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Okutadami, Japan
April 23rd 2012
After the races in Marunuma, we moved North to Okutadami where the hill is closed from December until March because they have too much snow! The views from the top are of uninhabited terrain as far as the eye can see and a huge lake formed by the Okutadami Dam.

On the first day in Okutdami we had to literally drive through a tunnel that goes inside the mountain for about half an hour to access the resort; it made me feel a bit claustrophobic. When we arrived, there was a race going on and I managed to get to forerun for the boys' course. In retrospect I think this helped me with the actual race because I got a feel for the race hill.

An "Opening Ceremony" was held at which one of boys from the local club made a declaration on behalf of all the athletes (a bit like being at an Olympic or World Cup event!). Then local dignitaries and a representative of the sponsors gave speeches. After this, my Mum & Dad went to the Captain's meeting where they were shown to a special table at the front of the room and they were provided with an interpreter.

For the races, the conditions were very soft despite the best efforts of the organisers who were constantly salting. This meant that I was skiing in ruts for the first run. However, I managed to get into the top 30 flip both days which was a definite boost because it meant I was going out earlier for the second run and getting the benefit of a less cut-up course. The commentary was really funny because it was all Japanese until it came to me and my sister when they said our names in English – except they found it very difficult to say "Florence"! I was really pleased with my results on both days - 88.50 and 87.49 (pretty consistent) which has given me new FIS points of 88.00.

We returned home after a couple of days spent in Tokyo. It was a very long flight but I did manage to do some Politics revision!