Just at the end of 2014, I had an intense competition schedule.
First there was the 2nd World University Championships in Almaty, Kazachstan, held from the 18 - 21 December 2014.
This wasn't my first time there, because I've already been taking part in the World Cup competitions in Alma Ata a few years ago. I knew what to expect and was happy to see that the organization of this event was perfectly excecuted!
This event was an university championship, a kind of event which I really like, because there's always a different kind of atmosphere than at the usual World Cup competitions. I enjoy the feeling when there's less stress and less tension among the competitors.
During the four days of the Championship I had a start scheduled for every day - this was the first time in my carrier that I had so many starts one day after the other!
The first day was team pursuit day - 8 circuits - and we won! This gave me a lot of motivation for the next days.
On the second day of the competition I started in the 5000m race - my favorite distance. Unfortunately I missed by 0.4 second the podium and placed 4th.
Next day was the 10.000m start, when I decided I will totally give my all - and I won! My time was 14:33.52.
The 4th day was a Mass Start of 16 circuits, where I was leading up to the 4 last circuits, but the pursuit team was working together very well and the moment I weakened a bit they got me, so I placed 7th.
Still, two golden medals (one team medal, one individual) had really boosted my motivation and confidence in my future plans.
It was great to meet speed skating university students from all over the world, the charisma and positive energy of the people here were really what I needed.
The last competition of 2014 was being held in Warsaw, Poland on an open-air ice track and it was the Warsaw Single Distances Championship, which was also the qualifications for the European Championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
This competition lasted for 3 days and I was starting four times. On the shorter distances of 500m and 3000m I placed 4th and on the longer 5000m distance I got 2nd place! I also took part in both of the 500m sprints and placed 13th.
Even though I did really great in this Championship, it was a bitter-sweet experience. I actually qualified for the European Championship, but because my Association didn't complete the required formalities, I couldn't take part in the competition.
Either way, December was really great for me, thanks to the training I've been doing with the Czech speed skaters during my stay in Holland. I'd also like to say that if it wasn't for the help I've recieved from my general sponsor Grena Ltd. in 2014 I'd probably not be there and couldn't train and win those championships. I'm really grateful for the support!
I'm looking forward to 2015 and new opportunities! My plans are still unfolding, but I will soon let you know what will be going on with me in 2015!