Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear 4th grade: And now, I am in Bled, Slovenia

Does this not look like Lake Placid at night on Mirror Lake?

I really enjoyed getting to see a new country. Slovenia has a very neat and different feel to it, even though I was only mere hours from Austria and Germany. We arrived in the evening, which is always fun, because the morning brings such suprise about the surrounding area, town and nature.
Looking down towards the shooting range and stadium in Pokljuka, were the races were held.

A "small town" of wax cabins for all of the countries is the place where our skis are made to be fast!
Our poles are all lines up and ready to go:
And here are all of our training skis:
All week, every week, we spend a lot of time in the above places, so each week I make sure I get out to enjoy the town I am staying in. The town of Bled is on a lake similar in size to Mirror Lake, but with an island and castle in the middle!

Local legend has it that this castle has been a popular wedding spot for a long time and before the wedding the groom must carry the bride of these 99 steps. I think my fiance could hack that:)

I ran around the lake on my last day before heading back home. It is a quite place, but bustling with visitors taking pictures as the stroll around the lake as I did. I was also quite taken by the "villas" and old estates that peppered the shoreline. I remember visiting old "camps" and even the Lake Placid Club when I was young - there is a similar "old" feel to this place.

When I arrived - I new this place had a good feel to it. Training went well, racing went okay, better and better than even I expected after a challenging start to my season. In the Individual race I hit 19 for 20 targets and placed 21st - a personal best for the World Cup and a result which also pre-qualified me for the 2010 Olympic Team. It happened so much faster than I expected, but now in retrospect I believe it all came at the right time. I have worked hard, and am prepared to work even harder. After this next block of World Cups (Germany and Italy) its the home stretch towards the games - both periods will offer me time to train and race with new goals and achievements so that in February I can be at or closer to my peak performance.

In 2007, when still with the Maine Winter Sports Center, I was on the Potato Picker's Special at 4am up in the County during potato harvest with John Farra (who is now head of the Nordic Sports for the US) and I told them the revelation I had when buying a can of beans that was marked with "Best by 2010." At that point, I new I was on the road to also be "Best by 2010."

Thank you to all have helped me get this far!


Andy said...

Hey Hales,

I saw your result from Solvenia on! Great job! Keep on shooting straight!


ben cross said...

congratulations Haley on your selection to the olympic team!!.....

we are all so proud of certainly deserve it.

we love you

conni, ben, kirsten & matt