Saturday, February 27, 2010


I would like to give every volunteer at the Olympics a big high-five and I wish I could give each of them a present. They have worked so hard, with ridiculous shifts, without much recognition. They have made these games run so smoothly and they are just absolutely AMAZING!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Best compliment ever!

Best compliment I have ever received. In reference to a picture that was in the NZ Herald. According to John Burridges grandson, I was "looking like a cross between a Ninja and a Star Wars warrior". YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Thank you mini man, that is awesome!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Olympics- Race updates!

Well, that is the end. My biathlon races for the 2010 Olympics are done. My lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian has come true!

On February 13th I raced the 7.5km sprint race. I was starter 34 which is a great, early number for me. I was excited to be racing again after having some time off with just heavy training, so arriving up at the venue was what I had been waiting for. I had a good zero and was feeling good at the start line. I felt good on the skis and coming into prone I was focused on the task- didn't work. I missed 2/5 and had to ski two 150m penalty loops. Around the 2.5km again and then in for standing where I missed 1/5. I missed three total in this race and finished in 82nd. When I crossed the finish line my mother and father were there with their arms wide open as they are volunteers. Not many people get to experience having their parents at the Olympics, let alone helping out at them, so it was really great.

Three days later I hoped on the bus at 7:45am and took the 30minute ride up to the venue for the 15km Individual race. I was feeling relaxed and tested my skis, choosing the fastest pair out of 7. I had a great zero, and the day could not be any more beautiful; blue skies, no wind, and a good temperature. The track was hard, but getting softer and softer as the sun rose and more people raced on it. I was starter 48 out of 89 starters. I missed 1 in my first prone, an 2 in the first standing. I then came in for my second prone and hit all 5! Yes, great success. But, different story for my second standing: I missed 3...WHAT? WHY? Well, I was talking to my coach afterwards and he was very pleased with my race. I am exactly where I should be in my sport at my age and just need to build a bigger base so I can handle the longer races and keep my shooting up. So I missed 6/20 and was once again 82nd.

Although I did not have the races of my life at the Olympics, I am still here and I did it! I am an Olympian and I raced the races and did my thang! It was such a good feeling wearing the Olympic New Zealand suit and being out there knowing I am representing such a great country for the first time. The New Zealand support has been absolutely amazing; the team was there today cheering me on, Ginny (physio) was amazing and with me in the start and finish area, Petr did his coaching thang and nailed it, my parents dominated the supportive parent role, and all the support from the friends and family afar has been breathtaking.


It was amazing, and now it is time to experience the other part of the Games; other sports, the atmosphere, and to really enjoy everything. You are all awesome!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Starter #48 tomorrow in the Individual!

Go team Go! And good luck to all the NZ competitors tomorrow! It is an exciting day with the Skeleton and snowboarders also racing. GO TEAM!

Erin doing awesome!

Good new everyone; My sister Erin is out of hospital and feeling good. The surgery went really well and she is now in planning mode for her big move to Australia. She has also decided that when you get tired at the Olympics, or overwhelmed, it is called 'Olympitis'. She is hilarious, my sister!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Race 1- 7.5km sprint

I am now officially an Olympian! Wooohooo! I raced yesterday on the first day of Olympic competitions  and it was splendid. Conditions that last few training days have been tough, with a lot of precipitation, making the course very soft and mushy. I was starter number 34 and felt good. They put a whole bunch of salt on the track right before our race which hardened the snow,  so I had no problems with the conditions. I had a great new pair of skis which beat out all my other skis- Thanks Salomon.

Right when the women started, it starting raining. But it was okay, I didn't really notice it while racing- just at the end when your soaking wet. I came in for my first prone and missed 2! What?!?! I was confused as I felt good shooting but missed- But it happens so I went on and did those dang penalty loops and came back in for standing where I missed 1. Target Delta and high- this has been a consistent problem this season unfortunately, missing high on Delta and Echo. Out on course  for the last loop and I had the most AMAZING skis- Ukraine really got it this time. They were so quick and I was passing everyone on the downhills- I LOVE YOU UKRAINE!

So I finished and my mother was there with arms wide for a hug. Not many athletes get the experience that! It was great. Ginny, our NZ physio was also there and it was so exciting to be done the first race and officially an Olympian. I could say that all day!

My final result was 82nd, which is not great, but every athlete I have spoken too had a bad day. It was a weird day because everyone felt really good, but the results weren't showing it. The World Cup leaders had the same feelings-  nobody knows why it was just strange.

Now on Schedule:
Today, Feb 14th- The Day of love- Valentines day
Feb 16th- My birthday! Woo!
Feb18th- 15km Individual and my last race!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It was a great day yesterday with the opening ceremonies, but also a tragic one. 21 year old Luger, Nodar Kumaritashvilifrom from Georgia, was killed on a training run in Whistler.

My condolences to his family, friends and teammates.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The day approaches....

We had a training day on Wednesday, where it snowed like crazy and was difficult to see. Snow bullets were getting all up in our eyeballs, so that was unfortunate, but at least it was snowing! It was such wet snow and the track was getting a bit chopped up- But the pink barrel was lovin it!

Yesterday was Thursday and the New Zealand team had a day that we will never forget. We all jumped on a bus and we rolled on down to the Squamish Totem hall, where we met up with the rest of the team from Vancouver. We were greeted by the Squamish Band and were invited into their long house. We had a great feed, which was made by the families, and then some great inspirational speeches by some of the elders.

All the NZ athletes and Staff were then invited into a room where we were blanketed. This is when a special, traditional blanket it wrapped around our shoulders and fastened, and a handmade woven headband, made my children, put on our heads. We then lined around the building and were paired with the Chiefs descendants, whom we walked into the main hall with. We stood on the 'sacred ground' which were blankets and were given amazing gifts from the Squamish people. Afterwards they folded up the blankets, and we gave them to people in the crowd as gifts.

It was then NZ turn and we had speeches from the head of the NZOC, Barry Meister, a speech from Pete Wardell, our Chief de mission, and the NZ Minister of Tourism. They were very inspirational and all the athletes kept looking at each other going "oh man, this is pretty full on", in a good way of course! We then did a team Haka, and then the flag bearer was named.

Congratulations, Juliane Bray, you are amazing and deserve to carry in our flag at the opening ceremonies with pride! You really show the NZ spirit and we love you for it! Well done!

We then gave our punamu necklaces (green stone) to the little kids of Squamish. It was so cute. It was an amazing day, and the NZ support staff put so much work into. Trevor and Robyn, way to go! Thank you for the experience of a lifetime and I personally think you two are top notch.

Our whole team is amazing- a very happy, friendly group of awesomeness. We get along great and are having a blast.

Unfortunately I will not be walking in the Opening Ceremonies tonight as I have my first race tomorrow. It would have been 6 hours in a bus, 2 hours to stand around, 10 minutes to walk in, and not enough recovery. It is sad, but I am here to compete and the timing and circumstances just didn't work out. So, I will go see my parents as it is my Fathers Birthday.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

To the Whis..

Alright! On Monday, Collen Campbell (awesomest neighbor around) drove me into Calgary to do a CBC radio interview before I jumped on a plane and flew to Vancouver. I was met by Robyn Wong, the NZ team manager, and we rocked it to the Vancouver athletes village. I was supposed to go straight to Whistler but with my head cold, we decided I would stay in Vancouver. It was absolutely beautiful, right on the water with a view of the dome for the opening ceremonies and the humongous Sochi 2014 disco ball (its amazing). I stayed there one night, went to bed at 9pm, and felt better the next morning. I was driven up the Callaghan valley at 10am to do some training. It was nice to be movin and groovin again even though it was easy training. I also got to see the Parental Units! It was awesome to see Mum and Dad dressed up at 'Smurfs' (as they are called here). Go Parents! Woo!

(not my parents in photo)

After training, Petr and I made our way to the Whistler athletes village. I had a plethora of baggage in the car and when we arrived, we carried it up from the bottom of the street and were greeted by the Haka (traditional Maori war dance) from the NZ support staff. It was amazing and it felt awesome to be greeted with something true Kiwi.

I will write more when I am back from dinner. Off to chow down on a delish dish. Stay classy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Vancouver Athletes VIllage

I made it safe and sound to the Vancouver Athletes Village. It is amazing- absolutely awesome! I am staying a night in Vancouver just to try and relax and get better ( I have a bit of a head cold, unfortunately) and then I will head up the Whistler tomorrow.



This week has been one to remember. Watching the Cross-country world cups was so great and inspiring, and with the perfect weather, the races could not have gone any better. Congratulations to Andy Pohl and Katie Calder for their great racing, and to the Canadians and Sara Renners Bronze medal! Great job everyone- definitely a great atmosphere for Olympic preparation.

But the real excitement and inspiration happened yesterday, here in Canmore.  I was called last week by the town of Canmore to be apart of the Olympic athlete sendoff ceremony. I said yes, thinking it was just a small thing at the civic centre. Well, it was a full on parade. I remember this same parade from 4 years ago when they did the same thing for the Torino Olympics, and how amazing and untouchable I thought the athletes were. As I walked down main street yesterday as a local girl flying the Kiwi flag, walking with all the Canadian athletes, it hit that I am now apart of that group- I have achieved that dream that seemed completely impossible just 4 years ago- even 1 year ago! And everyone in Canmore, everyone, was cheering and smiling and clapping, it was the most amazing atmosphere and that was the first time I really realized how big this all is.

Afterwards, there were speeches by the mayor and past-Olympic athletes, and they introduced us one by one. I was so touched to be a part of this ceremony. I thought that maybe I would be discluded but they treated me just as they were all the other Olympians, and that shows how great and loving people are! Thank you Canmore, I will always think of you, and you will all be taking this crazy journey with me in my heart. (A bit cheesy, sorry, but some times you need some gouda sappyness....hahaha)

I am leaving in 1 hour for my plane to Vancouver. and then its real....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I never thought I would be in this position- preparing for the Olympics. It is full on preparation mode now, and I am starting to feel better and better from my disaster trip home. Mum and Dad had an open house here in Canmore where many family and friends stopped by. I was so touched that so many people came to give me their best wishes and congratulations, and even though I  had to go to bed at 9:30pm in the middle of the party, it was so nice to see everyone.

I am feeling better, so I am getting more and more excited for the Olympics. It is amazing: My brother and his wife are coming, my Father is already in Whistler, my Mother leaves on Saturday, my Aunt and Uncle live there so they are going, and many friends will be there fore running. One person who will not be able to make it is my Sister: She is one of the bravest people I know and has a tough couple weeks in front of her. She is getting surgery on February 9th at the Canmore hospital and will need 2 weeks recovery, the exact 2 weeks over the Olympics. It will be a tough time for her as no one is home to look after her so her friend is moving into the house, but we will be thinking of her non-stop, hoping she has a fast recovery. I am sad she will not be there, but it is very exciting for her to be getting this surgery! Love you Erin!

I have to thank everyone again...I just cannot get over how awesome this world is!

Have fun, smile, dance, and have an adventure!

NORMA ammunition