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, March 27, 2009

Wow, that was long…

Our travel to Norway was long to say the least. From Vancouver we flew to Calgary where we jumped on our connecting flight to Heathrow airport in London. After a fairly long layover, which consisted of walking around the airport followed by trying to catch some sleep on airport benches, it was off to Oslo. From Oslo we got on yet another flight to Trondheim and arrived at our hotel after a 45 min bus ride from the Trondheim Airport. We arrived in the evening, so after a quick snack and a shower that’d I’d been looking forward too since my last race in Vancouver, it was off to bed!

One of the amazing views from Trondheim

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent trying recover from the races in Vancouver as well as prepare for Thursday’s 10km Sprint race. It had been raining a lot all week, which meant that we would be racing in tough slushy conditions. My race started out well and I was able to ski the majority of my first lap behind Norwegian Lars Berger. After shooting prone however, I began to suffer more on the skis than normal and just did my best throughout the rest of the race to hang on. I knew that I didn’t have a great day on my skis and I crossed the finish line in 63rd with two misses and just a few seconds outside of the top 60.

Mass start race. The track was salted prior to the race in order to absorb and eliminate most of the slush that we had to ski in.

The vibe at the venue was pretty awesome. Hundreds of school children lined the switchbacks into the range in addition to the thousands of fans that packed the grande stands. Every time Ole Einar skied by, the stadium would erupt with cheering. It was pretty cool.

The King of biathlon, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen on route to another World Cup victory in front of his home crowd

Norway as a country was really interesting as well. Scandinavia is the birthplace of skiing and biathlon so it was really neat to experience a country where skiing is part of the culture. I had the opportunity to do a couple of long skis on the surrounding trails, which was really fun. Trails went in every direction and were busy with people of all ages and skill levels. People were out having fun and being active which was great to see. It’s motivating to be in an environment like this and it was revitalizing to get away from the stress of racing and be able to ski around and explore. I would like to spend more time in Norway at some point although it is a very expensive country. Be prepared to spend $10 Canadian if you order a beer!



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Whistler World Cup – Racing at home!

This past week the Biathlon World Cup circuit moved to Canada for World Cup #7. This was the pre–Olympic World Cup where we were able to test out the new Olympic venue for Biathlon in the Callaghan Valley, just outside of Whistler, BC.

It was awesome to be able to jump on a plane and not have to cross the Atlantic Ocean for once! Finally the Europeans would get a taste of what our life is like on the circuit with having to travel so far from home. The week in Whistler was a lot of fun. It was special because my parents along with my brother and his family came out to watch me race and there were a lot of other familiar faces in the crowd cheering the Canadians on. The stellar conditions were a much-welcomed change for anyone who had raced in Korea and racing on natural snow was especially nice. It’s rare that we race entirely on natural snow, as the warmer conditions in Europe often require man-made snow.

Racing on the Olympic course in Whistler - Photo by Christian Manzoni

As for the races I am very pleased with how they went, with the exception of the Relay. I was skiing consistently fast and my shooting had improved since Korea, which allowed me to put together some pretty solid performances. In the 20km Individual I crossed the line in 46th shooting 17/20 and finished 52nd in the 10km Sprint shooting 8/10.

I like the Olympic course a lot. It boasts nice rolling terrain with great flow and is challenging in terms of many technical transitions which make you have to work hard to maintain speed. The new venue seemed to be well liked by the Europeans and everyone is excited for next February.

Lapping through the stadium during the Relay - Photo by Dan Giroux

After the Relay on Sunday we jumped straight into the team van and drove to the airport in Vancouver to continue on to our next destination; World Cup #8 in Trondheim, Norway. Not being able to cool down after the race, not being able to have a shower, and having to scramble to pack our equipment is definitely not ideal for recovery, but with our tight schedule to get to the airport we didn’t have a choice!

Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who helped make the World Cup such a great success!