Caroline Calvé won’t be at the Opening Ceremonies on February 7th. And she’s ok with that.
Instead, the 35-year-old will be busy in Italy, preparing for her second Olympics with the rest of the women’s alpine snowboard team. Their events don’t begin until day 13.
Calvé was named today by Canada Snowboard, at chilly Hôtel de Glace in Québec City, along with Ariane Lavigne and Marianne Leeson. Calvé says the idea to stay away from Sochi is a personal one, “Some people might be inspired by the craziness of the Games and some people might need to be away from it. I don’t think there’s a magic situation. Personally I’m happy that we’re not going just because we’re adopting the same sort of schedule as we do in normal World Cups. We go 4-to-5 days before a World Cup, we train a little, we compete, we have a day off, we train, we compete and then we leave. It’s pretty much the same as usual, I think it personally helps me to get in the zone.”
Many winter sports, such as alpine snowboarding, have busy and well-attended World Cup schedules. A lot more goes into creating world-class racing situations, especially when weather and sport-specific courses are only the beginning of the necessary variables. Therefore, athletes get used to racing much of the circuit.
Road to Sochi: Caroline Calvé on learning from disappointment
It’s no surprise that the women’s team hopes to make their preparation similar to a World Cup. And while some of the men are sticking around Canada to train, the women are glad to be closer to Sochi. In fact, this is a strategy many sports will employ, even if it means missing some of the Games atmosphere.
“For us to be in Europe, we’re that much closer to Sochi so we can just get right into the European time zone and from Italy to Sochi it’s only three-hours difference so it’s a lot less to adapt to,” said Calvé.
Sochi 2014 will be one week old by the time she even arrives in the mountain village. Back in 2010, Calve finished a disappointing 20th in the parallel giant slalom, (PGS). Since then she has made a little bit of history along with moving up the world rankings. In December 2011 she became the first female alpine snowboarder to win a World Cup. At the end of last season she was third in the World Cup parallel standings.
The education of an Olympic disappointment is this, “The idea is to be on automatic pilot. You want to have a plan established for absolutely everything, and the idea is to follow your plan. The Olympics are no different than a World Cup.”
Women’s alpine snowboarding begins with the Parallel Giant Slalom event on Wednesday, February 19th and completes with the Parallel Slalom event on Saturday, February 22nd.