This past weekend we had our last olympic qualifier event at the world cup in stoneham, quebec. Everyone's goal on the pipe team was to have 2 top fives (out of 5 events) as it meant priority selection for the Olympic team. Coming into this past weekend, i was the only rider with those results. But it by no means meant i was safe. With canada having only 3 spots for the guys pipe team it was still possible for me to get knocked off the team. Brad, jeff and Dustin each had 1 top five and if they all got a top five in stoneham, naming the team would have become very tight indeed. If 2 of those guys got top fives, then the third guy was left out. Being in the 3rd spot brad was sweating the most these past few weeks.
As quals progressed Jeff and myself were sitting in 1st and 3rd, brad was around 10th and dustin was the last guy to drop. needing to land his second run to make finals (and his chance at a top 5) we all watched as dustin dropped into his do or die run. Dusty dropped a pretty good run, but with too many flat landing and sketches in the flat bottom it's gonna be really close to making the finals or not. We all piled around the score board to see the score come up, discussing the ups and downs of his run, debating possible scores. Dustin's score comes up short. I'm pretty sure i hear brad's sigh of relief from across the pipe! It sucks to see one friend's dream ended and another's realized at the exact same time. Basically right at this point Brad, jeff and myself all know we're on the team. Our smiles get bigger, shoulders relax a little more, high fives are slapped.
But we still have finals to go through. At the start of the day i told my coach i was gonna wing it through all my runs. Practise for finals was going really good, board was running fast, liking the pipe, feeling good. As we got into the finals themselves, the temperature dropped, a lot. I dropped into my first run and it felt like i was riding on sandpaper. I was barely moving in comparison to practise. Wasn't stoked. The temperature had fallen so much it made my wax job pretty much useless (cold snow is like little daggers and you need really hard wax for it; otherwise you go really slow). I made do with the situation (not much you can do) and ended up in 4th place. janne korpi from finland won on his last run, jeff got second and antti autti got 3rd. Was a fun night minus the unexpected slowdown.
We had a press conference yesterday in quebec city to name the olympic team, then jumped on a plane to head out to clagary for another world cup and the burton CDN open. In cowtown for a few weeks then heading home and the Games.