I hope this can share a smile! As some of you may know, I recently made a choice to move from home to park city Utah in efforts of chasing my dreams to snowboard and compete in the 2018 Paralympics games in Pyeongchang Korea.
1 year: Realizing I only had one year to learn how to snowboard, train and qualify for the 2018 Paralympics I got to work. Some shot me down saying it's to big of a glass to fill, and indeed it is a big glass to fill but to me the glass is was already half full. Exactly a year ago today I stepped on snow in Utah for the first time, hiking up closed Brighton resort to ride the snow under a snow gun.
Making ends meet: Working to make ends meet, I worked at a local snowboard shop to pay the bills and learn more about snowboarding. The job also came with a perk of receiving a mountain pass, this was my way to get on the hill. Learning the lay of the land I was snowboarding everyday that I could. At the end of the season i heard about the US nationals boardercross race in copper mountain Colorado. Realizing the opportunity I had to go. After competing & landing some solid runs I began talking with the US Paralympic snowboard coaches.
World Cups: The first World Cup of the games season was New Zealand. Knowing a good result would put me a step ahead for meeting qualifying criteria i wanted to go. Working hard saving money, fundraising and applying for scholarships/grants I put together a budget that was tight but do able. New Zealand was my first time ever leaving the US. Making my international debut and attending my first World Cup, I was stoked to podium 1st both days. This helped me reach some of the criteria needed to attend the games.
Back to work: Shortly after New Zealand, the next chain of world cups/ qualifiers was listed. Two banked slalom world cups in Langraaf Netherlands and two snowboardcross world cups in Phya Finland. With my lack of funding I was back to square one. Working hard to make the budget to fund Europe's comps. Amazingly people stepped in to help out of there willing spirit. I was then connected through a buddy to provide a speaking service in exchange for the funds needed for the comps.
Europe: Europe was a great experiance. Unfortunately i suffered huge prosthesis issues while there. Fighting everyday to keep my prosthesis on. The fit to a proper prosthetic is key for everything. Although the World Cups wouldn't wait for me. Thankfully some team mates helped me with a temporary solution that got me by.
Competing in landgraf was cool my first time ever snowboarding inside. Even with my socket issues I had fun and learned a ton! All in all I am very excited on my riding there! The first two days I was struggling and didn't finish strong. However on the 3rd day I was able to sort out a better line and At the end of the day I was pumped to land a 3rd place finish!
Finland: Arriving in Finland was beautiful! All the snow everywhere and seeing the place where Santa clause is from set the spirit! After a week of training on the hill, it was time for the first snowboard cross event of the season. The two boardercross competitions where important because of the results needed to make the 2018 Paralympics.
Results: Racing at my first ever snowboard cross World Cup the head to head racing was rubbin! Everyone brought there all and was riding strong. the two days were great! Making it to the big finals both days I was racing my US team mate Mike Schultz. Mike Schultz has made it possible, mike is the guy who made the moto knee and versa foot prosthetic most of us use to snowboard. Truly amazing to ride along side of him, both days we swept the podium 1st and 2nd for America! I took silver both days! Meeting a big part of the needed criteria for the games!
Dreams to commitments: Today, a year later to the date that I first stepped on snow in Utah. I have learned That I have met all qualifications to compete at the 2018 Paralympic games!! Since coach told me I have been speechless!! I learned to see a glass as half full rather than half empty.
(Official invitations go out in feb) I am so pumped!! knowing that I will be representing the United States of America at the 2018 Paralympic games!!
Thank you everyone for your love and support! Without your help none of this would have been possible. From the go fund me donations to the prayers and all the way across the board! From my spirit to yours Namaste ♥️ Looking forward to a beautiful career doing what I love! For all who believes the glass is half full raise up! cheers!! ♥️