The road to the Olympics for athletes and their parents is not paved with gold but broken bones, injured teammates, tears and sweat.
It was only in October I watched Shona full of optimism and determination race in the first World Cup GS of the season in Solden, Austria. The razzmatazz of fan clubs and their brass bands, loud commentary, blue sky and sun was terrific. It was exciting to see Shona soar down through the gates over the steep icy pitch and through the finish line. Then she doubled up, clutching her arm, and rocked. "She's hurt," my husband said. I lost all interest in the race, focused on my distant daughter behind many security fences, in a sea of coaches, press and other officials. By the time she reached us, tears streamed over her flushed cheeks, her hand clenched tight to her chest. I leaned over the fence to hug her. Between the tears she muttered "I hit a gate on the pitch, after that all I could think of was the pain."
Back in Calgary x-rays revealed a broken second metacarpal.
Seven weeks later she was racing at the world cup at Lake Louise her first real downhill for several years. Another week of frustration and challenge. Her best result came on the last day, 26th in Super G. Only a few seconds off the leader, but in Ski Racing milliseconds determines success.
From Lake Louise she zoomed off to Europe and a steady stream of races, GS, Salom, Downhill, Super G from my distant stance it felt like she was racing every day. Two of her teammates had serious knee injuries that sadly ended their dreams of Olympics2010. And the pressure mounted.
In a lighter moment we opened our Christmas gifts on skype and we appreciated the beautiful personal book of photographs she had created for us. It was no holiday for her, presents opened after early morning training.
Maribor, Slovenia, Val d'sere, Haus, Night slalom's and on it went race after race until January. 5 days at Cortina, 2 training days, two downhill, a super g and a GS. On the last day she had a break through. After starting in the fifties she finished the first run in 30th position and the second run, even after a fall finished 23rd spot.
That was Sunday. Now on Tuesday we wait to hear if she has made the Olympic team. It is not over until it is over!