This year I was able to represent the USA at the Pan American Games in kayak slalom! The Pan American Games are a major sporting event for summer sports that features only the best athletes from the American continents, this year being held on the Minden course in Canada. This was my first big event in the Women’s division for slalom so I was really excited! Team training started a week before the competition, so my mom and I got there the day before to drop my boat off, get my accredidations, and meet up with the rest of Team USA. once everything was dealt with, I we went to the hotel to get a good nights sleep before training started the next day.
The next morning, I was up early to get breakfast, then we drove over to the bus stop to get a shuttle to the course. I hadn't even seen the course yet, so I was practically bouncing off the walls! Once we got there, we looked at the course and it was time to get on the water. The course looked so sick, it was like a mini creek! It started with a couple drops including an awesome play hole, followed by some fast water. Then came the best part, a fun boof the led into a massive slide! After seeing that, I was even more stoked! By the time I first touched the water, I was in love. It felt like I was creek boating! It was amazing! The slide was incredible, you didn't even have to paddle to speed down it!
After an hour of training once a day everyday for a week, I was feeling really good! After the first day of racing (no one was cut) i was 6th overall. My runs were good but I had more touches and bobbles than I wanted to. We then walked the next days course which were going to be prelims (our first run) and then finals (our second run). The next morning, I got up early and was feeling really good for my races that day! My first run was ok but I lost a lot of time in a few spots so I was in 9th going into finals. For my last run, I felt really good and it was one of the best runs i’ve had yet! It was clean , smooth, and everything was on point! Unfortunately, right as I finished my run, a massive thunderstorm hit, and we were all ushered into a building until the storm was over. At this point, fellow USA Team mate Anna and I were informed that our run times had been deleted and we had to take reruns. My last run was good but it definitely wasn’t my deleted run. In the end, I was 6th and was pretty happy with my placing. I absolutely can not wait to go back to Minden, it's definitely one of my favorite courses now!!