- Tess Johnson
2018 OLYMPICS BOUND
I am going to the Olympics! It's crazy to hear myself say those words out loud. Going to the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was 9 years old and although I've always believed I could do it, it's one of those things that you never think is actually going to happen until it does. But it is happening, and I haven't been able to stop smiling since my coach called me an Olympian.
Now that all this is starting to sink in, I wanted to share with you my experience thus far. It's been awhile since I've written a blog, so I thought I would give you a quick recap of each event that helped me qualify for the Games.
Calgary World Cup
This was a fun one because the course at the Calgary Olympic Park is my favorite course of all time. About half way down the course, the pitch changes to almost 40 degrees steep! It's incredibly challenging and I love skiing it. The competition went decently, I finished in 9th overall and while I'm always happy to finish in the top ten, it left me hungry for more as one of my goals this season was to ski in super finals.
Deer Valley World Cup
Deer Valley is the best stop on tour hands down. I think everyone would agree and it's especially amazing skiing under the lights on home soil with thousands of Americans cheering you on from the bottom. Results-wise, the judging was not in my favor which left me with an 11th and 12th place. However, despite the disappointment with my results, I was absolutely thrilled with my skiing. To put down my best competition run ever in front of all those people and my family (they drove from Vail to cheer me on) was something really special. I distinctly remember pushing out of the start gate and getting chills from the roar of the crowd. I normally don't hear anything when I ski, but their cheers were practically echoing off the ground.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec World Cup
This event sealed the deal for my Olympic spot as I was the last girl to qualify. We showed up to the venue (the resort hadn't held a moguls World Cup in 13 years!) and none of us knew what to expect. The course was flat and easy: a hero's course. I was initially a little disappointed because history has proven that I normally don't compete well on these types of courses, but I put those thoughts away and focused on what I could control: skiing my very best. I ended up making super finals and finishing in 4th place, missing the podium by .3. I skied three great competition runs and was so happy to have achieved my goals while grabbing a personal best result at the same time. Check out the videos to see my runs from this event and Deer Valley!
It was that night that my coach called me an Olympian. I immediately called my parents and broke the news. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has stood by me in this journey. My coaches: Matt Gnoza, Caleb Martin, Lance Field, Riley Campbell and John Dowling, all of my past and present teammates, my amazing friends, classmates, and soccer teammates back home, my teachers for helping me graduate high school amongst all this chaos, my sponsors; IDOneUSA, Pret Helmets and Oakley, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail for inspiring this dream, and the entire Vail Valley for the endless encouragement. Perhaps most importantly, I want to thank my family. They have always believed in me, even when I didn't. They have always supported me when others couldn't, and they have endured all the blood, sweat, and tears that I have put into this sport. I'm ecstatic they will all be in Korea to cheer me on. THANK YOU! I can't express my gratitude enough because I wouldn't be here without all of you.
I am currently in Deer Valley, Utah for our Olympic Prep camp. It felt good to get back on skis yesterday and I'm excited to tweak a few things in my run in preparation for the Olympics. We got our Olympic uniforms made by Columbia Sportswear the other day and they are amazing (see team photo above). Look out for more updates on this website, my FaceBook and Instagram!