Wow! It has been a heck of a week. There’s been some eye opening learning happening through the sharing of concepts and methodology. We have had some amazing experiences, creating new friendships and reconnecting with old mates from all over the world.
This morning was spent listening to presentations from the three nations bidding to host the next Interski in 2019. Finland, Russia and Bulgaria all made their case as to why they would be the best. After the votes were tallied Bulgaria won.The morning was also spent listening to some brief presentations by people seeking election to the Interski Committee. The great news is that Eric Sheckelton from the US was elected Second Vice President. This is big for SBINZ because he is a snowboarder so we will now have some snowboard representation on the Interski committee. This is vital for the long term success of the conference.
After the General Assembly we went headed up to Cerro Castor for our last day of shredding. We spent the first half of the afternoon attending the last few on-snow workshops. Sam and myself went to the Australian workshop. The focus was a brief introduction to the new app they are developing, which their members can subscribe to. The app is a resource where you click on the level of rider and then the task they are trying to do. After that there are common issues people generally have with that task so you click on one of those. Then there are several exercises to choose from. These all have short video clips with descriptions. The second half of their workshop was spent showing us some of their exam riding tasks. The main ones were their most recent additions, skidded down un-weighted turns, and extension/retraction turns (which we simply call retraction turns). They mentioned that up to this point their system only focused on up un-weighted turns.At 3:00pm it was time to head to the demo hill to meet all the other nations and do our final whole team demonstration for the closing ceremony. Each nation went down the hill in alphabetical order to a song of their choosing. Ryan and Telemark Greg started by riding down waving two flags. Then the skiers did a diamond formation synchro and we followed doing a snake that started with small turns and gradually grew to large turns. We snowboarders followed each other closely, only a few board lengths apart. Halfway down we started doing some toe to toe turns. Finally breaking up at the bottom for some flatland jibbing, meeting the skiers, Ryan and Greg at the bottom where there was high fives all round. Then we proceeded to work the crowd a bit as we were the only nation to go and high five everyone as we went all the way down the long line of people to where we were meant to stand. From that point on it was all about enjoying the atmosphere and thanking people for a great week. However before leaving to head back down the hill we managed to get all the snowboard nations together for a final group picture. As we ate our final dinner in Ushuaia we reflected on a great week. We were proud to represent New Zealand as one team on such a great international stage and that representation wasn’t over just yet! We all went out for a few adult beverages that may have lasted well into the night. Or should I say morning and barely waking up to make the bus to the airport.
– Words by Tony Macri
– Images by Tony Macri, Richie Johnston