A little bit of summer: Lucy Chaffer's Blog28 June 2013
Lucy Chaffer is a skeleton athlete aiming to make her Olympic debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. In her last blog, Lucy talked about having to deal with injuries for the first time in her career. Now she is well back on track to Russia...
BLOG: Like most winter athletes in Australia I go from winter in the Northern Hemisphere for training and competing to a Southern Hemisphere winter in the off season. This means that we get very little warm weather and sunshine. While coming from Perth I am fortunate and get a few extra months of relatively warm weather in March and April when I get back from the season, after 8 years of doing skeleton I really miss having a summer. I also really do not like the cold, so then it really is an odd choice of sport for me but the opportunity to slide head first in some of the best places in the world while competing for Australia is worth putting up with some cold (be it -20 degree) weather.
As it is the Olympic year I felt this is the time to put everything I possibly could into making my goal of competing in Sochi a reality. I didnʼt want to get to selection time and if I make it or not think back and say, “I wish I did everything I could” Iʼve made sure that does not happen to me. So with the support of my family and boyfriend I decided to not work this year and move to Europe for 3 months. I have the opportunity to train with the Latvian skeleton team, they are a small but very competitive team with their male athletes being ranked number 1 and 3 in the world. If I want to be the best then given the opportunity, I want to train with the best, it is not an opportunity that many athletes get so there was no way I was going to pass it up.
I spent all of May in Latvia training with the team and enjoying the lifestyle and culture of the country. The training is hard and I love every (well almost every) minute of it and I can see the results already. The best part of it is having the time to train, rest, refuel before training again. The training group has the feeling of a big family, probably because there is a family at the centre of it the male skeleton athletes are brothers. Everyone looks out for each other and genuinely wants the best from one another. We train Monday to Friday and have the weekends off, which we spent either exploring the capital, Riga or barbecuing while rafting or canoeing down the Gauja river. I see why everyone likes it so much up here in the summer time, while in the winter it is dark from 4pm in summer it stays light until at least 11pm, the temperature is very conducive to being outside and you see most people walking around enjoying it with their family and friends as much as they can.
If you have never been to Latvia or even thought about visiting I highly recommend it. A small country both size and population that until 1991 had been occupied by either the Soviet Union or the Germans from 1940. The people are friendly and it has a sense of community about it that makes you feel welcome. There are photos on my facebook page Lucy Chaffer Skeleton Athlete, have a look and “like” my page.
I am now in Germany training, enjoying everything that comes with living in Europe. That will all be in my next blog in a few weeks time.
Remember no goal is ever too big, it is just a matter of how hard you work at it and how much perseverance you have.
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