Beijing will host the first race of the new World Cup season on Friday. The Ottawa athlete finished fifth in February 2022, finishing just 1.53 seconds off the third place podium.
Even after the first of four runs, Rahneva was first thanks to the course record.
“I feel several different emotions when I come back here,” admits the 35-year-old woman in a relationship.
“I had expectations before the Games. I recently looked at my previous career races here. That includes my Olympic races. It was just one bad descent out of four that really hurt me.”
Rahneva emphasizes that seeing herself in action at the Games “reopened old wounds.”
“But at the same time, it motivates me,” she says.
“I like the track in Beijing. It’s a good start to the season to be on a track like this.”
The Canadian team veteran had the best season of her career last winter at the World Championships. She won a small crystal globe after finishing third overall.
Among his successes was a win in Park City and a silver medal in Winterburg. We should not forget the third place at the world championship.
“I started that season not knowing if it would be my last or not,” says Rahneva.
An approach that he intends to maintain in the coming months.
“My goal is to enjoy every moment spent in my sport. It is a privilege to compete at this level, to travel and represent Canada. I am grateful that I can still do this. I want to use it because I know I have a very limited number of seasons. In addition, we will have the opportunity to skate on two new tracks in France (La Plagne) and Norway (Lillehammer). I can’t wait to discover them.”
Another of his goals revolves around the world championships, which will be held in Winterburg, Germany.
“I am looking forward to this competition. I’ve never won a championship. I think it’s realistic to believe that. That’s good because the race will be held at another track that I love. I will have the opportunity to do something new.”
Mirela Rahneva will also start the season with two sleds. She tried the experience for the first time last winter.
“Flexible sleds that are easy to handle and others that are a little stiffer. I want to maximize my potential. Therefore, I will choose a sled that matches the peculiarities of the trails,” she explains.
“I’m one of the few who does that. Only the Germans use two sleds during the season. I like trying new experiences and pushing my limits.”