Pre-Olympic Groomer's Report #4 - Official athletes training day.
By: Claudia Van Wijk (2009/01/15)
A real treat awoke me at 2:30am this morning …Dirk, arrived back from his overnight grooming job early. With the below zero temperatures the crew chose to meet at 8pm – which gave the tracks maximum time to firm up overnight. This meant Dirk and I got to enjoy our first breakfast together, and hopefully a ski. Dirk had raved about his previous days grooming of this specific recreational trail called Top of the World that wound its way up to a lookout of the Callaghan Valley and in the distance the local landmark - Black Tusk mountain top. At 9am, we were able escape the cell phone and radio calls, skiing up on pristine corduroy. I’ve attached a photo of the two of us.
Today was the official athletes training day – but I think it really is a dress rehearsal for the many branches of the work crew. 800 Volunteers including paid VANOC staff will be covering this Nordic Festival. I have joined the marshal crew. All hands on deck had to first complete their Volunteer Training Course before officially jumping into their roles. This included some veteran Nakkertokers; Jim and Diane Thompson as TD and Media liaison and Jim McCarthy as assistant chief of competition. Familiar Canadian ski names will be here: Becky Scott will be joining the CBC xc voice of Jack Sassville and Chandra Crawford who is bowing out of competition due to a bought of tendonitis, will be joining Pierre Harvey as on-site-stadium-announcers.
After dinner, Brad, Judy and I headed up to the Stadium one more time to watch the excitement of setting the 6 perfectly aligned classic tracks down the finish stretch and across the line - aided by a laser beam. Pretty neat stuff – the laser is mounted on the front of the Pisten Bully and aligned with it’s buddy at the north end of the stadium. Tilling deep, but not too deep to churn up the multitude of finish line cables under the snow, the Bully 400 did two runs of three tracks each. The crew nailed it the first try.
Well its off to bed for me. Lots of excitement tomorrow – conditions will be fast. At –5°C overnight, the course will be hard and fast for the 9:30am Qualifiers.
Send positive vibes to all bearers of the Maple Leaf !
Blacktusk early morning ski.
Dirk and Claudia on top of the world together!
Whistler Nordic Centre Day Lodge.
Spectating at the Nordic Combined Large Hill Training Day.