Incredible Journey to World Championships

Lorin Paley at World Championships in Austria

Lorin here with the update from the air over Washington, DC. What an exiting trip for my first time in Europe! We ran through the airport on a tight connection in Washington to start it off, and it seemed to stay at that pace all the way through. We arrived in Slovenia in possibly the biggest car there (a Mercedes Sprinter) to a foot of fresh cement (they called it snow). We must have jinxed ourselves in the car checkout by telling the car company, “We don’t need chains!” We pushed our white rocket out of a parking lot in front of race headquarters before even our first Slovenian meal to start a seemingly endless trend. We knocked out a rear reflector on the third day on Bohinj’s super skinny roads. The next time walkers and bikers ask for a road widening I will just have to pull out the photo of one of our many attempts at turning around. The snow that we arrived to in Slovenia (they are having their best snow year in Bohinj in ten years) turned to rain by the second training day. For every race day in Slovenia, it remained foggy and thick at the elevation of the race hill and clear at the top (an astonishing view!). That sort of weather made for some interesting attempts at photography by my parents.

The racing in Slovenia was a huge learning experience. The first day I mustered a great first run in the sprint putting me in fourth, but fell in the rappalucha right before the skate on the second run. I had a great skate in the second, so I only fell back into sixth. A fun day nonetheless, and I even had the chance to go onto the podium stage and get some cool sunglasses for my placing. The next day was tough. It rained all day, and since I was still adjusting, I was a little queasy on the first run. I stuck that one out, felt better after some time chilling in the lodge and got ready for my second run. When I landed the jump, I felt my binding give way and I looked down just in time to see my ski flying towards the fence at warp speed. It hit squarely and my ski broke unrepairably. Luckily one of the Austrian racers had a pair of Lorin Paley on the Podiumher old skis that she sold to me on the spot. Talk about a silver lining!

After the “warm up race” we headed down to Austria in the sun, and we made a few stops along the way to world championships. World Championships were even more exiting than Bohinj. The terrain and the weather made for some extreme conditions the first day. It didn’t stop raining actually until right after we trekked through main street for the opening ceremony! The second day still had left over interesting snow from the rain, but the rain had ceased. The classic went extremely well for me in the Junior category with my first gold medal!! The next day, our day off of course, was perfectly sunny. We free skied all morning and took tons of pictures of the surrounding Alps. The sunny Alps are a sight to behold! After resting our lungs from the classic’s strenuous skate, we raced in the sprint. It was another successful day with another Junior #1. It is really one of the greatest things to hear your national anthem while standing atop the podium!

Even if I wrote a hundred pages to this email I wouldn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the experiences I had!

Thanks for everyone’s support on this incredible journey.

Your World Meister,
Lorin Paley