I woke up in Slovakia this month for the final key block before the international competition season kick starts. My body was broken and beaten from an intense month in London trying to learn every possible inch of the course. A few massages and some good quality Slovak food (Golash) and I was ready for the next three weeks in this awesome country. It's home to three of the last four Olympic Champions, making it one of the strongest Canoe slalom countries. The training course here is hidden below a massive dam on the "crystal clear" Danube River, on the border of Hungry, Austria and Slovakia. I could imagine some epic wars raged at this place here in the old days. The course here has been changed in an effort to make it as similar to the London course. It's water is big, pushy and out of control making every session interesting, fun and exciting. To go with the history of Slovak slalom we attended the 64th Tatra Slalom and World Ranking race in the Northern part of the country. This is a hotly contested race with great heritage dating back to World War Two. Olympic Champions, World Champions, World Cup winners & European Medalist graced the start line with there presence. The cold conditions provided by the Tatra Mountains during the event meant I couldn't even feel my face or hold my paddle. On finals day the weather had stepped up hugely from -4degrees to 27degrees. I had two clean consistent runs finishing in 3rd place. I found a bunch of stuff I need to work on before the world cups.

After three weeks in Slovakia its back on the Airplane. Adios Europe, it's time to touch down in the United States for the Teva Mountain Games. This is an extreme sport competition in the Rocky Mountain town of Vail. I'm fired up to get back there.

Six days stateside before it's back across the atlantic for the first 3 races of World Cup Series, kicking off in Cardiff, UK. Stay tuned in to all the events @ www.mikedawson.co.nz