Lots of Turkish Delight
I can't believe where the time has gone and looking back on my last update, it's been over a month. I've so much to squeeze into this update that I'm sure I'm miss out something so be prepared for a 2nd edition.
Well, what’s been happening since my last update. Firstly, you may recall that I'd had the confirmation from the British Olympic Association that I'd been selected for the Team GB youth squad to head out to Turkey in February.
Well, literally as soon as the letter landed, myself, Jack, Oliver and Fergus headed off to Ramsau in Austria for a pre-competition training camp. The main purpose of the camp was to get acclimatised to racing at high altitude. None of us had raced so high before and the week in Ramsau was brilliant fun and spectacular scenery. We worked hard but as it was a week prior to a competition, it was not off the scale in terms of pushing ourselves too hard otherwise we'd overdo it and be too tired for the following week.
Then it was a quick hope back to London to meet up with the rest of the Team GB squad to get to know one another prior to heading out to Turkey. At the same time, we also had a chance to take part in a kit day, where we all received an absolute mass of Team GB gear for the Olympic festival.
The next day it was off to Heathrow and then out to Turkey. Now, everyone I speak to has the image of a hot climate and sand when I speak of Turkey, trust me, it wasn't. It was sub-zero temperatures, lots of snow and it got down to -26C on one of the days. Security was tight and we had armed soldiers outside our athlete’s village but overall, it was an extremely friendly festival and really, enjoyable.
I say that, but maybe the racing wasn't so enjoyable. At such low temperatures and with limited oxygen, I found it tough to get enough oxygen into my body during the races. The courses had long hill climbs in them and not much time to recover so the going was tough. Added to that, 2 weeks prior, I'd damaged my ankle and the Team GB physio worked her magic to keep me strapped up for the races. But snow conditions were brilliant, perfect blue skies and sunshine and our families came out to support us for the week so it was good to hear the cheering from the small crowds.
During the week, we also got the opportunity to watch some of the other winter sports and Team GB athletes. As you train throughout the year, you tend to be engrossed on your sport only and forget that other athletes have had to work just as hard at their own sports. Watching the short track skating and the figure skating was inspiring and seeing what these guys and girls must go through has given me further momentum to keep pushing with my sport.
After travelling back, it's been simply back to school. I'm now in my final year at Gordon Schools and have a couple of exam targets that I must meet to get me on the next stage of my employment ladder. That said, I managed to pick up my third part time job which will keep me busy over the Easter holidays and help me save some money for the next season on snow.
I've no more snow racing until later in the season although I hope to be able to maybe get some glacier training this summer to build up my exposure on snow. These last few months have been brilliant experience and I'm keen to see if I can continue my skiing career over the coming years.
Turkey was hopefully just my first experience on the Olympic ladder and I'll be pushing for the next few years to see if I can make it to Beijing in 2022. Lots of work to do in the meantime but I'll keep you posted on how it's going.