European Youth Olympic Diary
Tuesday May 21st 2013
EYOWF Closing Ceremony.

Friday February 22nd 2013
The good news was that we were seeded 13th out of all the Countries entered and this meant that we didn't need to do a qualifier.  The bad news was that our first round was against Norway!

I think we were all feeling pretty nervous - skiing is largely an individual sport so it's a big responsibility  when you are racing for your team and the pressure was definitely on, for all of us, to be racing against one of the top teams.

Although none of us won our head-to-heads, we all finished and we all finished well; just a very short distance behind our Norwegian counterparts.  Despite not progressing further, the relief at not having let down our team-mates was enormous and we were able to enjoy watching the rest of the competition.  Austria were the eventual winners!

This has been a very enjoyable event.  I am disappointed not to have held on in the first run of the Slalom, because I think I would have finished with a good time, but that is how it goes with ski racing - the smallest of mistakes can put you out of a race.

I'm now looking forward to the Closing Ceremony.

Thursday February 21st 2013
Today, Kristen and I didn't have to get up early today because we aren't racing.  When we did get up, we went up to the race hill to join our parents and watch the boys race - unfortunately, they both failed to finish.

Afterwards, we practiced our starts for the dual slalom - one of the gates was set up at the bottom of the hill on a raised platform and Diego showed us how to get the tips of our skis up and to use our poles to push us out of the gate - this was better than using the handgrips because gripping them means that you have to let go of your poles.  None of my team mates had done this before either so it was good that we were able to get some practice.
Wednesday February 20th 2013
We were up quite early this morning for some warm-up runs and to inspect the course.

In run 1, I made a small mistake quite early on but was then having a great race.  I was going fast and about four fifths of the way down I turned a bit too early and that was it - I was out of the course.

I was frustrated to have come out when I was having such a good run and my team mate seemed to think I was on for a 52 seconds run which would have been very good.  On the other hand, if I try to take something positive from it, I was having a really good run and I was pleased with the way I was skiing (up until I came out, of course!).

Unfortunately, both Kristen and I failed to complete the first run so there was no Irish representative on the results sheet.
Tuesday February 19th 2013
Kristen and I had a bit of a lie-in this morning which I was very grateful for because I was really tired last night.

We went up the hill to watch the boys race before training for tomorrow's slalom race.  Unfortunately, neither of the boys finished the race which was a shame.

We were able to train on 3 different short courses that had been set up.

We have been invited to dinner this evening with Mr Hickey (the President of both the Olympic Council of Ireland and the European Olympic Committee) and his wife along with our parents.

Monday February 18th 2013
The GS race today went off with just one drama; it was a 15 minute delay at bib 44 (I was bib 48) as a result of a fall -  so that was not the best preparation for me as we were held at the start.

After that start, I was pleased to finish the race in the top 40 (37th).  It was nice to beat Nations like Iceland and the Czech Republic where they have their own ski hills; it's a feather in Ireland's cap since we don't have our own mountains for skiing. The points will not be good but you don't race at this kind of event for the points!

It's down to the boys tomorrow and I wish them good luck.
Sunday February 17th 2013
We were up early today to get in some practice and look at the race hill - it looks quite nice.

We were taken down to the town of Brasov for the Opening Ceremony.  Cormac carried the Irish flag and the rest of the team including Alan, the Chef de Mission, Diego, our coach and Nessa, the Physio, marched behind.

The ceremony was held in an outside stadium and it was absolutely freezing - i suppose we should have been pleased that it wasn't snowing because it had done so earlier in the day.  Kirsten and I left after the ceremonial part of the proceedings because we are racing tomorrow but we could see the fireworks from the bus window.

Saturday February 16th 2013
We spent today getting to know each other on the team and our surroundings.  We cannot ski until tomorrow when we will have passes so we made sure that our skis are all prepped for training in the morning.

We were able to spend time with the other athletes staying in the hotel; I already know many of them.

We have been given our kit and we are all really pleased with it - the jacket and soft-shell are lovely and the pants are nice but, since they don't zip off, we cannot use them on race days.

We are having an early night so that we can make the most of training tomorrow.

Friday February 15th 2013
It was an early start this morning to get from Schladming, where I watched my sister crash out in the GS race at the World Championships, to Munich airport where I met up with other members of my team.  After some "discussions" with the check-in agents about the number of skis in my bag etc, we finally arrived in Bucharest and were driven in a coach, complete with police escort, to Poiana Brasov where the Alpine events will be taking place.

Our team consists of Kristen Sweeney, Luke Riddell, Cormack Comerford and me.  Kristen and I are very happy with our room which is in a nice hotel (The Alpina) where most teams are staying.  It will be great to look around the village tomorrow.