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Banked Slalom is similar to boarder cross races, with banked turns, jumps and features to maneuver around. The difference is that in banked slalom you must pass each flagged gate and boarders run the course one at a time instead of in a pack of four or six.
I don’t know why I was surprised to feel nervous. It was my first snowboard race after all, but my tight chest, quick heart, and fear caught me off guard. Feeling anxiety is not something I experience in my daily life and although I didn’t like that I DID enjoy the race.
After falling on the icy track three times during a practice run I realized my strategy would have to be GO SLOW AND DON’T FALL. Unfortunately going slow is not a great strategy for winning races. Although I did not place in the top three women racers, I was able to complete the course without falling and improve my time from 90 seconds to 82 seconds. That’s good enough for me.
The race ended with an award ceremony where I won a cool sweatshirt (Thanks Nitro!) just for participating. I met some cool people, tried something new and realized I may not ever make it to the Olympics. Oh well!
NOTE: Although I wish I looked as cool as the people in these photos, they are not me.