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  • Tess Johnson

Family, Finland, & Gratitude

It's been a little while since I've written a blog post because I've been crazy busy this past month! After our Zermatt camp, I headed east for the U.S. Ski Team NY Gold Medal Gala. It was really cool to be apart of the Gala and meet so many of the incredible donors who make our dreams a reality. It was quite the New York minute, seeing as though we were there for under 48 hours, but it was jam packed with activities. I got my hair done by the Paul Mitchell hair salon, went shopping at the NYC New Balance store (one of my sponsors), walked on the "white carpet" for the Gala and had a ton of fun with teammates from all different disciplines. I also got to visit my sister for Halloween at Boston College who I barely get to see anymore; it was so good to see her and catch up!

After my brief visit to the East coast, I drove down to Southern Colorado for a quick camp in Wolf Creek. Although short, it was one of the best camps I've ever skied because of the amazing resort. They built a great venue for us to train on and treated us like kings and queens. It was so fun free-skiing around the mountain and meeting all the locals; we even got to do a meet and greet event where we signed posters and helmets. Everyone was so welcoming and they were thrilled to watch us flip and twist off the jump. I'm really looking forward to the next time I get down to Wolf Creek, either for training or just skiing!

I got a few short days home with my parents and then it was back on the road. Since I've graduated high school, I've been fortunate enough to do some extra traveling. My younger brother is spending the year abroad in Sweden this year, so I visited him on the way to the first World Cup in Finland. Words can't express how fabulous it was to be reunited with my brother. Since August, he's been in Sweden making new friends, learning a whole new language, and living with a new family. I'm so proud of him for embracing the unfamiliarity of this wild experience with no fear. He's becoming smarter, wiser, and more independent by the day. Sorry to gush, it was just really special to see him in his new element. His host family and friends are absolutely fantastic, and I'm so grateful I was able to meet them all in person.

Speaking of gratitude, Happy Late Thanksgiving! After Sweden, I headed north to Ruka, Finland for our first event of the year. We are here for two weeks training before the actual event, so we spent Thanksgiving together as a team. When we first arrived in Ruka, the winter wonderland that usually coats the trees this time of year turned out to be much greener than we expected. In fact, there wasn't a single snow flake in sight. We still don't have a full course to train on (there's a little mogul line that we've been lapping), but it's okay. Thanksgiving reminded me that Finland is one of my favorite stops on the tour, and even though it's not as snowy as usual, I'm still thankful to be here and on this extraordinary journey. This year has been a whirlwind of a year, and usually during this holiday I make a list of all the things I'm thankful for. This time, I found that my list was all people. I am grateful for so many things in my life, but mostly all the people who I love, who support me, and who make me smile. Despite the lack of snow, I've been having so much fun here because of my teammates. I can't wait for the rest of the trip and to get back in the start gate!



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