2017 World Junior Championships
Soldier Hollow, Utah, USA
January 28 - February 5
LIVE Coverage: FIS World Jr/U23 Championships - http://www.cccski.com/Media/In-the-News/LIVE-Coverage---FIS-Nordic-Jr---U23-World-Champion.aspx#.WI4nTvkrLIU
Journal, January 30th:
Today’s classic sprint race was an exciting start to the week of racing here at Soldier Hollow. The weather was beautiful, and the competition was tough. Canada’s sprint team raced hard, but of the eight Canadian athletes that raced in the qualifiers, only two, Étienne Hébert and Reed Godfrey, qualified for the heats. There were, however, many others who came within a hair of making it through. Antoine Blais was a mere one twentieth of a second from making the cut, and Ty Godfrey was less than a second off as well. In the end, neither of Canada’s two qualifiers made it past the quarter-finals but they fought very hard to the end, and it was certainly an exciting sight to see.
From left to right, Rémi Drolet, Gareth Williams, Ty Godfrey, Antoine Blais, and Ryan Jackson during the sprint heats.
After returning from the trails with sunburnt faces, we headed to the opening ceremony of the championships. There, we were fortunate enough to witness a traditional Native American dance by the group Two Shields, as well as a performance by country signer Charlie Jenkins. Tomorrow will be the U23 classic sprint race, and Team Canada can’t wait for another great day of competition!
Journal, January 29th:
Sunday was intervals day. With the first race fast approaching; tomorrow for me and Wednesday for Remi and Gareth, it’s very important to get the body woken up. My sprints and race prep felt solid and I am very excited for the classic sprint. It’s not my best race by any means but an awesome way to start off the week with a hard and fast qualifier.
I went for a run in the afternoon and made sure to stretch out my tight muscles of which there are many… Starting to feel nervous on and off, a good sign for getting focused and in the zone on the start line tomorrow!
Camille chatting about skis! Gotta pick the fastest pair!
Journal, January 28th:
It was an easy day for most of the athletes today due to yesterday’s travel day. It is exciting to be back here in Utah another round of races! Some athletes, like myself, did a few short accelerations to loosen up the legs and get the body ready for some harder intensity tomorrow. Sunday will be the last day for those who are racing the Junior sprint to test skis.
Conditions in Soldier Hollow are amazing, so much snow and lots of sun! The courses look excellent and the competition looks tough, the whole team is looking forward to this coming week of racing!
Journal, January 27th:
This morning Gareth, Annika, and I, along with the rest of Team Canada, left our accommodations in Canmore for the Calgary International Airport. This would be the beginning of a long travel day down to the race venues at Soldier Hollow.
The Banff Airporter service provided the team with a speedy journey to the airport, where we had lunch prepared for take-off on our first flight of the day to Seattle. Cramped at the back of the airplane, the team said goodbye to the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains as we disappeared into the clouds.
After a slightly turbulent flight, we landed on the shores of Puget Sound and relaxed for several hours during our layover at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. We had some good pizza and Étienne played his ukulele for us to pass the time.
After landing in Salt Lake City, it was about an hour long drive to the accommodations in Midway. It was 11:00 PM when we arrived so after a quick team meeting, everyone went straight to bed.
Journal, January 26th:
An easy day was in the cards for most of us as now is the time to do a quick taper (or rest up) right before the races begin. I skied for an hour on Canmore Nordic Centre’s hard packed, fast trails; perfect for skating.
I am now packed and ready for the 10 am shuttle that will bring the 22 of us to the airport tomorrow with all our gear. Maybe a short jog to loosen up the legs before a long travel day will also be a good idea. It does not quite seem real yet that we will be at the race venue in 24 hours. Though it is pretty incredible to be going into such a big race with the confidence of knowing the course, accommodation and possible snow conditions! Gotta love that home field advantage!
Until next time (state’s side),
Canadian team: 2017 World Jr/U23 Championships
Journal, January 25th:
On the agenda for most athletes today was either sprint racing or a skiathlon time trial. Since I was one of the only athletes who also raced Westerns last weekend in Whistler, I did my own set of threshold intervals. Everyone was excited to be able to break out the Team Canada race suits on yet another beautiful day in Canmore!
This evening we were lucky enough to meet and learn form Drew Goldsack, a former member of Canada’s National Ski Team, as well as a U23 World Champion from 2004. This was a good opportunity to ask unanswered questions about racing and the lifestyle that surround the sport.
Only one more day in Canmore before we head back down to Utah! Everyone on the team can agree that this is going to be a great Junior/U23 World Champs!! Go Canada!
Journal, January 24th:
After two days of altitude training at Mount Shark, most Team Canada members enjoyed an easier day of skiing at the Canmore Nordic Center. The tracks were excellently groomed as always, views from the Nordic Centre are always incredible! Only two more days of skiing in Canmore before we depart for Park City!
Everyone is looking forward to the time trials tomorrow. The distance team will be practicing for the skiathlon with a 3.75 + 3.75 km race for women and a 5+5 km race for men, and the sprint team will do a classic sprint simulation. It will be fun to start racing again in a stress-free environment.
Annika Richardson – Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club (N. Vancouver)
Gareth Williams – Telemark Nordic Society (Kelowna)
Remi Drolet – Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club (Rossland)
Journal, January 23rd:
The World Junior Champs trip has kicked off in Canmore, Alberta, with three days of awesome skiing up at Mt Shark, the exact altitude of Soldier Hollow where will we race in a mere weeks time! There is some fun single track classic, good for easy zone1 skiing, plenty of technical downhills and an abundance of great training partners.
We received our new Team Canada kit and are loving wearing the red, white and black. Everyone is looking good! My National Team Development Centre (NTDC) teammates and I decided to make pompoms as an addition to one of the hats as shown in one of the pictures, right now most of the team wants one! Good thing we made 23!
Looking forward to a rest day tomorrow, at least for me, and doing some active recovery like rolling and dynamic stretching. Time to show the rest of the xc ski world what Canada can do!