Just back from Dublin where I attended the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Workshop organised by the Irish Olympic Council and the Sport ireland Institute.
Lovely to catch up with my Alpine friends Pat, Kieran, Cormac and Emma and to meet other athletes from the other snowsports disciplines Thomas, Brendan (Bubba), John and Seamus for a great photoshoot. We all looked grand!
The article by Amy O'Connor in the Irish Times (11th October) "Ireland Winter Olympic hopefuls diverse and freh-faced" can be found here:
The road to PyeongChang 2018 starts this season with two months training and racing in the Southern Hemisphere. After a good few days of heavy snowfall my first races were the National Championship and South American Cup races in Cerro Catedral (Argentina). Very happy here, two personal best FIS point results and two podium finishes in the Under21 category. Vamos!!!
I am so happy and proud to be one of the five Irish recipients of an Olympic Scholarship. This scholarship will allow me to continue to train hard in the final part of the qualifying period for PyeongChang 2018.
Team Ireland announcement:
We are proud to announce that five Irish Olympic hopefuls will receive Olympic Solidarity scholarships to support their bid to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea !
The five are, Tess Arbez, Patrick McMillan, Kieran Norris who compete in Alpine Skiing, Kieran (Seamus) O’Connor, Snowboarder (slopestyle and half pipe) and Brendan Doyle in the Skeleton.
Just back from an amazing week in St Moritz where I managed to pass both qualifying races in GS and Slalom to compete with the world's best racers in the Championship races, finishing 52nd in Slalom and 59th in Giant Slalom. The Swiss public and organisation were absolutely fantastic. I was very happy to catch up with my team-mates Conor, Cormac and Kieran, and to meet Kelsie. Very proud of this Team Ireland!
The Team Ireland selections have been announced for the World Alpine Championships in Saint Moritz (February 5-19 2017).
I am honoured and proud to be part again of this great team:
Ladies: Tess Arbez, Kelsie Carlette
Men: Cormac Comerford, Conor Lyne, Kieran Norris
In Tignes on January 3rd I raced my first ever Downhill races, and was thrilled by the speed of my skis on the ice. The training on the morning before the race was the first time I had ever tried my Head 210 cms. Let's do it again!
June was a tough month with seven written exams to pass for my Scientific Baccalaureate degree. Now that my high school years are over I am starting a new page in my life, joining Orsatus Ski Racing team for a gap year before starting University.
In slalom on a very difficult course with bib number 53 I got my first Top 30 in a World Championship (29th). My time was not good but it was a battlefield and I am happy to have moved up the ranks in slalom and giant slalom since my last WJCs in Hafjell last year.
The Junior World Alpine Ski Championships 2016 will take place in Sochi/Rosa Khutor, Russia from February 24th to March 6th 2016. Tess Arbez, Cormac Comerford and Garreth Reilly will take part.
In Courmayeur, Italy, on a difficult GS course with great skiers including my friend Mathilde from Belgium, I got my first FIS result under 50 points: 47.67! On the second race of the day, a vicious encounter with a red gate on the second run did not allow me to finish with the same result. Next time... (FAIL BETTER!)
My first Super G races were last year in Val Thorens where I finished with relatively modest FIS points of 165 but I had fun on the longer skis. This season my goal is to lower these points even if the snow conditions are not favourable for training. So off I went to Pila near Aosta for my first training... in a FIS race with top European Cup skiers. I finished at the bottom of the field, with 140 points! Two SuperGs later, I managed 111 points, (slowly) moving towards my goal of under 100 points.
In Hintertux for a ski camp organised by FIS for competitors from small ski nations... SMALL but STRONG ;-)
Great to see my team-mate Garreth again and meet skiers from all over the world including Bosnia, Monaco, Denmark, Chile and Asia...
The conditions in Hintertux are fabulous: good snow and lots of sun. What else!?