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Next season
Sunday, June 21, 2009

It’s been a while since I sat down at my computer to write an update. I’m sorry for the extended hiatus, but at the end of the season I was skiing really well without ascertaining quite the results I was hoping for. It’s always painful when you’re performing at your best and still aren’t satisfied for one reason or another. I ended up finishing the Colorado Spring series with a super g victory, which was the first time in the year that I had speed on my super g skis so that was nice. Then in Mammoth some bad weather canceled a GS that I was winning after first run. The other GS we had in Mammoth was on the flat super g hill and I barely won by a couple hundredths over Erik Fisher, who put together a killer second run. When Mammoth ended I spend a few days with Jamie in California and then flew to Finland for two more opportunities in GS. Pyha put on the last two races of the FIS season in GS on a hill flatter than I remember. Roger Brown, Eric Lundy, Jamie, and I raced there two years ago on the same hill. Anyway, the first day I wasn’t all that balanced on my skis and I blew out. The second day, I put together some solid skiing, but didn’t have that much speed to finish 3rd. So that’s how the season came to a close.

Either way, I will be ski racing next season. Over the past month I talked with Sasha, the USST men’s head coach, a number of times trying to figure out their policies for next season. Next year they are going to have a number of time trials for world cup starts. There will be a time trial in Solden, Colorado, and Europe whenever there are opportunities. Thus, this year there will be an avenue to world cup starts for non-ski team athletes, which is a great change (there wasn’t a single time trial where non-ski team athletes were invited during the last two years).

Last year’s focus was almost entirely on the Nor-Am circuit. This year’s focus will be a much shorter-term goal of making the Olympics in GS. This is the second part of last years two-year plan. I am now 27 and will be 28 in another month so focusing on the Nor-Am tour again just isn’t a place I want to be come next season. I will race a number of them, but this isn’t a two-year process it’s more about laying everything on the line and never skiing passively to the finish. Not to mention, in order to get the backing of our governing body – based on my age – I will have to finish the year ranked in the top 30 in the world.

I’m living in Stratton, Vermont right now, working out at SMS, and helping out with a dryland camp here starting tomorrow for the next week. I’ve been talking with Dane Spencer and will be teaming up with him next season. We are both on the same GS program. Although having Sam all last season was great, it was just too expensive. Not having a full time coach will be manageable since we’ll only be racing one event. However, he will be missed. We are going to try to work in some part time coaching with a few different people. Right now we’re trying to put together a trip to New Zealand and Chile.

Hope it’s not raining wherever you are. It’s pouring here in Stratton. Best wishes to all, w

posted by Warner at 6/21/2009 03:37:00 PM


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