Sunday, February 10, 2013


It is exactly a year until the Olympics in Sochi. Last week our team travelled to Sochi for the pre Olympic test World Cups. It was cool to check out the Olympic venue and accommodations. I can't even start to explain how much construction is going on in Sochi and especially Krasnaya Polyana where all the ski events will be held. Right now the entire drive up from Sochi to our race venue is a never-ending construction site that lasts for 50km. They are scrambling to build a railway and enough hotels for the games. I can't imagine they will be ready in a years time...
My races were mediocre at best. I have been feeling good and skiing well but just ran into some bad luck. The Sprint course is the toughest course of all time. It takes between 3:50 and 4:30 to do a lap depending on the conditions, a lot longer than the normal 3 minute race we are used to. Not only is course really long, they managed to fit the biggest hill of all time in the middle of the lap. I had a good qualifier finishing 15th. Surprisingly the course skied easier than I thought. It requires more pacing than a normal sprint so it doesn't get hard until you get to the bottom of the massive climb. My quarter final was a really tactical one. we skied so slow the entire lap just waiting for someone to make a move. Half way up the hill we started racing. I was sitting in 4th place over the top of the hill and hoping to pass the guys on the downhill and stadium sections. I built up speed on the downhill and went to pass the American skier in the stadium with 150 meters to go. When he saw me coming with speed to pass him he cut me off. Not the classiest move I have ever seen, but I guess you gotta do what it takes to get to the finish line first. Overall, I was satisfied with my day finishing in 20th, getting to ski the Olympic course was amazing. I learned so much about how the course skis and I feel much more prepared for the Olympics.
The last race for me was the team sprint with Devon. It was just not meant to be for us that day. Devon woke up with food poisoning (again) so he wasn't feeling too hot. He has had the worst luck with food lately. The list of foods that he is avoiding is growing, (foie gras, beef, crab, salad rinsed with russian tap water, and kebabs) hahah. Anyways, the team sprint was raunchy. we had very little grip so we both used way too much energy on the early laps and completely blew up on the last couple laps climbing that huge hill. We ended our day in 11th. Not the best, but what can you do.

there is still a bit of work to do before the Olympics

our hotel for the week

Top of the Gondola, you can see the athletes village in the distance

View from the xc ski stadium

Ivan and I went on a mission to find chocolate and coke. The city bus cost us $0.40 and dropped us off in the "centre of town". In reality we were dropped off in ankle deep mud in the middle of nowhere... Ivans reaction- "thanks, but are you sure this is the right place?"

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