A rumour has been circulating about Karl Saidla and Megan McTavish, two of XCOttawa.ca's top skiers. No, no, everyone knows they have been dating for awhile, that's old news. No this is something else, something exciting. It first started in the summer, then seemed to fade. It resurfaced before the early snow camp. It circulated before the first two continental cups were cancelled, before they went to Thuder Bay only to have to drive to Dryden to ski, before Ottawa got any snow. Then it really made the rounds just before Christmas. I'm sure you heard about it, it was all over town. Maybe they just got fed up with our early season conditions - that might explain it.
But that doesn't explain all their strange behaviour. Maybe you too were curious when Karl took Finnish language courses while at Lakehead last year? Well this year he took Estonian language and Economics courses too. What about Megan's suspicious behaviour? She underwent surgery to fix a bum ankle in the this summer and then she quickly recovered her form by late fall. She also worked every job she could find. Why all this activity while training so seriously?
Well the rumour is true - Karl and Megan have left!
No, they have not eloped. And, yes, they will return.
They have set off looking for racing adventures in far off lands. They left on New Year's Eve and will return by February. They intend to spend the first part of the 2002 racing in Scandinavia! They will compete in two big events: the Scandinavian Cup races in Otepaa, Estonia (Jan. 12-13), and the Finnish National Championships (Jan 18-21). Besides these major races they have plans to do whatever regional races fit in the travel schedule. They will miss some domestic races, but return in time to be ready for the Keskinada, Canadian National Championships and Eastern Spring Series.
They have promised to keep us up to date on their trip, but you might also find these links useful:
- Scandinavian Cup Info and Results (English)
- Finnish National Championships (Finnish)
2001/01/03 - This just in from Megan!
Well, we have safely arrived in Lahti and finally received our bags last night and our skis this afternoon. We weren't too upset though because the airline gave us each 70 Euros (100 cnd) to buy some essentials. The trip over was very long with a 10 hour stop-over in Paris. Karl has a friend living there so we went on a tour and saw things like, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel tower and the Louvre. By the time we left Paris we were very tired. We arrived in Finland at 12:30 am their time only to wait for our bags which never came. Karl's friend Jani came to Helsinki to pick us up and took us to Lahti. Yesterday we took in the sights and did some shopping and today we went for our first ski. The trails were very good. There are 200km of trails groomed every day! I was glad to have a local with me or I would have been very lost. Pictures will follow!
2001/01/08 - Note from Karl!
We are now in Vuokatti, staying at Toni Roponen's house. He has a very cute new baby named Tommi. We competed in our first race in Tampere which did not go very well. It was a bad combination of no grip, jet lag and bad warm up. Next weekend we race in Otepaa, Estonia and hopefully things improve.
Right now we are sitting in Toni's office at the Vuokatti ski center and Immonen just skied by.
Better go! We will let you know how things go next week!
...there's more but it's missing for now....