Wait a second: Is 2012 almost half over?! Boy, time flies doesn’t it? While the mystics out there prepare for the world to, um, end (thanks Mayans!) and we witness the weirdness in the media, hopefully you’ve been inspired to get outside and live better stories. We certainly have; in fact, we too sometimes live vicariously through our athletes like adventure-addict and Teva kayaker, Mike Dawson. As Mike prepares to run some whitewater at the 2012 Olympics we caught up with him to help us remember a wet, wild and wondrous year of the dragon.
1.) Teva Mountain Games Vail: Jetting to USA from Europe for the Teva Mountain Games was an intense addition to the schedule, but this event was amazing. Good music, great food, epic competition, big parties. It was a good opportunity to get away from the Olympic vibe and chill out in the Rockies listening to the tunes from The Expendables.
2.) Kaituna Whitewater Sessions: In January floods ravaged New Zealand making it a dream playground. Czech Republic athlete Vavra Hradilek was in NZ training so we teamed up to create the biggest slalom course. This project went off with huge water, big drops with a slalom course in the middle.
3.) Surfing in Byron Bay, Australia: This place has one of the sickest beaches in the world. I was there for a wedding and a few days out of the boat before heading to the first Olympic Training Camp in London. It was unreal with ninety degree blue bird days back to back and swimming with dolphins.
4.) Skiing in Oetztal: At the end of the season it was a good break to get up onto the Solden Glacier in Austria to shred some slopes. We rocked up with a sick crew and lapped the glacier for eight hours. A perfect break away from the Sickline Extreme Kayak event going on in the valley below.
5.) Coromandal New Years Road Trip: Martina Wegman and I headed out for 4 days exploring the wilderness of this peninsula on the North East Coast of New Zealand. We spent a few days hiking in the ranges before bailing on the planned trip of heading to Coro Gold, a New Years concert attracting thousands of people and featuring a huge line up of New Zealand’s greatest bands. We bailed on this idea as record flooding began closing roads and bringing in huge swells so we headed back south with roads closing behind us.
6.) Exploring London: This season was the first chance I’ve had in my career that kayaking has brought me to London. There is so much going on in this city. Each suburb has some epic underground music scenes or great food and dinning. I’m looking forward to getting back for the Olympics