World Cup: Dubai
The first Banked Slalom World Cup of the season was in Dubai, UAE!! One of the best and definitely most exotic World Cups I’ve been to. In an amazing indoor facility called Ski Dubai inside the Mall of Emirates. Our team walked out of the airport with all our snowboards in temperatures hotter then they were back home. I love the opportunities that snowboarding gives me, travelling the world doing what I love.
Our team decided to skip training day because we only arrived the day before feeling very tired and jetlagged. The course was fun and flowed well but was challenging as it was very tight, so you had to have faster movements while keeping correct positions. It took a few runs, to really get into the groove of things on the board.
The first day riding the course for our team was the first comp day, an Asian Cup before World Cup. I was pretty hesitant as I hadn’t been on snow for a while. I followed my normal warm up routine and zoned out whilst listening to my preperation playlist to calm the nerves and focus whilst pump myself up for racing. On the 1st run I made a major mistake and took it easy as it was only my 2nd run ever on course, I was sitting in 2nd. I was able to step it up in the 2nd run, more confident with the course and push my riding to the limit, the run wasn’t near close to perfect but I was able to stay strong and centred on my board meaning I was smooth the whole way down. I was able to shave 2 seconds off my 1st time and take the win with a time of 32.03, over a second faster then any other athlete. FULLY STOKED!!!
The 2nd day of competition got a whole lot more serious, being the first World Cup of the season. I knew all athletes were very focused and my place on top of the podium was not safe at all. I don’t like testing out new preperation techniques on comp day, I’m in know of what i’m doing and how it will effect my mental and physical performance. I was able to put it all on the line in the first run and impressed myself for staying solid on my board, putting down a time that put me in the lead and faster then the day before, breaking 32 seconds. My 2nd run felt even better, but sometimes the clock doesn’t agree, as I posted a slower time. Luckily I was still able to take the win, with no one finishing with a time to kick me off the top spot in the 2nd run. I couldn’t believe it, this marked a massive moment in my career, my first ever World Cup win.
The final day of competition and most athletea are getting pretty worn out from 3 very intense days of riding and competition. Still all athletes are eager to win and get some early points for the overall world rankings. I was extremely keen to three-peat and sweep all gold medals on offer in Dubai, the other athletes were all on my tail and times were catching up to mine. I was able to really get into ‘the zone’ before the 1st run, pumped up, visualising to put my best run down. That’s exactly what I did, putting focus on exiting the turns with speed and being early for each turn ahead. I was able to post a time of 31.75, my fastest run on course. The 2nd run I had a internal goal, a time in the 30s. Going down it was for sure my best run yet, 3 quarters of the way down, I wasn’t able to hold the speed, entering a turn only a tiny bit late, ended up having a nasty crash going over the safety fence. Coming down to the finish I thought for sure someone had beaten my time. Although other times came very close to mine, fortunately for me, I was able to hold onto the win with my 1st run. I finished 1st at the 2nd World Cup.
Everybody on tour had to adjust to the change of scenery and also get use to being back on course and in a racing environment. This is always the case for the first World Cup every season, you feel on edge, not knowing how much training your competitors have done and meeting lots of new athletes. I made sure that I controlled what I was capable of and let no outside distractions get into my head.
I achieved my goal of three gold medals at the Dubai World Cup event, I couldn’t of asked for a better result and was very proud with my performance, starting off the season strong. The first World Cup Gold Medal is such a special experience for me, I would just quickly like to thank everyone who supported me through to come this far in the Para Snowboard circuit. My Coach Mikko Wedelin, Family, Team Unicorn, friends and sponsors.
Until next time,
Carve Your Way