SMS AUSTRIA CREW
Just like that, one of the most memorable snowboarding trips is coming to an end. There were highs and lows, and while the lows were subterranean, the highs were stratospheric. Would I do it all over again? No way, Makayla is too important to the team to even consider it. But we had to make the most of our ordeal and there isn't an athlete on the trip who wants to leave (including Mak). The scenery was majestic, the hospitality humbling, and the riding was better than we could have imagined.
We spent our last day on the glacier filming and training on the slope course. Highlights included Eric Beauchemin speaking in German before his drops, James running out of tricks to film, Phoebe SLAYING boxes, Indy getting her spins back, and Serena Shaw hell bent on learning switch backside spins. She was looking for sw back 360s (which she learned in NZ). Although she did not land them, she overspun 6 or 7 with legit style. That girl is tough as nails and won't take no for an answer. I was so proud of her efforts and love her grit.
We returned home to find Makayla full of energy and in good spirits. She is in minimal pain and has started using her crutches to get around. She was able to leave the room for the first time in 2 days to share a team dinner with us. Our house mom Veronika outdid herself with the dinner she prepared. She runs a health camp in the summers and has recipes for days. We will miss her, but we know we have friends in Schladming for life.
Its 10pm and we begin our travels home at 3am. Veronika was nice enough to drive with us to the airport so Makayla can ride in comfort and I can rid myself of the stress of driving in an unfamiliar country in the dark. We couldn't have scored a better set up. Veronika's sister was the organizer behind the event and she was impressed with my crew. I had foreign riders asking me about Makayla 5 or 6 times a day since the incident. Many of these people I had not even met. I often expect to get the stinkeye from foreigners for being American, but that was not the case here. I attribute that less to Obama than to the 6 amazing youths traveling with me.
PHOEBE IN THE LIMELIGHT
Time to get a few hours of shut eye. Wish us luck on our travels home. Farewell to Austria and the peerless Alps. Thanks again to Mike Mallon for making this all possible. Makayla will be back in action before we know it.
Couldn't load the above last night, just did it now FROM HOME! So, yeah we made it back. Thats quite a story in itself, but one for another day. Time for the first real night sleep in a week!