Laura Deas column: Feeling the cold at the Skeleton World Cup in Lake Placid

Laura Deas column

The World Cup tour has now moved on to the second venue of the season, Lake Placid, where I'm preparing to race on Saturday.

I'm pretty pleased with my sixth-place finish in Whistler last week at the opening World Cup event. It's a difficult track that hasn't been on circuit that much over the last few years and it can always catch you out if you start to get a little complacent with things.

I was most happy that I put down two consistent runs - as I mentioned last time, consistency is one of the hardest elements of skeleton so to put down two runs within six hundredths of a second of each other was really positive.

The situation in Sochi

Sochi Winter Olympics
The 2014 Winter Olympic games took place in Sochi, Russia

A couple of days ago, the decision was made by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) to move the World Championships away from Sochi, Russia.

At this point it's still undecided where they are going to be moved to and that puts things up in the air a little bit for this time in the season, because normally by this point you know exactly where you're going and what the track is going to be so you can start planning for it.

I'm hoping now that regardless of where the World Championships is that it's going to be a really good competition.

Looking forward to Christmas

Although I love sliding, I can't wait to get back home for Christmas. We fly back the day after the race on Sunday and we will have been away for five weeks.

We get in on the 19th and we leave again before New Year for the second half of the season. I don't get long at home but I'm really looking forward to it. Christmas is a really important time to chill out and stop being a skeleton athlete (around training of course!) and try and see friends and family.

Because I live and train in Bath at our national training centre, I'm not close to where most of my family live so it's good to get round and see everyone.

Lake Placid
The IBSF Skeleton World Cup event is taking place in Lake Placid, New York

I always love coming to North America to slide. The people here are really friendly and the venues are great, and I particularly love the fact that Lake Placid has got so much Olympic history, having hosted two Winter Olympic Games in 1932 and 1980.

I'd love to win a medal here because I feel like I connect with the track.

This course is very different from Whistler. It's older, twistier with lots of unique features, and although the top speed isn't as high, the corners come at you very quickly so you really have to be on top of things to get a good track time here.

Freezing temperatures

Lake Placid
Lake Placid held the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics

The weather is set to get very cold over the next couple of days, with lows of around -25C. When it's that cold, it's debatable whether going outside for your 'warm up' is really worth it!

One of the most unique things about Lake Placid is the fact that the current ice track and the old, disused one sit side-by-side on the hill.

The old track has legendary status as one of the toughest tracks ever, and just by looking at the dramatic profiles of the corners you can see why.

The coaches talk about sliding it in terms of survival rather than enjoyment which just about says it all. I love the fact that the two tracks side-by-side really show the evolution of the sport. Whenever the going gets tough here, I always say to myself that at least I'm not sliding the old track!

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