After a hectic fall balancing school, travel, and skiing, I decided to take the a break from school this winter just focusing on skiing. So a little over a week and a half ago I left Craftsbury and flew to Finland, starting what will be a two month stint in Europe.
The first stop was in Vierumaki, Finland for a U23 World’s pre-camp. Vierumaki is a little more than an hour north of Helsinki and is home to a National Sports Institute, a golf resort, and not much else. It was a great location for training and recovering from all the travel and time change with easy ski trails looping through the golf courses which surrounded our hotel. The weather was cloudy and grey but compared to northern Finland earlier this fall it seemed very light and warm!
Lahti, Finland, a city which is home to a World Cup and World Championship venue was only 20 minutes away so we visited it a few times. The stadium was huge and the courses very challenging so we had fun skiing on the courses especially during harder intensity workouts.
Then last Sunday our team took a ferry from Helsinki, Finland across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, Estonia. The 10 floor ferry was more like a cruise ship with a dance club, stores for shopping, karaoke bar, Wii room, slot machines, restaurants, lounges, and cafes.
From the “sun decks” we could watch the boat moving through the very icy waters.
From Tallinn we drove 3+ hours south across the country of Estonia to Otepaa where the U23 and Junior World Championships are being held. We’ve spent the last couple days previewing the courses that were also the site of last weekend’s World Cup races. All the teams are here testing skis, training, and prepping for the races which start today in the Tehvandi Stadium.
I’m getting very psyched to race especially after not doing much of that in the last month or two but I have a few more days to wait. My first race is on Saturday so until then I’m going to have fun cheering on my other American teammates and watching some of the races which are being televised on Eurosport and Estonian TV!