After US Nationals in early January, I spent a little time piecing myself together after a somewhat disappointing week, and trying to figure out what races would be next. I traveled with my team to Truckee, CA to train leading up to the next Supertour weekend. And from Truckee, I spoke on the phone to US head coach Chris Grover. While I was in Europe racing on the World Cup in November and December, I expressed interest in travelling to race the February World Cups in South Korea – although Korea is around the other side of the world, it seemed like if it were to be possible for me to race there, it could be a valuable experience and a good way to continue my ski racing development. With such a strong US women’s team, I knew that start spots would be in short supply for the rest of the winter, but not all of the USST athletes were necessarily planning to travel to Korea. I continue to try to ascend the US Supertour ranking list to take that path back to Europe, but having missed early races in the Supertour calendar due to my World Cup Period I starts, and with many other strong contenders for a single World Cup spot, it’s not a path I can count on.
So, after Nationals, I spoke to Chris Grover, and much to my surprise and appreciation, he offered me a start spot in the 15k Classic mass start in Falun, Sweden as well as the 15k Skiathlon in South Korea. My coach and I contemplated the logistics for a moment, decided it was worth it to return to Europe, and quickly booked a ticket to Sweden. I feel extremely lucky for having been given this opportunity, based on my performance in World Cup Period I, to return to the World Cup. I’m ready to make the most of it, starting tomorrow in the 15k classic!