Olympian Heather McPhie looks back at Sochi and her future in mogul skiing
Montana Olympian Heather McPhie couldn't hold back the tears as she drove through Bozeman Thursday afternoon.
"I'm not gonna lie, I teared up a little bit when I was driving here and passed the 'Welcome to Montana' sign," said McPhie. "I was so excited to come home."
McPhie is coming off competing in the women's mogul events in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She finished 14th overall in the semi-final round. She failed to qualify for the super final, but was still pleased with her performance.
"I was really proud of what I did," said McPhie. "Competing my back double-full and my d-spin and skiing a run I was honestly happy with was exciting. It was really disappointing to end up where I did, but what I could control I was really happy with."
After her competition, Heather stayed in the Olympic village and made sure to watch fellow Montanan, Butte's Bradley Wilson, compete.
"That was awesome," said McPhie. "I got to hang out with his family and we were actually texting back and forth because my family had already been through the ropes. Brad is like a brother to me, I've known him since he was 7 or 8. To watch him evolve as an athlete has been really cool. He has such a bright future, he's definitely someone to watch.
A lot has been made in the media about the poor living conditions for journalists in Sochi, but Heather had nothing but positive things to say about her experience.
"I'm kinda disappointed in how Sochi was portrayed," said McPhie. "When we were there it was amazing. They were so welcoming, I felt safe. I loved my experience and my family had a great experience. Everything exceeded my expectations."
Once Heather finished cheering in Sochi, she immediately got back on the slopes. Heather finished out the World Cup season with races in Japan and Norway before the final race last weekend in France. McPhie finished 5th overall in the World Cup Standings.
Now the question is will Heather, 29, try and compete in the next winter Olympics. She says it's very doubtful.
"I can't imagine I will continue for four more years," McPhie said. "I have sort of promised myself I will take a solid step back this spring and really evaluate. At the root of things it will come down to my passion. If I'm really still hungry to be out there and energized to do what I'm doing, then I'll continue. If not, it will probably be time to do something else."
In the meantime, Heather has a few vacations planned and they are as far away from the slopes as possible.
"This spring I'm going to Costa Rica," she said with a smile. "I've never really just laid on a beach before so it will be fun. Then I'm going to Thailand with some girlfriends. I'm just ready to take a break and see where I'm at."