Dispatch from CanadaAndre Barbieri
I’m sharing news from the training camp in Big White Ski Resort, BC, Canada.
It was a dreamy stay. Even though I know the snow quality here gets better than what it was, for me was beyond amazing. I have not stayed these many days in the snow since I lived in CO in 2004. And my riding showed -I was getting better every day, noticeably improving my technique, much thanks to my Portuguese coach, Mancha.
Eat, warm up, snowboard, eat, rest, snowboard, stretch, eat, rest, repeat. All in the right doses; I wasn’t pushed too hard, no one wants an injury a couple of weeks before the most important competitions of my life.
I’m confident I will do my best, maybe even put on a fight in Beijing!
But the stay there wasn’t without its troubles. Seems easy looking from outside. But there were stressful moments;
-I got a cold on my 2nd night there, thinking I finally had caught covid from my loved ones (which I narrowly escaped when leaving to Canada). Extremely congested, I had to take a few antigen tests; but they all showed negative. The concern was me, or my coach getting covid and being robbed from going to China to live one of the highlights of our lives.
-testing different setups everyday on my snowboard leg and board. I thought I had messed up a screw and my shock on my snowboard foot, which are highly specific and I’m in the middle of nowhere with not a lot of time to waste. After a few important calls I go to a bike shop 1 hour away from the mountain that saved the day, and potentially my Paralympics. Disaster averted.
-about to leave to Beijing, in the airport at 4am with my bags all checked in, (I had an “inconclusive” covid result a couple days before; could have been a fluke since I tested negative 3 times in a row after) my Federation calls me and says after having meetings while I was sleeping, they decided to hold us for a couple more days. That was nerve wrecking -to miss that flight and the chance to arrive in China early & adapt to a 16 hour time zone difference. Their explanation, which makes sense, was to be safe; if I were to test positive or inconclusive in China (tests are much more sensitive there), the quarantine conditions are horrible there. So this was for my own good.
We had a stellar last day of training in the mountain and now we’re finally off to China! Instead of arriving on Feb 26th we’ll have truly a marathon of flights and arrive on March 1st. First comp is on March 5th. Not ideal but it’s what we got, so let’s goooooooooo!!!!!