This portion of our journey lands us in Winterberg Germany. It is about 2 hours north of Frankfurt (although it took us about 4 hours with some snowy weather and bad traffic). This was Noelle's 2nd World Cup competition. She ranks 9th in the World now after this race. That is a really good position considering she has competed in only 2 of the 4 World cup race. She does have some ICC races that have filled in the missing points. Just to give you a quick briefing, a 1st place finish in an ICC race is equivalent in points to a 13th place finish in a World Cup, and a 1st place finish in an Americas Cup race is equivalent to a 19th place finish in a World Cup.
For those of you who are unaware, Noelle had to compete in 4 Americas Cup races on 2 different tracks this year before she was qualified to race in any World Cup races. This is the reason she missed the first 2 WC races in Lake Placid and Park City. She has been working together as a team to obtain a 3rd US sled to compete in World Championships this year and hopefully onto the World Cup circuit next year (there are currently only 2 US world cup spots due to last years results).
The four of us after the race, after Noelle claimed Bronze!
On Dec. 6th St. Nick visits to leave gifts in shoes left outside the door. Lacee and I were fortunate to see St. Nick in the town that night. It was really cold and St. Nick didn't speak english, but we managed to get a picture with him. Lacee loved it.
The kids got umbrellas, a little souveneir from Winterberg.
We met Noelle at the top of the track after her first run.
I pushed the kids down the track to a waffle house! That's right, imagine a bobsled/skeleton track that has waffle houses, not one but 3 of them. This place was crowded with people. They take their sports serious here, not just basketball and baseball. They go all out!
I captured one of the German sliders in Kreisel (a full circle) during the 2nd run of the race. If you noticed the kids have a new hat, we found a hat with a hole for the face. It was really cold here and this really helped the chubby cheeked kids from turning red and purple from the cold.
Here is a picture of Noelle at the finish after the race, in midst of the media coverage.
Noelle is enjoying a hot cocoa just before the awards ceremony.
The top 3 finishers get their flag raised during the awards ceremony.
Here are the top 6 of the Winterberg world cup.
Noelle, Tuffy and Zach (coaches), Travis and Chad (trainers) and Lacee.
A little celebration pose with her trophy. No medals were given here just trophies and stuffed dogs :).
Remember how I said they went all out? Well here is a picture of band playing through the cold weather. Below is a video of the madness. It was pretty exciting, kids loved it.
This is Team USA 2 (Noelle's team) during the team competition. They placed fourth, Noelle had the fastest time out of the skeleton racers.
We celebrated Noelle's 30th birthday here. The cooks at the hotel were extremely nice and baked her a cake. The entire USA bosled/skeleton team sang Happy Birthday.
This is Noelle's team during the team race on Saturday. USA 2 TRESS, Kyle / MEYERS, Elana / JONES, Lolo / PIKUS-PACE, Noelle /CUNNINGHAM, Nick / LANGTON, Chris. This is a new race that is only held 2-4 times a season. They combine the times of Women's bobsled, Men's skeleton, Women's skeleton and Men's bobsled. They each get 1 run and they total all of their times. We placed fourth, and the other USA team placed fifth.
Lacee making a snow angel during one of Noelle's practice days.
This is a firework display after the team event. Like I said: they go all out here.