Zina Kocher

3 x Olympian World Cup Medallist

Week 3 Obertilliach, village life...


Apologies, I am very behind on this update but Christmas was priority ;) 

I ended the first trimester of racing last week in Obertilliach, Austria at the 3rd IBU cup. Obertilliach is a hamlet of 700 people, a cluster of farms, and guesthouses, in the nook of the mountainside on the border to Italy. A village church from 1783 overlooks the inhabitants, adding to it’s quaintness. Milk at breakfast for your coffee or cereal comes directly from the cows below, as most of the homes have a few cows in their attached barns. And your schnapps? Well there’s a local brew of that as well. 

Anyone who has ever stayed at the apartments at Gastof Ganneng, know host Ida’s ringing Guten Morgen at breakfast. A change to very high intonation, accentuation and drawn out of the ‘mor’ in morgen, is her trademark. But she’s a sweetheart, grandmotherly type, who truly must believe that by now we must understand perfect German, especially if spoken in louder repetition. At least one of our teammates speaks fluently, saving the rest of us from an overuse of pantomime! 

We had 2 races this week in Obertillach, an Individual (the longggg one 15k/20k) and a Sprint (7.5k/10k). Unfortunately, winter hadn’t arrived here either, but enough snow had been made for the race course. There are some lovely ski trails here though when snow is plentiful.

The team was directed and held together by the legendary duo Jeff & Paula Lodge, (queen mom); fast skis done by the Polish mountain man Andrzej (aka just say Andy) and ‘Junior’ Andrew; my personal physio the one and only friendly giant Sarah Beaudry (aka my teammate who I taught self-manip techniques for my back to keep my somewhat pain free), and props to gramps Scott Perras for his usual humour and entertainment. 

We women ended the tour well Sunday. I finished 6th with 2 misses, Audrey’s start number was the real reason for her success Sunday shooting clean placing 11th (was lucky #69), and Sarah claims her 12th finish success was due to the ice cream buffet. Leilana although didn’t have the weekend she was hoping for, will still leave gaining valuable race lessons and experience with her sights set on World Juniors in February.

I left Europe feeling satisfied with my racing weekend in Obertillach with a 5th & 6th, and look forward to returning to the World Cup circuit beginning of January for the next trimester.  

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All! Hope everyone has been having a joyous time & best wishes into a fabulous 2016! 

Z


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