Nikita Clothing’s Awesome Blog

Ivy Taylor in the World University Games

Posted on: March 4, 2009

It’s very very cold out here but the sun’s been out most days, which has left the snow really nice and hard with good grip. There’s only three runs on the whole of the mountain (the pipe, boardercross course and slalom piste) and they’re all kept really well groomed. The boardercross course was long and nippy. There were various ‘hairy’ places at the start but day by day these got fixed and by competition date the track ran smoothly.

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All the snowboarders and biathletes (but we don’t have any of them) are staying here in the athlete’s village at Maoershan, The whole site is patrolled by the Chinese army, which was a bit of a surprise. It’s a fair way away from anything else…at all…but there’s free internet and the place has got a good atmosphere. We did manage a trip down to Harbin city for the opening ceremony though, which was incredible! The whole stadium was full with spectators. The Chinese President was even there! They put on an extravagant show with colourful projections and choreography…all on ice…and as we left the stadium a huge outdoor fireworks display started! I was also the GB flag bearer! ☺

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The volunteers are all really polite and friendly and quick to tell you that you are beautiful! I was very flattered at first but my jacket, my country, and everyone else here is ‘beautiful’ too. My hair is ‘very strange’ though. ☺

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We eat in a dining hall overlooking the hill with all the other athletes. The food’s mainly Chinese (but they did have a go at ham sandwiches one day!). It’s buffet-style and there’s plenty of it! Highlights include fried rice, deep fried fish, eggy bread, fig rolls and my own ‘creation’ yoghurty rice (you just put one and one together) for breakfast, lunch…and tea.

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It took me a little while to get over the jetlag. On the first day I felt like I was riding blind and then watching a replay back in my head! I eased myself in gently but still managed to have a fall…the team physio cranked me back together again in no time though.

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In boardercross my two qualification runs went ok and left me with the 7th fastest time (exactly the same as 2007 coincidently!) In the finals I got through my first heat, which I was really happy about because it meant that the worst I could come overall was 8th, which is better than my 10th from the last Games. In the next heat it I went over the first rollers neck and neck with one of the Russian girls but neither of us were willing to back down and when we went into the tight berm our boards collided and we both fell! I got straight back up though and ended up in third place. This meant I’d missed out on the top 4 but was through to the small final competing for 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th place. I didn’t get a very good start but passed two girls and and followed the Russian girl all the way down until the final kicker when I overtook her in the air but then she passed me back on the rollers so I came 2nd in that race, which left me in 6th place overall, a really really pleasing result! ☺

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