Welcome to Estonia

The team has come back together from our various training camps around the world, and we’ve rejoined the World Cup here in Otepää, Estonia! This was the site of my first-ever overseas racing trip with the J1 Scando Cup trip (back when it was called J1, that is…I’m old now). It was such a fun experience with amazing people, and it’s what motivated me to keep training hard so I could someday come to World Juniors. So coming back after a few years away from the venue is pretty exciting!

Simi, Liz and I got really excited about the old-school arcade game at the Ostersund airport in Sweden.
Simi, Liz and I got really excited about the old-school arcade game at the Ostersund airport in Sweden.

Before you can read any further, you need to please open another window with this song, and read the rest of the post with “Welcome to Estonia” playing in the background. I don’t know what they’re saying except for the chorus, but every time I’ve ever raced in this stadium the fans LOVE this song. They chant it from the bleachers as it gets piped out of the loudspeakers, and now this song has become a symbol of the “go get ’em” attitude you need whenever racing in Otepää.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XgCsv-y-mc 

Checking out the courses before the World Cup chaos begins! (photo from Jason Cork)
Checking out the courses before the World Cup chaos begins! (photo from Jason Cork)

Before traveling to Estonia I was in Valadalen, Sweden with many of my teammates and my family! My boyfriend made the trip over for a week, then my parents, and it was so incredibly special for me to have the chance to go skiing with them.

Dad, Mom and me! (photo from Liz)
Dad, Mom and me! (photo from Liz)

Training camp was hard work and also a little nerve-wracking, since it was our last chance to tweak things before World Champs begins! Not that you can change too much at this time of year, but it’s really important not to over-do it and tire yourself out, which is the most common mistake since you get nervous and antsy and just want to ski more and more! Having my family there really helped me focus on quality time and stress less about upcoming races, focusing instead of being happy and hitting each workout the best I could.

Matt racing me to the finish in my team sprint time trial! (photo from my Mom)
Matt racing me to the finish in my team sprint time trial! (photo from my Mom)
A beautiful sunset on our last night!
A beautiful sunset on our last night!

Tonight is the techs team sprint, which means nothing less than the BIGGEST TO-DO OF THE YEAR! Techs from every team on the World cup compete and many of them are scary serious about it, holding try-outs the day before. Many of them are past Olympians and World Championship medalists, but let me tell you…none of them have the heart and team spirit that our guys have! I can’t wait to get out there and cheer!

-Jessie

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