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Introducing Team XC Ottawa 2013-2014
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2013/05/26)

XC Ottawa has another great lineup of athletes this year. We've had a good break, and are all looking forward to the new season of training, racing, and contributing to the XC ski community.

First of all, we are sad to say goodbye to Lee Hawkings, Logan Potter, and Kyle Power, who are heading home after graduating from their respected programs at Carleton University and to Matthias Purdon who is moving to Peterborough to pursue a Master's in sustainability studies at Trent University. Matthias and Lee will be competing at the World University Games in Trentino in December, and we are sure that we will be bumping into others XC Ottawa alumni on ski trails across the country. They have all contributed enormously to XC Ottawa over the years and we wish them well in their new pursuits!

We are happy to have John Suuronen back as coach, and the following athletes are returning for another year:
Karl Saidla
Andre Marchand
Peter Beisel
Sheila Kealey
Megan McTavish
Katie McMahon
Ingrid Hagberg
Liza Rozina
Kyla Vanderzwet

We are happy to welcome Steffan Lloyd, Riel Allain , Holly Jones andMatt Brown to the team. You can read more about them below.

Steffan Lloyd
Steffan has been skiing since he was young, and developed into a speedy racer training with Nakkertok Nordic ski club. He has been on the Quebec team, the junior national team, and the Pierre Harvey National Training Center team. When Steffan's not skiing, he's studying mechanical engineering at Carleton University, building websites, watching movies, trying to fix something he's not qualified to fix, or trying to cook something complicated. Check out Steffan's blog, web business, and the online athlete training diary he created Sportlog.

Matt Brown
Matt started skiing in high school in Caledon, Ontario and has previously raced with Mono Nordic ski Club. He is studying commerce at Carleton University, doing a double major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing while racing for the Carleton Ravens. In his free time, he enjoys trail running, mountain biking and cooking. Matt is aiming to have top 20 results at a NORRAM this season and see some great improvements in both sprinting and long distance skiing.

Riel Allain
Riel grew up in Chelsea and has been skiing in the Gatineau Park since he was about 10 years old. Throughout those years, he's been a member of Chelsea Nordiq, Nakkertok and Skinouk. When he's not on the trails skiing, Riel enjoys mountain biking and orienteering. This year he'll be studying Conflict Studies and Human Rights in French at the University of Ottawa.

Holly Jones
Holly spent lots of time shuffling around on the trails at Highlands in Duntroon as a youngin. She skied with the Huntsville High School Nordic Team and competed in 5 OFSAA championships (victory lap!). Now at Carleton, she is entering her third year of studies in pursuit of a B.PAPM (Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management), and hopes to contribute to environmental policy development in Canada and beyond. This season will be her second as a senior woman, and she hopes to improve on her classic technique and complete her second 30km race at the 2014 Nationals. Outside of skiing, Holly loves running, hiking, Irish dancing, eavesdropping on Spanish conversations and cuddling with her family's cats.


Mark Rajackis relatively new to the world of ski racing, but has some world class ambitions. XC Ottawa is pleased to have him train with the team as an independent racer for the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago! He will be training with XC Ottawa this season and is actively pursuing the creation of a National Ski Association for his country of birth and his short-term goal is to compete in the 2015 World Ski Championships. Personal ambitions aside, Mark hopes to affect lasting change on many first-generation Canadians like himself. By means of promoting and developing nordic skiing in their communities, he hopes to raise their collective quality of life to better transition the integration into Canadian society; gaining an appreciation of winter and what this great country and city have to offer. You may just get polarized (pun intended) as he has been, in wishing that it was winter all year 'round.

Interesting Reading. . .
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