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Pre-Olympic Groomer's Report #3 - The teams are here….
By:  Claudia Van Wijk   (2009/01/15)


Woke up to clear skies – saw the mountains, all of them – in every direction we looked. And the ground was frozen. Great news for ski conditions.

Upon arriving at the Nordic Centre we right away knew a big event was unfolding. Parking marshals, designated parking for athletes (teams) and spectators – recreational skiers were to proceed to the Biathalon Area where the ski shop, and access to trails was unhindered and continue to be open to the public.

Brad and Judy, Perianne’s parents joined me for a ski of the race trails – their first time out to Callaghan Valley and our last chance before the race trails were off-limits to non-athletes. The climb out of the stadium was actually quite easy in these hard-packed icy conditions... but, the downhills were another matter. Thought the turns were sharp a few days ago in warm slushy conditions – now they were rocket fast, so fast they became a fearful, razor sharp-heart exploding experience. And sorry to tell my girls, but mom didn’t tuck them like she should have. We didn’t see any wipe-outs though, but saw a lot of return practice loops where the coaches had their athletes go back again and again.

The sun was shining all day. Incredible skiing. A big contrast to the previous days, and it looks like this weather is here for the next 3 days. Friday Sprints have just become super fast!

The Canadian Team was show cased at an afternoon press meeting. Brian Williams who now is the anchorman for CTV and TSN was there, as were many newspaper reporters. A great group of athletes, lead by veteran medalist Sarah Renner. I’ve included the team photo – see if you can recognize all 11.

On the grooming note... Dirk took a 3 hour afternoon nap today and is re-rendezvous‘g at 8pm this evening to get an earlier start on the big list of "to do’s" - made slightly easier, yet higher expectations with the sub zero temperatures.

Tomorrow I also have a job - course marshal. Yes, the races don’t start until Friday... but, it’s official training tomorrow, and we need a day to practice (and a year to get it perfect).

Enjoy the photos of the many great vistas in pure liquid sunshine !


Athletes arriving!

Sarah Renner and the Canadian Women's National Ski Team.

Whistler from the Chalet.

Dirk arriving at the Nordic Centre at 1am to begin his work day.

Immaculate tracks, the result of Dirk and Rob Lafleur.

Frost covers the trees on the drive to the trails.

Perianne Jones and Sarah Renner.

Dad Brad, Perianne and Mom Judy.

The Russian athletes.

Panoramic British Columbia!

The Germans.

Interesting Reading. . .
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