In the spring of 2000 I again competed in the US Olympic Slalom team trials. I came in 7th, 6th, and then 2nd in the last race. I was even winning after the first runs, wow. I was happy with that. Scott Shipley made the only spot on the team by winning day one and two, he was the man!
That summer I showed up to the pre-Worlds in Sort Spain the day the competition started. I didn’t have time to adjust to the time difference so I stayed up to 4 am each night at the local disco. I wasn’t really partying, just dancing and goofing around because I needed to keep on my schedule as if I was at home (4am is 10pm at home) It helped that my rides never started before 2pm. Everybody was shocked that the night before finals I was out to 4am at the “loser party” which is what people call the big parties every night from prelims on. As people get knocked out of the competition they begin their “release” by partying quite hard. I was going to the loser party every night. Except for getting body slammed from over Brian Miller’s head one night and getting punched in the face by another guy I never quite saw, it seemed like an OK idea. I was still getting 8 hours of sleep and not experiencing jet lag.
The finals were text book for me as I nailed my routine time and time again to knock everybody out for the win. I felt like I was ready for the worlds.
Every year from 1997-2001 I got at least 30 new rivers under my belt each year. Some big, some creeks, some class 2 that I ran with my kids who are now kayakers too. It was our fourth year in an RV. Everybody started talking about where we would live if we did have a house. We had narrowed it down to Hood River, Oregon, or Rock Island, Tennessee. ( you must have figured out which I picked by now) Hood River is my favorite town in the USA period. Everybody is active and friendly, and the character is incredible, not to mention beach, mountain, rivers, wind. However, the playboating is not good, big strike.