ASXT 2020 Athlete Journal: Alexa Velcic
Alexa here, checking in as we are closing out our Eastern Block, with our last two Nor-Ams in Calabogie this week. It’s sure been an eventful few months!
In early January, we had Nationals and our first Nor-Ams in Red Deer. The field was very deep, with a number of World Cup girls racing, and I was super excited to move through all the heats both days. It was super fun to battle it out and spend time with my friends that have been at World Cup all year. My results were also a huge motivator going into the next week: Nakiska World Cup.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Going into Nakiska was pretty stressful, as the World Cup there two years ago did not go very well for me. Sure enough, this year also proved to be a challenge. With extreme cold, the first two days of training ended up being canceled. They decided to go ahead with qualis on Friday with only two runs of training planned. I got in the gate for first run with my best friend Abby only to get flagged because someone had crashed in front of us. When we returned the the start, we found out they had cut training short and we would not be getting our second run.
For the hour or so before quali I doubted whether or not I could get in the start gate. I knew that this race was probably the most important race for me, the best way to earn my way back onto the National Team. Nothing had gone to plan and coping with that reality was not easy.
Sure enough, I went back up to the start with lots of emotions crowding my mind. As the boys finished up it was just me and JM. If it weren’t for him there’s no way I would have been able to get into that start gate. Every time I felt the doubts creeping back in, he told me he was not going to let me give up on myself. He talked me into racing up until the moment the start was being called. Near the bottom of the course I wasn’t sure of the speed and ended up throwing in a few speed checks, no doubt killing my time. When I got to the bottom I saw my position on the board: 17th, one spot out of heats. I was pretty devastated, but having my teammates coming up to hug me as I left the finish corral definitely made me feel much better.
A few days later, it was time to race Nakiska again, this time for Nor-Ams. I was able to get some redemption on that track. After slightly frustrating quali results, I skied to two third place results. Both finals were some of the funnest heats I’ve skied in years, with Zoe, Annie and I battling it out the whole way down the track.
Now we’ve made it back to Calabogie after a frustrating trip to New York, with both our races there being canceled due to an unsafe track build. I’m looking forward to two more races here, where I scored my first Nor-Am win just last week! Time to close off our Eastern Block strong before heading home for a well deserved break!
As always, thank you to all that support us! Being part of the Alberta Alpine family this year has been such a blessing. After two challenging years of racing, I’m so thankful to be part of such a supportive, encouraging association!
Thank you for the read! -Alexa
Check out Alexa’s Athlete Profile here.