Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bring on Europe

“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t... Are both correct.”

The Australian Four-man Team (courtesy of Ron LeBlanc)

This season, like last, has been broken into two parts. After returning from the North American leg of the tour I’ve been back in the Australian summer to enjoy the Christmas and New Year period with family and friends.
It’s been a valuable few weeks, to let the body recharge for the vital stint in Europe. This will be bobsledding like I have not known. Tracks I’ve never been to, in countries I’ve never seen. It’s a surreal feeling going to a new location with a job to do, but that is how it must be approached. There will be fun along the way, as there always is with the Aussie team, but I can’t stress enough how important this phase of the season is.
Our North American leg had ups and downs.
Like any sport, and most of life for that matter, it’s all about how you bounce back.
Challenges come in all forms, they're not just the obvious and the visible. This season everyone in the group has faced more than they’d expect. But I think that has been a great opportunity for us, to overcome the obstacles, so that next time these things happen, we barely even notice them in our way.
We were happy with how we finished in Calgary, three 7th place finishes in an increasingly competitive America’s cup field was a good way to wrap that part of the season up. Especially when you consider that we were a man down, and called in Dustin Macpherson for the 4-man races. He did a fantastic job and we got our starts down considerably over the course of the week.

In one race, we finished just 0.01seconds behind Japan for sixth place. Over two runs, three kilometres of ice, 28 corners it had come down to that for a medal. It just goes to show how small the margins can be. It’s both disappointing and encouraging at once.
Obviously to miss out by that much leaves you always wondering if just one more bit of effort, one more step at the start, or even one less, could have made the difference. But what is encouraging is that we are a young team. We have so much more room to improve. We have to make the most of that over the next 12 months in the lead up to the Winter Olympics.
So now it’s Europe, and I recall a brief chat I had with Lucas about it.
“Europe will be so good,” he said confidently.
“Why's that?” I asked.
“It just will be Ben”
And that was it. There are simply no arguments to that logic. All I could do was give no response and smile.
The boys are taking on Altenberg this week in the World Cup. It’s a challenging track, but a great opportunity for Heath to get some valuable track time, and points. I will have to wait another week to finish work commitments at home before arriving to join the team for the World Cup in Konigsee, Germany.
Heath and I pushing in Calgary
For this part of the tour, it’ll be Heath, Gareth, Lucas and I. A bit of a reunion for last year’s World Championships team. Again we’ll take to the year’s big event together. After Konigsee we’ll travel to Igls, Austria for the next stop on the World Cup tour. Then, it will be the World Championships at St. Moritz, Switzerland on the only ‘natural’ track on the circuit. That means that every year, they carve the track out of snow and ice, through trees and around buildings.
It’s going to be something special whipping through a forest at over 140 kilometres per hour.
Another chance to compete on the world stage awaits.
Till next time...


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  2. How do I get involved in bobsled in aus is there qualifying test?