Sunday, March 21, 2010
Face of the Day - Andrea Bundon
If one of us falls, we have to keep it together. If I wipe out, she has to stop and wait for me to get back up, which kills both of our momentum, not just mine. And if she falls, she has to get out of my way so that I don't get slowed up. That actually happened in the 5km classic (first time ever!) on an uphill, but Andrea kept her wits about her and barrel rolled out of my way, let me pass, got back up and ran like mad up the hill to get back in front of me. At another point in the race, I got ahead of her and the tracks were so much faster than the snow out of them and I was having such a great race that she couldn't get back in front. So she guided from behind, meaning she had to not only give me direction as to where I needed to go, she had to be remembering what was next so she could guide me through that too. Not so simple after all yet Andrea handles all of the pressure and chaos like it is a walk in the park. No matter how crazy things get, she stays calm and focused on the race and does a fantastic job of guiding me. I can't express how much I appreciate her as a guide. And I'm also proud that she is one of just three female guides at these Games because at this level, you have to be an exceptionally fit skier in order to guide and obviously not too many women can ski fast enough to do what she does.
Andrea has really been there for me for the past year. In and around both of our busy schedules, we've gone for runs together, rollerskied together, rowed together, and obviously skied together. Without Andrea, I couldn't have gotten up to the ski areas and I'm scared to even ask how many kilometres we've added together to her little SUV. Between trips to Vernon, Kelowna, Canmore, Mount Washington, Europe and all points in , we've put in a lot of time together and I have many fond memories from these trips.
Throughout this whole process, Andrea and I have learned a lot, laughed a lot and, luckily, only cried a little bit. Andrea has enriched the experience so much for me not only because she is a very capable skier, but because we have become good friends. Some athletes have guides and the two of them never become more than just that, but I'm glad to count Andrea among my friends.
So thank you Andrea for making this whole experience possible for me and for being more than just my guide. Thank you for accepting me for who I am and for helping me whenever I needed it. Thank you for challenging my mind with your academic discussions. Thank you for spending so much time away from home, friends and family so that we could get better together on skis. Thank you for your quick wit and smiling personality. It has been an incredible journey and I am so happy I got to share it with you. I hope we'll still ski together next season!