Photo: Georg Hochmum
It was not long time ago I had my first podium and now it is race time again. The thoughts are running crazy and my head feels like it´s on a roller coaster and shifting focus in a rapid speed. I’m nervous the days before and the tension in my body is like a cat on hot bricks.
On the race day I wake up early in the morning. Before the alarm goes off and that with it being set on 04:50 it means I just want the day to get started. First run is starting at 10, but I have some preparations to make. I need a long, good warmup. Some biking, weights, fast movements and yoga. It takes about 30 minutes. Then a great breakfast and a long trip to the slope. I am nervous with a big N. This situation is new. I expect more, and the reporters are way more interested than normally.
In the lift at the way up I find myself singing, you know you cannot both be singing and nervous. So I try to push the anxious feelings away. It is icy and it is snowing. I see that Shiffrin is in the lead, but I see her run from the chair lift on the way up. It is not that great. So I understand that it is not that easy and not such a good skiing today. I know what I have to do and try to focus on myself. I do my normal routines and get prepared. Some squats with bodyweight some running and push ups. I am joking with my technician and physio at the start and then I am in the gate. I get a course report. Nothing special. I´m getting closer to the startgate. ”Dare and move forward in the turns” I repeat to myself over and over. I take deep breaths and the adrenaline is pumping in my veins. I feel the heart beat loud. It´s my turn. I push out of the gate. The run starts with a catastrophe. I am sure I won’t even be top 30 when I am skiing. Oh, how could this be I think to myself. Push harder. Just let the skies go. After a while I find some kind of rhythm and just try to have fun. When I reach the finish I find myself at second place! Wow. I just feel that now, I will win. That feeling. But… the time between the runs goes so slowly. I´m nervous. Trying to focus on me and relaxing. Up on the start again. It´s snowing and it´s even more difficult than the first run. I feel more confident and focused. Still a lot of emotions and I just try my very best. Push out of the start gate again and find it difficult to find the rhythm at the start again. Then I start to enjoy it. I do some mistakes but I try to just let it go. I cross the finish and it´s a green light. I take the lead. Then. Shiffrin don´t ski faster than I did. All of a sudden, I´m nr 1 in the world that day. My dream – a reality. It all happens so rapid after that. Interviews, then run to the podium, off with the jacket and up on it. Sing the national anthem. Down. Hurry to press conference. Phone calls like never before. Then home and it´s all like normal. I reflect over the day. The most fun part of it was still to ski. That´s nice to know. I really like to win so much, but I love to ski even more. Still, My first World Cup victory and a dream coming true!!! I want to experience it again and again. Now I fight to make it come true once more.