Done with planes for a while. I’m trying to save all of my flying for ski jumping.
I arrived in Europe on January 5 after an awesome training camp with my Nordic Combined teammates, as well as the ski jumping team. Since I am a lululemon elite ambassador they were kind enough to put us up in an amazing house in the heart of Whistler. It was a much shorter drive to the Callaghan Valley compared to Squamish and a very short walk down the street to perfect cross country skiing at Lost Lake. We had perfect training conditions for the eight day camp and it really was exciting being in Whistler with all of the anticipation of the 2010 Olympics building.
Congratulations to Sean Van Es, Barett Martineau, Sebastien Dandurand, and Chanon Pretorius who qualified to travel to Europe to compete on the Continental Cup circuit. They will travel to Estonia, Germany, and Italy to train and compete. It will be a very challenging circuit and Chanon and Sebastien will definitely be the youngest competitors Good luck boys. You can follow their results at www.fis-ski.com . Click on the Nordic Combined link on the left hand side.
I’m writing this message from the back of the Estonian van. Its an interesting trip as there is serious mechanical problem and we only have first, third, and fifth gear. Sometimes, not all of those can be used. Occasionally reverse works, otherwise, we have to get out and push. Luckily reverse isn’t needed for this six-hour drive down the Autobahn. Our driver, the Estonian serviceman, was once a rally car driver so there is nobody better for this job and I’m happy to sit in the back and say hello to everybody at Brokerlink.
Its been an interesting first two weeks in Europe. For some reason I’ve been having some really poor luck along the way thus far. The bad luck started when my skis didn’t show up for the second consecutive trip to Europe. Back in December I flew to Austria for six days, which included three World Cups, and didn’t get my bags for the first four days thereby missing the first World Cup. This time, once again, my skis didn’t make the connection in London, and as a result, I didn’t see them for the first five days. Its hiliarious when Lufthansa, an Air Canada partner, told me to go rent skis for the World Cup. Wow, when was the last time you saw a pair of 260cm ski jumping skis in a rental shop, not to mention worthy of using in a World Cup competition? I had to borrow equipment for the first two World Cups. . . again. Funny thing is that when my jump skis did eventually show up they were quite badly damaged so tomorrow I plan to drive to Austria and find some new ones. Thank you very much Air Canada, proud sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Team, for your support!
However, things are getting better and I’m still following my plan. I’ve had some really great training jumps in Whistler and then again in Italy. The goal now is to let it flow like water, relax and let it happen in competition.
Racing, on the other hand, is getting better with each race. Albeit, its often difficult to put together a good race after a poor jump competition. For instance, in today’s World Cup the first sixteen athletes were very unlucky, myself included, and had substantially less inrun speed, about 2km/hr. This gave us all an overwhelming handicap before we even put on the skinny skis. Regardless of the situation and the lack of motivation I was able to put together a respectable race. This is encouraging as I am confident that I will be able to find an even higher gear when the jump result is there.
This month is all about competing on weekends and training and travelling during the week. We will make Predazzo Italy our base for this time. Wesley Savill and I are here for the duration, while we swap coaches along the way. At times it can be crazy busy, especially since we are a very small, and independent team without support staff. But, we enjoy this and take pride in our ability to manage this challenge. Less than a month to go. This is exciting!