Wow! Homecoming was amazing! I dreamed this contest up years ago, and everything happened just as I had hoped. The course was amazing, the format was awesome, and all the extra activities were a huge hit. The weekend was jam packed with fun, thanks to Monster, Seven Springs, Oakley, Willis and more… Homecoming was the first ever all inclusive, all exclusive, all girls, ski and snowboard slopestyle contest ever held! Contests will never be the same again!
The girls all flew in to Pittsburgh airport and Thursday and, we had a Seven Springs shuttle waiting for them. After a few pit stops on the way to the resort they arrived to a big welcome reception. Food, Drinks, Games and more. All week they would be treated with massages, facials, first class service, and amazing food. Everyone was excited.
The next morning was practice. After a huge gourmet worthly breakfast buffet, we all hit the slopes. It was a beautiful blue sky day. I was nervous as the girls made their first practice runs, but I relaxed as everyone told me the course was great! Seven Springs and the guys from SPT did an incredible job. They worked really hard, and the course was perfect. We practiced all day, and only stopped for lunch, which was delivered to the slopes! Gobbs anyone? (Nomally referred to as Whoppy Pies) Seven Springs Gobbs are famous and we ate them all. Practice was over around 4, but the day was just beginning. At 4:15 we had a shuttle pick everyone up at the hotel lobby and take us into the back woods for some skeet shooting. It was so much fun, most of the girls there had never shot a gun. I was so happy to see the look on everyones face when they hit a target. (Girls next year we will have to make a contest out of it!) I don’t think we ever crowned a winner, but Meg Olenick got bonus points for wrecking her modified golf cart into some of the other girls… She had shooting on the brain. We arrived back at the hotel around 6:30 and just in time to get ready for Dinner. Again Seven Springs did an amazing job and had a fantastic dinner waiting for us. I had to make a few announcements, do a little speech and then turn it over to Stacey from the Women’s Sports Foundation. She did a very nice presentation, and we all headed Bowling. Our day wasn’t over yet. The Homecoming crew took over the bowling alley for a few games, and a few drinks! Bowling soon turned into a competion on who had the best bowling style and my vote goes to Hana Beaman! Then it was time for bed….
Day 2 Competition time… Saturday morning everyone was up early. Practice started at 10. We had two hours set aside for training, and the contest kicked off just after 12. I was stressed all day. This was my dream contest, and it was actually happening! I wanted everything to go perfectly. It did! The girls threw down. I was really impressed by everyones riding, and everyone had fun sitting on the other side of the judges podium. It was great to get 4 runs in a final, and to be judged by your peers. I always hear complaints about judging, but I really think we got it right. On the snowboard side Mary Beth Swetcoff walked off in 3rd with a great run. Silvia Mittermuellers incredible switch backside 5 propelled her into the 2nd place position, and Chanelle Sladics took home the gold with a cab 3, cab 5, front 5 all solidly grabbed. It was really nice to stand in the starting gate with your friends with that many runs. It took so much of the pressure away and let you switch up your runs. On the ski side, I was so happy to take 3rd at my very own event. I got my cork 7 mute on the bottom table and I was really happy with that. Grete Eliassen took 2nd with right 3, left 3, 7, and Kaya Turski stomped an enormous switch 9 to take home the gold! The contest and the awards were all a blur. I want to send huge thanks to Sarah Burke and Ashley Battersby for coming out even though they were injured to help with the judging. Thanks also to Luke Van Valin for his skills with the mic, and thanks to Jon Roderick for documenting it all. After awards, we did a poster signing with Chris Hoke, he is a defensive lineman for the Pitttsburgh Steelers. Back to the Room for 20 minutes to change and then Dinner time again. We ate quickly, the party had already started. Everyone hurried from dinner to the deck of the Matterhorne for a celebration complete with fireworks! Then the party really erupted. Monster brought in an amazing DJ and we rocked the dance floor all night long. (Well at least until the hallway party started somewhere around 2am)
Day 3 I went to breakfast that moring and I couldn’t help but notice that I was the only one there…. Wonder why? Haha From the beginning when we started talking about holding Homecomig at Seven Springs, I wanted to make sure we had a chance to give back and help inspire the young local skiers and snowboarders. Day 3 was all about them. We did a ski with a pro session from 10-1 and had about 60 kids sign up. Thanks to all the girls for spending some time with them. It was great. Then we had a special event for them. We held an amateur rail jam. We had around 80 kids for this and had some great prizes, big thanks to Oakley, Monster and Willis. We held two 30 minute jam sessions and if they did a good trick, they were rewarded with some great new product. The rail jam and the ski with a pro were a big success and it was great to have the opportunity to give back. I hope all the kids enjoyed it as much as we did watching. After the rail jam we set up some interviews. Sunday night we had some more activities planned, but everyone was exhausted. I valiant effort was made, but the party was short lived.
Monday was departure day. I had to say good-bye to everyone as we packed the shuttle. I couldn’t believe it was all over… It was all so unreal. I think my dream came true. It really was the best contest ever. Thanks to all the girls! Let’s do it again next year! 2 times for good times! Time for some sleep….