2023/24 Season Recap

The 2023/24 season has come to an end, and just like many others, this season, was filled with ups and downs. After spending some time reflecting on where the season started, I’m happy with the result. Last season, I started experiencing back pain consistently throughout the season. The worst of it began only a few days before Levi, forcing me to make it through the season by managing the pain as best we could, without having a clear idea of the cause. Last spring, I was finally able to see doctors and physiotherapists that helped me identify the issue and build rehab plan. Even though we were finally on the right path, it took a lot of time to rework my movement patterns which led to a condensed gym prep block in summer 2023 that looked very different from what I was used to. I was not able to lift the heavy weights as I had always done in the summer, and I was barely able to sit on a spin bike for 20 minutes without pain and discomfort. Even though I knew we had the right approach and that I couldn’t rush the process, not having a “normal” prep block made me nervous coming into this season. My on-snow summer training camp went well, but I still encountered a few setbacks which worried me for my body’s resilience during our long and intense race season.

                When our team arrived at Levi, I had managed to make it a few months with no major setbacks and limited pain while skiing. This was really promising for me but I still wasn’t sure how my body would react on race day, let alone back-to-back race days. After my first run at Levi (20th position), I finally felt a new confidence in my body that I had been struggling with for almost a year and a half. To me, being able to race pain free for those two days was the biggest success I had felt in a long time. It made it even better that I was able to start the season off with two top 10’s on a hill that I had yet to feel like I had conquered.

                  After Levi, we traveled to North America to prepare for one of my favourite races on the circuit: the Killington Cup in Vermont. Killington is special to me because so many of my friends and family can come to watch which is abnormal for us North American skiers since most of our season occurs in Europe. I’ve also spent almost half my life living in Vermont, so returning every year is the closest thing to feeling home during our long season. While the race wasn’t my best performance, I was so excited to see my family and friends at the finish and to spend a few days with them afterwards.

                  After a small break, we headed back to Europe to prepare for our biggest racing block of the year (one month of races in Courchevel - Lienz - Kranjska Gora - Flachau - Jasna). After a few great days of training, my back unfortunately did not agree with the intensity of our training and I was forced to take almost a full week off snow leading up to Courchevel. Thanks to our amazing team physiotherapist and help from physios and trainers at home, I was able to get back skiing relatively pain free for the race – just in time to slide my way across the finish in the first run (literally! I fell across the finish line in first run). The night event at Courchevel was so fun and the hill was preparations were well executed by the venue especially after some snowfall the day before. After forgetting my bib first run (which sent my physio flying down the hill and back up the T-bar just in time for my run), I was able to put together two solid runs and we had a really fun race - although we missed our teammate, Lau (Laurence St. Germain), who was out with an injury sustained a few weeks prior.

                  The next few weeks were challenging for me, but I learned a lot. I came down with strep throat the day before the night race in Flachau, Austria which consumed my energy for the next few races. I struggled to find a good rhythm during that time of the season and welcomed the break we got after Jasna, Slovakia. After a short reset at home, we headed to Andorra to train and prepare for the upcoming competition there. We were lucky to have beautiful and sunny training days and raced on the steep and challenging hill in Soldeu. I was happy that I was able to reset and finish with another top 10 (7th place)! Our last few races in Åre and Saalbach continued to shadow the ebb and flow of my season thus far. Even though I was skiing well in Åre, I couldn’t show it on race day, but was really happy to end it all on a good note at World Cup finals (Saalbach, Austria – 7th place) with some solid skiing.

Looking back at where I started the season, I am happy that I was able to ski pain-free and most importantly, keep my spirits high throughout the season. As all skiers know, our sport can be brutally challenging at times which emphasizes the importance of finding the little wins and fond memories with my team along the way.

This season would not have been made possible without those who stood behind me. I’d like to thank my support team including my coaches, physios, trainers, technician, sport psych, and family and friends. I would also like to thank my sponsors: Atomic, Leki, GMVS, Nuvo Homes, my helmet sponsor and all those that supported me from behind the scenes. Your help does not go unnoticed! And a special thanks to my teammates for creating the type of environment most teams strive for.

Now that the season is over, I’m taking some time to reset and enjoy my time at home with my family before getting back to work for the coming weeks. Some things I look forward to doing the next few weeks are ski touring, mountain biking, baking, swimming and enjoying some warm weather!

That’s all for now ☺


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