This past Sunday we had our annual Season Send-Off dinner, a chance for the SMS T2 team to say our final goodbyes and thank the community members and team supporters who make our success possible.
We started the day with a sprint simulation alongside the SMS juniors, showcasing some skiers ready to rip it up on snow. Andy and I had a longer OD that day but ended our run just in time to catch the sprint final and watch both T2 and junior skiers throw down some impressive speed.
That evening we joined over 100 supporters of SMS T2 for a final farewell dinner. We owe a HUGE thank you to Lilly Caldwell for organizing and making the event absolutely beautiful! We were also psyched to give each attendee one of our new SMS T2 hats courtesy of Cirque Mountain Apparel! The event was the perfect way to close out a great season of training and connect with the people who have helped get us ready winter racing on the road!
Today is Friday. Andy Sophie, Simi and Jessie are already en route to Sweden to prep for the first World Cup races of the year and the rest of us will all be out West by this time next week. The goodbyes are always bittersweet.
However, while I am sad to see them go I am also a little bit giddy….I know how hard each of them has trained this year. I know the hours they have put on roller-skis, in the gym, on the trails and yes, even on the couch (skiers gotta rest hard too sometimes). I know they are heading into the season incredibly fit and strong, fast and sharp, and primed for some seriously fast racing. I CANNOT WAIT for the first races of the year and am so excited to watch all that hard work turn into racing. Fortunately I don’t have to wait much longer but before we get ahead of ourselves…a few shoutouts….
To Stratton Mountain School: Thank you for the world-class facilities and staff who give us the resources to train hard day in and day out.
To Pat and Sverre: Fearless leaders, tireless workers, behind-the-scenes magicians, photographers, promoters, coaches, administrators, ski waxing artists, and our family away from home-you guys are truly incredible and the strong backbone that supports this team.
To the community: The parents, the skiers who have come before us and paved the way, the teachers, the massage therapists, the store owners, the friends, the families and the numerous individuals who have contributed time, money, and energy into the success of this team. Heading into my 4th year on the team I am in awe of the kindness in this community and so grateful to be a part of it. You are our team and we are lucky to have you!
To the kids: This year at our send-off dinner some of the BKL kids presented us each with an amazing send-off gift: a pair of Darn Tough USA socks and Lake Champlain chocolates to bring a piece of Vermont with us on the road. Really we should be thanking you though…You remind us how FUN this sport is, that falling on roller-skiing means nothing more than a band-aid and a bump in the road, and that the future for this sport is bright.
To our sponsors: Our team boasts a number of awesome individual and team sponsors and we owe much of our success to their support. Check out individual athlete pages to learn more about the companies making our team ski fast and look good! A special thank you goes out to PodiumWear for making us look good in both training and racing, to R.K. Miles for the local love, and to TOKO US for making sure our skis are speedy!
To the T2 Foundation: Thank you for your generous support and belief in our team. We are honored to represent a foundation that shared our values for community and youth development and thank you for standing by us from the beginning.