Hellooooo from Norway!
I’m here because I will participating in the first ever X-Games in Oslo! So cool! More on that soon… I just finished up one of the most amazing trips skiing and exploring in South Korea and I wanted to share some great memories. I’m still buzzinggggggg from how fun this journey was!
I’d been to Seoul before, but only for two days and I hadn’t been able to experience the city to the extent I’d hoped. This time, I had the opportunity to go for a few extra days, so I recruited my teammate Kim Lamarre and our friend Justine and we were set to explore the city for 3 days pre-team meet.
I remember liking the food on my last trip, but not this much! This time, I was ready to try (almost anything)… or maybe it felt like it next to Kim who, although she insists has gotten a lot better, has a hard time with many foods 😛 That’s okay, Justine and I were the bold samplers (but I have to give Jay credit for sampling the miniature dried fish – I couldn’t do it).
We stayed in a cool, young neighborhood called Hongdae, around Hongkik University, so there were lots of great local restaurant, café and shopping hot spots. Instantly, I felt good immersed among the Seoulites – everyone was extremely welcoming. We cruised the streets, tasting local cuisine (seafood pancakes, kimchi stews, bibimbap, teokbokki [rice dumplings in spicy sauce], rice porridge… and of course, sweet pancakes filled with nutella or red bean paste!)…. Yum!
One of the beautiful landmarks we visited was Gyeongbokgung Palace, an ancient palace built thousands of years ago in the center of the city, now immersed in the heart of downtown, swarmed by high rises. It was really interesting the see the contrast between old and new.
Oh yes, one more (peculiar, to us) thing that has be mentioned is the cat cafes! In Seoul, you can wander into a cat café, order a tea or coffee and sit among dozens (really, dozens) of cats. You can even buy some chicken, which Kim was more than happy to do, and feed the cats yourself. At many points, Kim had cats crawling and perching themselves on every part of her. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her so happy.
After three days in the city, it was time to meet up with the Canadian team to head up to the mountains. We had a big crew; with team doctors, trainers, therapists, coaches, and all of the athletes. We had a private bus take us there, so it was familiar and comfortable riding up with just our crew!
Once we arrived, we had two days to fully adjust to our surroundings, so we checked out the coast about an hour away. Did you know there was a beautiful coast in Korea? The crystal blue waters of the East Sea drew us all in and ignited us, we were running around the beach, somehow connected to what we knew from back home. I really appreciated that. This area of the coast was one of the Olympic venues, so of course we took the typical Olympic ring photograph. But, come on, we’re a pretty good looking team of ladies right?
Day one of training started and everyone was extremely excited about the creativity the course offered. There were bigger and smaller features – and many of them – all facing different directions and offering different lines. I feel as though the last few years, to cater to bigger rotations, the courses have just been getting bigger and bigger… almost hindering the creative aspect which I feel is such an important and unique characteristic to our sport in the first place. It was amazing to see that the builders of this park didn’t go in that direction – instead they emphasized the innovative aspect and everyone still pulled off very progressive runs.
I had a tricky time in qualifications, with completing my first run and landing a little deep on the last jump, to having my ski pop off on a technical issue on the same landing in second run (I even skied away backwards on one ski! :(. Up until then, I’d felt great and had found a good flow … That second run was a little hard to swallow since I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do about it, but it was a humbling experience and a reminder that there are things that you cannot always control, and there is not much point (except to torture yourself) to resist the world around you. So I tipped my hat to my teammates who made it through and happily cheered them on.
Now I sit in my room with a beautiful view in Olso with an open heart and mind, and a bit of fuel in the fire, ready for my next challenge and adventure.
Congrats to Canadian teammate, Alex Bellemarre, for winning his first World Cup event, and taking home the gold at Pyeonchang’s Olympic Test Event. Booya!
Stay tuned on an update from the next continent…!
X from Norway