Tuesday May 26, 2015

Last update07:13:55 AM PST

kellydropping.jpgAfter a 13-hour plane ride and a police escort into Gangwon, I arrived at the Sungwoo Hyundai Resort in South Korea. The hotel where the World Championships was being held was giant complete with Dance Dance Revolution Machines, a full arcade, a bowling ally, ping pong, pool, and pit pat (an Asian game similar to pool), oh ya…and a water slide and swimming area.

My bedroom, however, was not quite as spacious, I had a small mattress that sat directly on the floor with four windowless walls; I enjoyed the company of my two US Alpine racer roommates Michele Gorgone and Lindsay Loyd. They had been in Korea for a couple of days and were able to give me some advice such as not to drink the water and to stay away from the fish and pasta served at the rider buffet.

koreanbedroom.jpgTuesday and Wednesday were practice days before the Halfpipe World Championships began. John Melvin from New Zealand was there cutting the halfpipe and it was PERFECT!

I threw down some of the best runs in my life in practice. I connected my back-to-back fives and my back seven to switch back three and even some back 9s. The day of the competition rolled around and I woke early to cheer my heart out for my fellow US team mates (Brennen Swanson Chris Waker, and Dylan Bidez), It was also great to support my friend Jin-Wook Jung who I met in New Zealand 2 years ago and who, upon completion of his World Championship runs, qualified for the 2010 Olympics for Korea. (Go Jin!!)

Unfortunately, none of my teammates made it to Semis due to some fluke falls, injuries, and crazy judging.

Finally, it was my turn. I took three warm up runs without a fall! I began with my safety run of back-to-back 540s to back 720 to switchback 360. Though I stood up the run, I reverted my back seven to back 9, which greatly hurt my score.

kellybackside.jpgCoach Scott and I decided to go for my back 9 on my second run to give me the best shot of qualifying into the Semi Finals.

I landed the back 9, but couldn't hold on and butt checked before going over the finish line. I came in 9th in my heat and 23rd overall.

I know I could have done better with a clean run, but I am happy with my snowboarding, happy for the chance to represent the US in Korea, and ready for next time!

Since we didn't make finals, the other US athletes and I decided to spend our extra day in Seoul, Korea. We visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the National Folklore Museum, and the outside marketplace called Insa-dong.

We learned how traditional Korean Kimchi was first created.  It was soaked in salt and fermented underground during the summer months so it could be eaten the winter when there were no crops. One of the best parts of the trip to Seoul was bargaining for a Korean necklace.

11 hours later we returned to Tahoe a few hours before the time we took off! I am back in training mode and am ready to compete in the Boreal Grand Prix this weekend. Talk to you then!



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