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Almost home ... World motocross champion Courtney Duncan in MIQ, where she will be spending Christmas. Inset: Duncan at the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme Awards in Monaco this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/COURTNEY DUNCAN

Courtney Duncan almost made it all the way home for Christmas.

After battling to get an MIQ spot since winning her third consecutive Women’s Motocross World Championship title in Italy in October, Duncan finally arrived back in New Zealand last Thursday.

She has been isolating in Wellington and was due to leave MIQ tomorrow.

Then, on Monday, Duncan was told a case of Omicron Covid-19 had been detected at her hotel, and she could not leave until Boxing Day.

While it was disappointing to not get home to Palmerston for Christmas, Duncan was still grateful to be back in the country.

“Unfortunately, I won’t make it out of here in time for Christmas,” Duncan said.

“It’s good to be home. Obviously I’m not home as such yet, but even just knowing I’m back in the country is a good feeling in its own.”

Once released from MIQ, she plans to spend her first few days catching up with family and friends before getting back into training.

The day Duncan flew back into the country, she received the news she had been nominated for sportswoman of the year at the Halberg Awards.

“It’s a rewarding feeling being a candidate for the Halbergs, you’re among some big names.”

Being nominated alongside athletes such as Emma Twigg, Lisa Carrington, Lydia Ko, Sarah Hirini and Dame Valerie Adams was “inspirational”, she said.

“Especially the women that have been at the pinnacle for a decade.

“That’s what inspires myself and I’m sure the younger generations coming through. You want to do that same and also leave a mark.”

Being stuck overseas for the past couple of months had given Duncan time to reflect on winning her third world motocross title, and what it meant to her.

“To think I’m a three-time champ is pretty amazing and looking back on it, it’s been a great year,” she said.

Since finishing up racing for the year, Duncan had been travelling throughout Europe and sightseeing.

It was a nice change from travelling during race season when everything was so focused on the sporting events, and she had very little time to look around.

Her highlights included visiting Paris, topped off by going to her first All Blacks test, watching the team’s 40-25 loss to France, and attending the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme Awards in Monaco earlier this month.

She will return to training for the next season early next year.

“I’m excited. It’s been a while and I’m ready to get back to it.”