AST Athlete Journal: Aidan Kometz

Hello everybody again! If you didn’t see my first Athlete Journal my name is Aidan Kometz and this is my first year on the Alberta Ski Team. The season is past half way and a lot has happened. 2024 started off quite challenging for me at the NORAM’s in the east. I struggled with finishing my races and not getting second runs. Fortunately, we came back home and got some much needed rest, recovery, and training which set me up for my next series at Kimberley. While Caleb and I continued training in Alberta, our teammate Gered was racing across Europe in anticipation for the World Junior Championship. It was so impressive to see Gered compete amongst the best junior athletes in the world. What I loved most was the livestreaming which displayed his full run complete with intervals and active speeds. However, this meant I was the only AST male competing in the Kimberley speed series. Luckily I got to stay with NASA, my previous team. I loved catching up and racing with my old teammates and coaches.

I also loved Kimberley because the main disciplines are downhill and super-g which are my favourite, but it also has a night slalom which is an amazing experience. The first two training days went great! I got a feel for the track, learning where I could push it and what line was the fastest. When it came to the first race day everything fell into place. It felt just like that good downhill run I had at Copper earlier in the season. I made the right moves, tucked as much as I could, and felt confident the whole way down. This was a great success for me not only for the skiing, but also because it was my first ever FIS win and podium. I was overjoyed with this result, yet the next day was the exact opposite. It was warming up and began to lightly rain before I went. I struggled with the surface and didn’t change my approach accordingly. I remember one specific turn where I got caught outside the line in the wet sticky snow and lost my speed. These two days demonstrated to me that skiing is a sport of constant flux and change. Ups and downs, highs and lows. I had an amazing day one day and a below optimal one the next. This lesson was shoved even more in my face when (on the same day as the bad downhill run) I podiumed in U19 for the night slalom, a discipline I normally struggle with. I am still trying to figure out the mental side of racing. I know I have the physical capabilities but I lack the confidence or ability to execute when necessary. As my previous coach used to say “You have to rise to the occasion” which, frankly, I have not been doing recently. However, I’m learning. I’m trying my best to figure out what works for me and I know that some things come with experience and time and not just ability.

We are now out east skiing some NORAMs and other races. This has become one of my favourite trips because of the memories/activities I am getting. One house we got to stay at had a pool, foosball, ping pong, and air hockey table. After a mentally hard day of racing it was necessary to come back and be distracted or cheer yourself up. I am really excited for these upcoming races, especially the Super-G NORAM as I really love speed. These trips away have also taught me a lot. I have learned how to accurately shop for yourself (which is a hard thing to do with how tempting everything is), how to cook new and different meals, and has taught me to have better time management. I have struggled a lot with handing in these journals on time, but I just get so caught up in the racing world I forget about them. I do really appreciate and value these trips and my life ski racing. I am grateful for everything that has come my way. I appreciate my family, teachers, coaches, and friends for any and all support. I also appreciate and want to thank our sponsors for supporting us, Karbon, GMC Dealers of Alberta, Genstar, and Sporting Life. We can only pursue these ambitions with your help.