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Wednesday, January 9, 2002
Updated: February 21, 11:41 AM ET
Olympic diary: Things are taking shape

By Emily Cook
Special to

Emily Cook, a 22-year-old on the U.S. ski team that is based at Park City, Utah, shares a weekly diary on her preparations for the Olympics.

I am now in Mount Tremblant, Quebec, preparing for the first of five World Cup competitions that will lead up to the Games. The best aerialists in the world will be here, and I hope to prove to myself once again that I am among them.

The Gold Cup Competition, which I won last week at Deer Valley, secured me an Olympic spot and has left me feeling confident and ready to prepare for the Games in February.

Birthdate: July 1, 1979
Hometown: Belmont, Mass.
Sport: Freestyle skiing -- aerialist
Accomplishments: The No. 1 freestyle aerialist in the United States, she won the gold medal at the 2001 U.S. Championships and the silver medal at the 2001 Grand Nationals.

On Tuesday, I spent the day on the hill with my teammates and coaches building and shaping our jumps to get them ready for Thursday's training and this weekend's competitions.

On a shape day, most of the teams gather at the hill and measure and build the jumps, which usually takes a few hours depending on how well the site has been prepared. We shovel and mix snow for most of the day until the in-run, jumps and landing hill are perfect. Tuesday was a relatively short shape day and only took us a few hours of work, which left me time to work with our trainer on the small knee injury that has been plaguing me since early December.

Emily Cook and her teammates spend an afternoon shaping the jump.

My knee is doing great and at this point we are working toward it being 100 percent, so that I can step up my degree of difficulty for the Olympics. Right now I am competing a lay full (a single twisting double back flip) and a full full (a double twisting double back flip), but at the Olympics I will add a twist and make it a full double full (an extra twist on the second flip for a total of two flips with a triple twist).

Today we start our World Cup training and have competitions on Saturday and Sunday.