I have spent nearly a month training and racing in China, 10 days back in Austria, and a short break visiting my family at home in Edinburgh. The time at home was much needed and, I would like to think, well earned after nearly two months on the road, living out of my collection of suitcases and ski bags.
The trip to China was an incredible experience. It was my first long haul flight since I was a little child, I saw a whole new continent I’d never been to, I experienced the coldest temperatures of my life so far (-35°C not taking into account wind chill). The cold alone was an experience in itself, I actually never spent long enough outside to feel cold in terms of core body temperature, because after every run I would rush into the ski lodge for a break, the main issue was protecting your skin from burns. Obviously I wore a full ski suit, boots, gloves, helmet and goggles, but that leaves your cheeks, mouth and nose unprotected. To overcome this issue we used physio “kinesio” tape to protect our skin, this worked well, but any unprotected skin was intermediately burnt when skiing at decent speed. People’s ski boots, shin guards, helmets etc. would crack in half just from the cold.
Now, onto the more exciting news, I competed in 11 races over there, scoring an all time PB of 40 FIS points in slalom and multiple PBs in GS with the best two being at 23 FIS points (The lower the points, the better). I also managed to get three podiums, all in GS, all silver medals, second only to Korea’s strongest World Cup skier, and Olympian, Jung Donghyun. The highlight of my trip was definitely my silver medal in the Far East Cup race as all of the best skiers from Asia and Russia were present, as well as a few other Europeans, and I was lucky enough to have team mate Robert Poth on the podium with me! Of course another massive part of the experience is the people I met, having made new contacts from Poland, Slovenia, Korea, Australia, Slovakia and Japan.