one look at the course, you get one chance to ski the fastest you possibly can. It’s so thrilling to put everything you can into just over a minute of skiing. The course was really fun, and I skied well, but I made a few mistakes that cost me some time and I ended up 45th, which wasn’t last!

Three days after that, I won my first NorAm by .96 in the Downhill held at Copper Mountain. So, even though I didn’t get the results of my dreams in the World Cups, I know I have a ways to go, and I’m skiing well. I also know that just because I started in three World Cups, it doesn’t make me a World Cup skier. I’m working at it, and I’ll get there, but right now, I’m taking it day by day, trying to ski the fastest I can ski in whatever race I’m doing.

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Abby

26 Jul

Abby Ghent

Words by Christa Ghent (her bigger sister)

My “little sis” as she really dislikes being called, and I only give her that name because no one would ever know she is younger than me. I have watched Abby grow from a tap dancer to a soccer player and now into an amazing and extremely talented ski racer.  A lot of people can find ways to try to discredit Abby because she is so light-hearted and goofy, and to some people it looks like she doesn’t care. But ski racing is her life, to be the best in the world is something she has been striving towards for a long time.

Her smile and laugh can be deceiving, because underneath it all is a real competitor. She is passionate about what she does, improving through all the disbelief and doubt people give her and reaches for the stars in everything she does. My “little sis” is someone I look towards for advice and guidance in everyday life, because she is grounded and seems to see the world clearly.  She is the one I know I can always sing at the top of my lungs with, and will always be someone to put a smile on my face.

It will be no surprise to those of us who know her how far she goes in this sport and how she gets there. Being the youngest of the three of us, we never know what to expect with her and that is why we love her.