One of the dubious distinctions I've had to bear ever since making the U.S. team back in '99 is that no matter how well I've been skiing, I've been one of the few team members never to have won a race, big or small. I've had literally dozens of second- and third-place finishes at Nor-Am races and U.S. Nationals, and more recently a number of World Cup top-10s as well. But I have no gold medals in the cardboard box where I keep my medals, at least none that I've won since I raced as a junior eight years ago.
Today that finally changed. The stars were in alignment, my chakras were synchronized, my chi was unblocked, whatever. I finally won a race, a Nor-Am giant slalom on my home hill of Winter Park. My second run wasn't pretty — I almost skied right out of the course after making a big mistake — but I held onto most of my speed, and my closest competitors made even more costly mistakes. The win did come with a bit of an asterisk: a couple of the top U.S. GS skiers in my class, namely Chris and Tyler, weren't here — attendance at this race wasn't mandatory. Nevertheless, I was not only the fastest monoskier in both runs, I also had the fastest overall adjusted time of anyone in the race, which earned me $250 in prize money. (Rock on.) And as an additional bonus, my roommate Gerald and my friend Nick took second and third.
Tomorrow we're racing super G, and the whole student body of St. Anne's school will be up here to cheer us on, which is cool.