The day started a bit unexpectedly when we arrived at the Canmore Nordic Center. Despite not seeing snow in the weather forecast that we had looked at, we were greeted with half a foot of soft fresh snow on the ski trails! Of course this wasn’t a big deal, after all we need snow to ski race, but it did mean that the times would be much slower today on what was already a long and difficult course.
We embraced the challenge with our typical positive skier mentality, and skied a hard day of racing. On the women’s side, Ingrid Hagberg was XC Ottawa’s highest ranked finisher in an impressive 13th place! While on the men’s side, Steffan Lloyd faired the best of the men’s team, finishing in 20th.
Of course, this being the Olympic qualifiers, everyone wants
to know who qualified to represent Canada in the sprint event at the 2014
Winter Olympic Games!? The skiers with all the answers to the flurries of
attacks that day, the ones with enough power to overtake their opponents in the
last climb, and with enough speed for the last 100 meter dash to the line, was
Heidi Widmer and Jesse Cockney! Congratulations on punching your ticket to
Liza and Holly dueling it out!
Katie crushing the off-set up the first hill of the course!
Ingrid in the thick of it!
Steffan attacking the final climb of the course!
The four events of this race week were not only qualifiers for the Olympics, but for some (perhaps future Olympians) they were also qualifiers for the World Junior Ski Championships or the U-23 World Ski Championships! This meant that the competition was fierce, and the races loaded with tons of great skiers all trying to hit form for that weekend. The team as a whole had a great week of racing here, and got a good boost to carry them into the thick of the 2014 race season. Nothing like racing in the thin air of the Canmore Nordic center to make the other race courses appear kind of flat.
With excellent racing happening all day for all four days of competition, it is impossible as a participating athlete to capture it all. In light of this, here are a few excellent blogs from some skiers of the area, with their take on this week of great racing:
Alex Slobodian, Go Hard then Go Home:
Thanks for reading, keep the shiny side down :)