Anton Grimus
Anton Grimus
Anton Grimus

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The Sochi Debrief

The Sochi 2014 Olympics are done and dusted and it is difficult to describe the magnitude of the experience. I have been in Australia for a few weeks now, back to the real world of university. Which has given me some time to reflect on the games.

The Olympics exceeded my expectations for sure. The event was by far the biggest event I had competed in, from the size of the course to the support we were given on and off the hill. In the end I am proud of what I achieved and how I skied on the day, the result just didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.

Firstly I would like to thank al the people who have helped me along the trip. My parents and family have been my biggest supporter over the last four years and since I started skiing, without them everything would have been a more difficult.

To all my sponsors and in-particular my home mountain and resort, Mt Buller. They have not only shown their support for me over the lead up to Sochi, however over the past 20 years of my skiing life. Multiple athletes that competed at the 2014 Olympics started out skiing on Bourke St at Mt Buller many years ago and have progressed to where they are today. I think this is a reflection upon the mountain and the communities continual involvement and commitment to snow sports. To the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, NSWIS and the AIS for the program that they have supplied over the last year.

To my support team & team members who do not only train and race with me, but also live and travel the world with me. The journey has been great, with many ups and downs, but thanks for making it a memorable four years. In particular Matt Lyons, Ski Cross Head Coach, for getting me involved with Ski Cross and continually going above and beyond to give us the best opportunity to succeed. Hope the next part of your life will be as enjoyable as this one.

So below you can find a short recap of my time at Sochi and a bunch of photos from the event thanks to Getty Images. Thanks for following me and keeping up to date on my journey!

Scott and I at Sochi (Cred: Getty Images)

My experience of competing was different than I had expected. I though that the competition was going to be more stressful and intimidating. However I was probably the most relaxed and comfortable I had been in a competition. I recall on the lift ride to the top of the course after inspection for our first training run how relaxed I was. Just after looking at it for the first time left me with a smile just knowing how fun it would be to ski it. The feeling you usually only get after having a close race with someone down the track.

My skiing just followed on through in a similar manner. Throughout all of the training days I always tried skiing with someone if possible, mostly Scott and Filip Flisar. Figuring out the course beside these guys was enjoyable, and I felt like I had some good momentum on the course. Race day came quicker than expected and after the seeding run I was in 5th position, re-affirming the way I thought I was skiing in training.

Sochi Training with John and Scott. (Cred: Getty Images)

Sochi Seeding Run (Cred: Getty Images)

Sochi Training. (Cred: Getty Images)

Training with Scott. (Cred: Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

The finals did not go to plan, missing my start reaction and not executing the start section didn't help me. As I was trying to make a pass into second, I immediately got passed by two Austrians. In the end I overshot a jump into a compression, which made me sit back over the next “aztec” feature and crash, ending my Olympic campaign. I finished up in 25th, nowhere where I wanted to be, however that is how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

Despite the result I was pleased with how I skied and how far I have come over the last four years. My skiing was feeling better than ever and I was confident in my ability to generate speed down the course. Missing my start and getting caught up made it difficult for me to advance, and something that did not go my way on the day. The experience now only gives me more motivation in the next four years to keep improving.

First Round. (Cred: Getty Images)

Sochi. (Cred: Getty Images)

 

Thanks everyone for the support. The last four years have been awesome and I am looking forward to the seasons to come!

Cheers,

Anton

 

Sochi Bound/Kreischberg World Cup……….

As you may have seen from my latest facebook post, all is confirmed for Sochi in a few weeks. Pretty stoked to make the team officially, has always been at the top of my list to tick off. The games are literally around the corner, but as the Ski Cross in Sochi is towards the end of the Olympic schedule we will be departing later than most team. Flying out from Munich on the 10th of February. Thank you for everyone who has supported me along the way and over the past few years to be able to gain selection. Most of all thanks to my family and friends, but also Mt Buller, OWIA, NSWIS and SSA for making it all possible.

 

The past weekend we had our final World Cup leading up to Sochi in Kreischberg, Austria. This is where the 2015 Freestyle World Championships will be held next year. It turned out to be quite a successful event. Originally Kreischberg was not looking great due to the lack of snow, which on arrival was still present. There was no snow apart from the track. As you can see below, even after a dusting of snow there was not much around the track. Here are some shots from the Kreishber and training.

Kreiscberg Ski Cross Track (Credit: GEPA)

Training on the track (Credit: GEPA)

Training with my norwegian boy, Bastian. (Credit: GEPA)

Training on Quali Day (Credit: GEPA)

Training for the event went well. The course was a lot shorter than previous courses, however had a few technical aspects that had the potential to destroy your speed if they were not skied well. I was feeling good on my skis and the track, making the lines that I had planned. In qualifications I made a small error coming onto the flat, however still managed to qualify into 21st position and confirm a start for finals.

Heat 1 (Credit: GEPA)

Heat 2 (Credit: GEPA)

 

Heat 2 (Credit: GEPA)

 

Heat 1 (Credit: GEPA)

In the first final I had some interesting competition. I was up against Dave Duncan (He has won 2 World Cups this season), Michael Schmid (2010 Vancouver Olympic Winner) and Blaz Ogorelc (Yound Slovenian Racer). Was good to be able to put in a solid run with these guys, as Michael and Dave are both currently in form. Michael came third on the day. I executed my plan and it showed.

However I was knocked out in the second round, after getting tangled up with another racer around the first bank and losing most of my speed. None the less it is once again a positive step in the right direction. I feel like I am skiing fast and tactically know where I have to be. I just had to put the pieces together.

Jamie thinking he is a Ski Jumper in Val Thorens (Credit:Gepa)

Found this shot of Jamie Prebble, a NZ racer who has been training with us over the last year on and off. Thought it was classic. He qualified in 2/3 of the last World Cups, congrats.

Jenny in her final World Cup in Kreischberg (Credit:Gepa)

My team mate Jenny Owens competed over the Weekend in her last World Cup event finishing in 15th. She had 101 World Cup Ski Cross Starts over 14 years. Congrats on the great career and good luck in Sochi! Well done also to the other girls for the results on the weekend. (Katya 16th, Becc Wyatt 23rd in her first World Cup final and Sami 24th).

Before Sochi we will be racing at a Europa Cup in France and finalising our training at a camp in Austria. Will keep you posted,

 

Cheers

 

Anton

 

End of Olympic Qualification Period and Val Thorens WC.

Ever since New Years we have been hoping that the rumored cancellations of races due to the lack of snow would be false and the races would go ahead as planned or be replaced. The snow in Europe at the moment is not ideal at all. Spending time in Milan felt like spring had set in early, riding to get coffee in shorts on a bike should not be comfortable in Europe mid winter. Val Thorens came through with the good news once again and put on the last two races for the olympic qualification period for 2014.

The last double header in World Cup in Val Thorens were both surely a step in the right direction for me. I finished both days in 17th after finals and had some PB's in qualification, finishing 1st and 12th respectiveley. I am feeling confident on the skis lately, but more importantly enjoying racing and having a ball on the track.

Jumping in Val Thorens. Credit: GEPA

First Round, Day 1 Val Thorens. Credit: GEPA

Things seemed to come together and skiing felt to come naturally on the track. I couldn't put it together in finals, not making it through either round on race day and finishing 17th on both days. I was skiing well and was always in contention, however small misatkes in line and strategy choice cost me. Plan is to fine tune these out and put them into racing next week in Kreischberg.

Val Thorens Day 1. Credit: GEPA

Val Thorens Day 2. Credit: GEPA

Kreischberg is the final WC before the Olympics, however does not count towards Olympic qualification. Looking on google maps it is not very far away from the part of Austria where my mothers side of my family came from. Always is good to be back in Austria, eating schnitzel and drinking almdudler.

My mate Yoshi, house dog at the hotel in Austria

The team has been doing a lot of time in the Van as of late, does not usually look like this)

The past 18 months or so of World Cup competition have all been counting towards Olympic Qualification, with the last event for qualification being last week in Val Thorens. Simply put, to qualify a spot on the team you have to accumulate enough World Cup points to be ranked in the top 32 at the end of the period. After last week results, I ended up in 16th position which should qualify me for the Olympic Games. The rest of my team are looking great for qualifications too, which is awesome news. This is all unofficial, however crunching the numbers would suggest this outcome. Official announcements are not meant to be far away.

Will keep you posted,

Anton

 


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