2010 Vancouver Olympics

2010 Vancouver Olympics
Welcome! It is here I hope to keep all of my sponsors and supporters up to date about my everyday life as a full time Biathlete. I will post regular updates about how my training and race season is progressing, which will hopefully provide a little insight as to exactly what my life is all about. With the Sochi 2014 Olympics fast approaching, I invite you to join me on my journey as I pursue my dreams...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hello from Yong Pyong!

Well, after a 10hr plane trip and a 3hr bus ride from the Inchon Airport near Seoul, we arrived in the Yong Pyong Winter Resort. The Greenpia Hotel will be home for the next 3 weeks while we prepare and race during the World Championships. The resort we are at is like a miniature Whistler and made entirely with tourists in mind. Apart from the ski hills, other winter attractions include a 400m snowmobile course and ice fishing in a nearby pond. These activities are definitely not authentic over here, but pretty hilarious to watch, especially if you come from the North!

The Greenpia Hotel will be our home for the next three weeks.

The venue is located about a 5min bus ride from our hotel and has been a hot topic of discussion amongst the teams since our arrival. Simply put, the trails are very challenging. The up hills are frequent and each one is long and very steep. Following the giant climbs are technical and super sketchy down hills. They wouldn’t be so bad under normal conditions, but the snow conditions here are a little adverse. All the snow is manmade and the temperature climbs to well above zero every day. With the exception of the Individual competition all our races will take place at night under flood lights and the last few days we’ve been training at night during the same time we’d be racing. By the time the men start training the temperature begins to drop, and the slush during the women’s training just a few hours before is turned to solid ice. Huge ruts on the down hills form and things start to get intense. Every night during dinner you hear of one or two epic crashes from the day and can see the fresh carnage walk through the door which is usually in the form of a scraped up face. The other day my team mate Scott had an impressive crash that definitely took the cake for wipeouts during that nights training! As a team we were skiing the down hills together trying to come to a conclusion about the best lines to take during the competitions. On the last downhill into the range we were skiing down single file with decent speed, and Scott who was third in line started to gain a bit on JP who was just ahead of him. He took an inside line that was a bit tighter to avoid having to slow down, shifted his weight slightly before entering the turn, caught an edge, and then went over the tips of his skis where he literally became airborne. He had nice Superman like form while flying through the air a few feet off the ground, until he came down for an extremely hard landing. Robin and I were skiing behind him and witnessed the whole event. When we skied back over to him I was positive bones were broken as Scott was lying on the ground in a slightly contorted position and in a lot of pain. After the whole ordeal was said and done, and after he came out of what appeared to be some state of shock, he luckily only walked away with a sprained hand and some scrapes and bruises. Initially it looked like it was going to be much worse.

As you can see, there is not a lot of snow...Part of why the course is so sketchy!

While out for a run one day I came across this exercise equipment in the middle of the forest.

Couple conditions like this with the so far typical 8 click wind on the range and we have our work cut out! I can say though that things have improved over the last couple days and the conditions on the course have gotten a lot better and more reasonable. This was until today’s rain storm. It’s been pouring rain all day which is doing a lot of damage to the snow on the course. The winds were also gusting up to 50km/hr last night which also took its toll on the snow. I was up at the venue just a couple hours ago to do some dry firing and when I walked through the stadium all that remains is a sheet of ice with a giant puddle in the middle. I guess conditions over the rest of the course are similar. The rain continues to come down in sheets but apparently the organizing committee has been trucking in snow to the venue since four o’clock this afternoon. There will be a meeting early tomorrow morning to decide whether or not the race will go ahead or be postponed a day so that more work can be done on the course. There is a lot of pressure for it to be a go, especially with all the TV networks that will be airing the races live. I’m sure the organizing committee will be working hard over night to try and make things happen.

Let’s hope the weather turns around so that we can race!

During the rain storm the downhill ski stadium slowly turned into a massive puddle.

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