Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas update

My procrastination knows no bounds.  Merry Christmas to everyone.  Kikkan and I are in the Hotel Kulm in Davos, Switzerland.  This is our 3rd week now.  We arrived for the World Cup in early December and were to travel to La Clusaz, France the following weekend but due to warm temps and no snow that weekend was cancelled and the World Cup returned to Davos.  We had always planned to spend Christmas here but didn't expect to be here for almost 4 weeks.  We will leave for the start of the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany on Dec. 31 or Jan.1  It was just confirmed today that Obersdorf has enough snow to host the opening two events.  It's a really tough winter over here, especially in central Europe.

Kikkan's race results have picked up and she would have gone top 6 last weekend but fell on an icy patch in her semi-final.  So momentum is good heading into the next World Cup period.

Here are some pics from the past couple of weeks (of course not in order).

Incredible work done by organizing crew in Davos to create a 5 km race course. 

The stadium 4 days before the World Cup start. 

Love the Swiss architecture and the perfect firewood.  Human's live on second floor and livestock on the bottom floor.  

Back in Davos for round two with FIS crew and our Italian friends from InFront Media

Time for a beer and brats hillside at Parsenn above Switzerland.

Prosecco?  Why not!

Davos below.  Such a beautiful place. 

Kikk trades in her skinny skis for a day of metal edges and letting gravity do the work. 

Breakfast view from the race hotel. 

The stadium 36hrs before the World Cup start in Davos. 
Our home for 3-4 weeks.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Playing catch up

Wow time has gotten away from me again.  It's been a great start to the World Cup season from the work side of things.  But it's been a challenge so far for Kikkan with her results.  However, I think things are on the upswing and it's just going to take a bit of time and more racing to get everything sorted out.

I can't remember if I mentioned before about the partnership this year with Inside the Fence and 7th Frame TV from Paris, France but it's awesome!  Two videos are out so far with two more coming this week.  Here is the link to the first one released:  Actually that was the second one.  Here is the first one:  Both are great.  It's amazing what these guys can do with camera's and editing.

Winter is still missing from many places again this season.  I arrived in Davos, Switzerland last evening to just 3-4 cm of snow on the ground.  A massive operation by the organizing committee is underway to bring snow from high up in Fluela pass down to the race track and with colder temps the next two nights they are hoping to make enough snow for the World Cup stadium to be ready for Friday.  It's nervous days for sure.  With all that in mind yesterday's ski in Sjusjoen, Norway just above Lillehammer may have been my nicest ski for the year.  A recognition that Davos usually receives.  One of the great beauties of being in the far north is that it's one of the few times I am ever out skiing as the sun rises.  Yesterday it took starting at 8:30am for that to be experienced.  The sun broke the horizon at 9:07am and brought a beautiful warmth and brightness to the snow blanketed surroundings

Some images in no particular order.

Good to be back with the FIS MAG crew.  Hardest working guys on tour.  They get all the signage, banners etc up that make it look like a World Cup.  A little Crown Royal, or "Royal Crown" as my colleague on the left Michal said the other day.  That term will stick for the season now.  

Team Captains meeting in Lillehammer.  Full house with many teams present for these World Cups. 

It's a small world.  Lunch with Karl Saidla, Megan McTavish and their beautiful daughter Leena in Helsinki.  

Sunrise over Lillehammer stadium. 

Sunset at 3:00 pm at Lillehammer Stadium 

FIS XC crew was invited to the Swix Christmas party.  Only in Norway could a wax tech be interviewed on stage by one of the most famous TV hosts in Norway for 30 min and have everyone pay attention.  

Later at the Christmas party with Italian Ski legend Christian "Zorro" Zorzi and my friend Enzo. 

Sunrise in Sjusjoen

Opposite direction from sunrise....the moon was actually setting and creating it's own colours. 

Across the lake from Lillehammer.  You can see the Olympic ski jumps on the highest bump.  The 1994 opening ceremonies took place outdoors at the base of those jumps.