Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prague to Seu

With my team mate, Caroline Queen....
Coming into the hardest gate on the course...
Prague: The Start Gate
I’m now sitting at the cafĂ© overlooking the whitewater course in La Seu D’Urgell, Spain. We had a wonderful journey from Prague, stopping overnight in Baaden Baaden, Germany and Carselle, France. The roads wound through stunning mountains studded with ancient castles carved out of the stones.
The Prague World Cup wasn’t my most successful race. I finished 14th in the semifinals…just missing finals. I was very disappointed in myself. It’s been difficult, but I am very happy to be racing against so many incredibly talented C1W’s. I’m still mulling things over, trying to debrief my feelings regarding the race, but I’m discovering that I can learn just as much from missing the podium as I can from standing atop it.
This week I will be training on the course here at La Seu. Its fun, squirrelly whitewater and I’ve missed it since last years’ World Championships. The ICF (International Canoe Federation) will be hosting a training camp for C1W’s prior to the race, so I will take part in that to prepare for this weekend’s World Cup.
Thanks for checking in, I’ll be updating again soon, and I’ll see you on the river!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Prague World Cup Preliminary Day




After a week of enjoyable training on the Troja Slalom Course in Prague, CZ, the days of racing began. Today was Preliminary runs, determining the racers who will progress to Semifinals, and possibly Finals tomorrow. I did my usuall pre-race preparation - walking the course, talking it over with my fellow athletes, and getting plenty of sleep the night before. This morning I woke up, walked the course, watched pre-runs, warmed up, and then hit the course for my first run. My first run was clean, but not nearly as fast as it needed to be. I finished feeling unsatisfied and longing for the speed that I lacked. After my first run I went inside and got warm, and tried to remove my mind from the race for an hour before my second run. When the time rolled around, I warmed up and went through my race plan in my mind again. I went all out on my second run - directing gates I had spun, and throwing far more gutsy moves than on my first run. All went well until gate 11...then I drove right by a gate. I was shocked, and severely bummed out - I knew I had just blown a good run. I went back for the gate, and gave the rest of the course my all, but my run still wasn't made up in my mind or on the stopwatch. I finished the day sitting in 13th - so I'll advance to Semis, but I'll have to step up my race in order to make top 10 and advance to Finals tomorrow afternoon.

Thanks for checking in - I'll let you know how tomorrow goes!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

United States Sports Academy: Athlete of the Month



I have received the incredible honor of being voted the U.S. Sports Academy Athlete of the Month.
The award is given to one man and one woman, of any age, nationality, or sport, each month. Six men and women are nominated, and then the voting process begins. I was fortunate enough to be nominated by my good friend, and fellow female canoeist, Pamela Boteler, and then was further blessed to be voted for by enough people to put my name at the top of the list. It means a great deal to me to have won this award, and I want to say thank you to all of the supportive people who gave me their vote.

To see the results:
http://ussa.edu/publications/news/2010/06/07/kenyan-marathon-rookie-american-paddling-prodigy-win-academys-may-athlete-of-the-month-honors/

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flatwater Practice with my Training Partner

Here is a little clip of my usual training session. I'm the first paddler...then there's a pause, and then my training partner took his run. I've got to admit, I'm jealous of his solid technique.
video

The Last Days of Home







I'm getting the final preparations in before we head over to Europe - squeezing in my last training sessions, packing up, and savoring my last couple of days at home. I'll miss this wonderful pocket of Wisconsin, with the bubbling stream in my backyard, the lupines and daisies in our wildflower garden, and the luscious green woods that surround our home. I'll miss my friends, and my family, but I'm terribly excited to begin this chapter of my adventure! Wish me luck, and I'll check in again soon!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wausau Release with the Molan


I got to hop in a Pyranha Molan today! It is a lovely boat, with quick, clean, responsive lines - and I had fun! Here's a shot my dad, Michael Thompson, caught of me while I was playing...

Friday, June 4, 2010

European Races

This summer is approaching faster than I could have imagined! I've been training constantly, finishing up my Sophomore year of High School, and getting ready to head over to Europe for the Races I will be competing in this summer - the World Cups in Prague, Czech Republic, and Seu, Spain, the Junior World Championships in Foix, France, and the World Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
I fly out on Saturday, June 12th, and I'm incredibly excited to get to travel and compete in new places. I am competing, and keeping close to heart that not only do I want to race to the best of my abilities - I want to be a good ambassador, for my country, and for my sport.

Thanks for checking in!
See you on the river,

Hailey