Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ski Tour Canada - the full recap

Well the daily blogging didn't quite work out, but here is the full recap of what went down in Canmore.

The first day I was there was a training day for the athletes.  I spent the day watching athletes (noting how none of them quite had the technique of our very own Jacek), texting people to brag about how awesome this was, and then spent a few hours at the local business supplies store trying to make ... The Northug:

The first day of racing was the classic sprint and Floyd joined me and The Northug.

Wax techs testing out the skis:

Jessie Diggins getting ready:

Jessie is actually a dual citizen of Canada and the US.  Her parents were both Canadian (and actually lived in Winnipeg for a short while).  As the day wore on, I was referring to her as "Canada's own Jessie Diggins ..."
Floyd, a fellow from Long Island, and myself got a "Jessie, Jessie, ..." chant going in the finals.  This was what Jessie recently wrote on her blog:

"And in Canmore, it was such a rush of adrenaline when the entire sprint hill started chanting my name during the final. That was, at the risk of sounding totally cheesy, a magical moment for me. "

Once again, Downtown Nordic dominating the world one chant at a time.

Sundby leading out his heat double-poling the first climb - not bad:

Northug decided to ease up in the sprint.  Here he is pausing on the hill to turn around and watch the finish of his own race. ... or perhaps he just wanted to get a closer look at The Northug

Here's the Northug trying to get an autograph:

The crystal globe presentation for the sprint world cup was done right after the race.

One thing that I noticed is the winner of the crystal globe gets this special carrying case for it ...

Evening awards ceremony in downtown Canmore

They did the presentation of the crystal globe again -- there the special case!

Start of the skiathlon on Wedneday

Tim and Jeff sprinting for the time bonus

Jeff takes it!

Jeff now driving to the line ...

Completely collapses at the finish ...

 Jeff wearing the bib he got from Devon Keshaw (Jeff had this neat trick where he was telling people that "I told my son/daugheter that I would (put significant demand of star athlete here)".  It worked brilliantly.

I wanted to try the same trick so I told Sundby that I told my nephew that I would get a video for him of  Sndby singing Bon Jovi's "You give love a bad name" at the top of his lungs.  For some reason this trick did not work for me.

Jeff also got to spend one day helping out the National Team Coaching staff ... (yes he really did)

Alex Harvey going to the start of the Individual Skate race

Northug collapsed at the finish -- he sat there for a good 4 or 5 minutes.

Now this is the picture Jeff took of Sergei Ustigov (the overall tour leader at this point) just before the picture he missed taking of me high-fiving Sergei.  Thanks Jeff.

Heidi Weng warming up with her wax tech

And here's The Northug driving the bus

Magnificat at the point were he drops Harvey on the climb out of the stadium

Start of the skiathlon -- looks like your average Downtown Nordic Interval practice!

Johaug making the pass that would give her the overall title at the Ski Tour

More crystal globes at the prize ceremony

... and more special carrying cases!

Here I'm trying to find an optimal angle to get on TV

And there we go:

Jeff making the dash to get a picture with Johaug

 Yes, cutting in front of 50 kids waiting to get their autograph with Johaug does payoff ...

 Me and The Northug:

Sundby getting a picture with Tim

As the event drew to a close, The Northug was passed on to some rather lively Swedish fans ...


And finally, here is Justyna K asking where her idol Jacek is

Thanks Canmore for an amazing week -- see you soon! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Ski Tour Canada - day 1 in Canmore

Just arrived in Canmore for the first training day in Canmore for the Ski Tour Canada.  There are 4 days left of racing in the ski tour and all of those are here.  I hope to do a daily report here on the blog ...

The training days are often the best days to watch the skiers.  There are almost no spectators so you can really watch each athlete and how they ski.  I got to watch Martin Sundby double pole a steep hill while having a casual conversation with another skier!

Here's a few photos:

10 feet away from the best skiers in the world

Justyna K

Just a small sample of the ski wax testing happening today!


Trying to make a giant head cutout for tomorrow's race - watch for it on the uphill!