Sochi Olympic Diary
« Return to olympic diary index

Friday February 21st 2014
Slalom Race Day!

I had a long time to wait to race today - the race began at 4.45pm and I was bib 73.  I had some rather conflicting instructions: the management said I should ski at a pace to finish the race but my coach told me to be brave and race like a lion.  It was confusing. I decided to settle on something in the middle!

The course was straightforward enough but, starting so far down the field I did have significant ruts etc to contend with.  It was one of these that nearly caused me to come out of the course and cost me a second.  However, I hung on and managed to complete the first run which I was very pleased with.  I had taken it at less than my normal pace and, whilst I was pleased to be in the finish, I was disappointed that I hadn't gone at full speed. 

Run 1 of the slalom

After the first run I went up into the stands to see my family and I was literally mobbed!  People wanted my autograph and/or to have their photograph taken with me, one woman even gave me her baby to hold!!!  A man from Hawaii gave me a traditional, hand painted necklace from the Pacific Island.  I can only imagine what it must be like to be a celebrity!

Having my photo taken with a local man ...

... and with a Hawaiian family

By the time the second run began, night had fallen and it was completely under floodlights; my first night slalom.  I did put my all into the start of the run but I came out after 6 gates - another nasty rut that I couldn't overcome this time. 

Outside of the stadium in the dark.

Of course, I was disappointed not to finish but it has been a fantastic race and a really exicting day!