Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daily Updates

More updates of the Olympic adventures at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Intro to the Wax Roos!

Check in here during the Olympics to keep up to speed with the Aussie wax team.

Monday, February 8, 2010


After a whirlwind 24 hrs I am back in the Whistler Athletes Olympic Village. I arrived at 8pm last evening and went through accreditation and two sets of security checks similar to boarding a plane. After about a 9 hr drive, from one edge of BC to the other I arrived to a light rain and ready to get out of the truck for a few days. For the next three weeks I will be using Olympic transport to get to and from the competition venue as well as any other venues in the Whistler area. Finn Marsland (Aussie head coach) and I drove into Vancouver at 7 am this morning with an Aussie luge athlete and her Canadian coach Grant (a two time Cdn Olympian in two-man luge) to pick up Ben, Ester, and Paul (the Aussie XC ski athletes) at the airport.

Once we picked them up we headed to Richmond to a Four Points Sheraton where the Australian Olympic Committee was set up and we began a 3 hr process of getting outfitted for all our official Olympic gear. I think in total I have 8 tops and jackets, as well as 3 pairs of snowboard/ski pants, a full formal wear kit for a banquet. Unbelievable how much stuff I have and I am not even competing! This is going to be quite an experience.

We are located in the Athlete Village in what will become a Sport Science facility after the Olympics, so our rooms are dorm like and are the bottom floor of 4. The US team ironically occupies the upper three floors so it won't be hard to visit with Kikkan. Other countries are spread around the village in condo style places that will or have been sold as housing once the games are complete. However, we all eat together in a huge tent complete with a variety of food options and of course Olympic sponsor McDonalds. All the plates, cups, bowls, and cutlery are compostable keeping up with the "green" Olympics theme announced by VANOC.

Tomorrow I will make my first trip to the race venue where we will begin testing waxes, skis, structure, and in general trying to get a feel for the snow conditions. But you can never be too prepared in Whistler where the conditions can change by the minute.

Below are a few pictures from last weekends World Cup in Canmore.

Friday, February 5, 2010

You can't fake World Class

Eleven years ago after competing at the 1999 World Track and Field Championships, I told myself I that I never wanted to race at that level again unless I belonged there. That same thought holds true today as I competed in my first ever World Cup ski event. In all accounts it was an embarrassing performance on my part. I have not skied well at a National level this season and rightly fully so I wasn't even competitive today on one of the World's toughest 15km courses against a field that is peaking for the Olympics which begin in just over a week.

Getting a World Cup start should bring with it such a feeling of accomplishment. That all the hard years of training have finally paid off. To be completely honest this might be one of the emptiest moments in my athletic career. I finished 76 out of 78 competitors and I am relieved that the moment has come to pass.

It's time now to put on my wax tech bib on for the Aussies, and get back to enjoying the World Cup atmosphere in beautiful Canmore.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canmore World Cups 2010

It is race night here in Canmore and I am still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I am staying with the US Ski Team, having my race skis prepared by Australia, and starting my first World Cup for Canada. Does that make me a multinational?

The weather is beautiful in Canmore and the race course is in perfect condition. I tested skis with Australian Ben Sim today and fit in my own little race prep on the course. This has been the site of a couple of good 15km skates for me, so I hope I can repeat tomorrow.

The irony of tomorrow's race start continues to be amusing and frustrating all at once. For three years I have tried to get a World Cup start. For the past two years I have watched from the sidelines knowing I should be out there racing. This year I knew I wasn't in the shape required to race at that level and was content to watch and help make sure the Aussies had skis that didn't limit their potential. Of all the years this is the one that I get a World Cup selection....crazy.

It's been 10 years since I last represented Canada at the World level. Not since August 2000 in Monterrey, Mexico have I raced in the Canadian colours. The weather was much difference as well as the event. To add to the irony of my ski experience I am starting the 15km skate race tomorrow but not the sprint event on Saturday that I trained for most of the off-season. Although I don't expect any miracles it is always an honour to represent Canada and I am excited for the opportunity again.

In other exciting news the online store at is now live and ready for orders!

View from the hotel in Camore.

Columbia Icefield Tour Bus driving over an unsuspecting Australian named Darlo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

World Cup start?

When I stepped off the plane from Norway on Tuesday evening (last week), it marked the end of my racing season and the beginning of my role as a wax technician for Australia. I have spent the best part of 4 days now in Silver Star training with the team trying to keep up with Ben Sim. Normally I wouldn't begin to ski so hard this early up at altitude (I learned that lesson from before Christmas), but now that I am just a wax tech I have nothing to lose. My role is to make sure these guys are at their best come the Olympics....or so I thought.

As I went to bed last night I checked my email to find that I had been offered a start spot in the Canadian Nations group allotment for this Friday's Canmore World Cup. Ironically enough the start will be in the 15km skate and not the sprint.

I have been carefree for the past few days about proper hydration, nutrition, rest etc. Now my mind is a whirl of thoughts about how to help out the Aussie's as my job requires, help do my part to get the Ski Traxx system up and running ( and race my best at my first ever World Cup.

I am going to jump into intervals with Simbo today (and will wear a heart rate monitor for the first time in 3 weeks), and head over with the team tomorrow to Canmore.