Due to logistical issues which have come up recently, we will be changing the venue from Mount Shark to the Canmore Nordic Centre. As indicated earlier, you can contact Vicky Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve wax rooms at the Nordic Centre. Trail fees for official training will be available for purchase at a discount at the Race Office on Friday, March 28, 2014.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Rocky Mountain Racers
Hello again everyone,
A few more pictures, it was another busy day.
Still very wet here, but at least there is fresh snow up at the venue. Marginally nicer to stand in the stadium for several hours in wet snow, than in rain like yesterday. The highlight of course was Brian's second gold medal, you have likely seen the race on TV.
There were anxious moments when Brian fell shortly after his start, and there were some strategy adjustments by the other teams when this happened. However Brian and Graham really pulled it hard up the long uphill, no doubt adrenalin fuelled, and gradually reeled the others in. Nice to see the Swedes get the silver.
The one picture is at the start of Brian's final, you see the falling snow, but at least we can see the action and the scoreboard, unlike the cloud and fog of yesterday.
Because of the falling snow, there was grooming of the course throughout the day, and a group of 12 or so forerunners were constantly skiing in the tracks.
Again Sylvia and I were forever being asked for photographs, and after Brian won, we received many congratulations from Russian fans. The Russians win most of the Nordic races, and get all wound up yelling "Rus-shi-ah" over and over, but when Brian wins, they calm down, at least until the next race.
Tonight we were at the medal Ceremony again, and celebrated Mark Arentz getting his second medal - the bronze from yesterday's Biathlon race. I've also included a picture of Ukranian athletes who received bronze medals in one event. Note they are covering the medals with their hands. They also show very little emotion. Erik said this is to protest against the recent Russian activity.
Afterwards, more action at Canada House, and Brian, Erik, Graham, and Mark were all there, to be recognized by CPC and the friends and families. And the hats were presented - apparently the hats are good to go for Russia, Canada, and even Korea, for the next Paralympics in 2018!
Tomorrow, a change of pace - we are going up to the Alpine area to watch some slalom races, that should be interesting,
Cheers for now,
Hello once again,
Brian and Erik got their medals tonight! The Medal ceremonies are well orchestrated and quite moving, with the music and all. Great to see the Canadian flag raised and hear the anthem. in the picture the medals have been presented and the flowers are now being presented. I have other pictures to share later.
Last night we had a very nice dinner at the hotel hosted by Canadian Paralympic Committee and sponsor Petro-Canada. Lots of good food and drink. They brought in a trio of Russian entertainers who were quite lively. They had a bunch of strange instruments ("noisemakers"), and we had a chance to join in.
This morning the weather changed completely - to rain. Even up on the mountain it was cloudy and very wet, horrible conditions for all, some ice, some slush on course. The one picture is the view from the stadium this morning, and the forecast is for more of the same, hopefully it cools off tonight and turns to snow. Mark Arentz did earn a bronze medal in Biathlon today for Canada which was a great achievement, especially with the conditions.
Tomorrow we are back up to the venue for more cross country races.
Mike & Silvia
From Cross Country Canada website ...
SOCHI, Rus.—Canada’s Mark Arendz battled through brutal race conditions to win the bronze medal in the men’s 12.5-kilometre standing category at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia on Tuesday.
With rain pelting down and dense fog socked into the Laura Nordic Stadium, the 24-year-old took advantage of the weather he grew up with in Hartsville, Prince Edward Island to grab his second medal of the week. Arendz clocked a time of 30:31.0.
“To get a medal is awesome and that was the goal,” said Arendz. “There were mistakes out there both in shooting and on the course so it was not a perfect race, but anytime you are on the podium I have to be happy because this is strong field.”
Full Article Here
A fantastic day and much fun at the Laura Nordic site today. Brian won gold, and it was pretty close throughout and exciting to watch. Sweden also won a gold today in the Woman's 15 km Standing, so Sylvia was especially pleased.
The picture attached is the flower ceremony at the site - Brian and Erik on the podium, Russia second, and Sweden third. The medals will be awarded here in Rosa Khutor tomorrow evening.
We were besieged again for pictures by the Russians, and apparently our Canadian flag is getting lots of screen time.
A hot sunny day, about +15 at the race site. These were classic distance races, and in some categories, some athletes were changing skis to get fresh wax.
Hugs and high fives from the Sochi volunteers as we exited the Laura venue - an interesting route: you walk down maybe 500 meters, then catch a small gondola back up above the stadium to a high point, then take a great honking gondola down to the valley. We celebrated with Russian beer, and tonight, the Canadian Paralympic Committee is hosting a dinner for Friends and Family. Will be lots of happy faces there.
Best to all,
Mike and Sylvia
See also, CBC Interview with Brian, Erik and Graham
Tonight Mark received his silver medal at the Awards Ceremonies here in Krasnaya Polyana.
Afterwards he had it with at Canada House, and was also presented with a Cossack Canadian hat courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
See pictures attached.
In the Nordic sports of biathlon and cross country skiing, athletes train in a variety of weather conditions, when skiing on glaciers in the summer months, mountain trail running, roller-skiing, as well as when training and racing in cold winter conditions. Icebreaker Merino is our clothing of choice, for it keeps us warm in winter, cool in summer and is light and breathable. We could not be happier with our partnership to represent a brand we love!
The Rocky Mountain Racers Nordic Team wishes to express our gratitude and heart felt thank you towards your generous sponsorship. Thank you for supporting our athletes by keeping our athletes warm and dry while they train and compete in Canada and internationally.
A quick hello from the mountain cluster at the Paralympics. We're just down from the Laura Nordic centre where Mark Arentz got a silver today in the Biathlon 7.5 km sprint. Congratulations to Mark, and there will be celebrations at Canada House which is located at our hotel.
Very warm here, it was +10 at the race site this afternoon, and the course softening up.
The Russians love our Canadian flag; we are in countless photographs.
ALBERTA CUPS 7/8 and SHARKFEST 2014
March 29-30, 2014
Mount Shark Ski Trails, Kananaskis Country
(Early Bird Registration Deadline: Friday, March 21)
The final Alberta Cup races of the ski season - which are combined into the Sharkfest 2014 Championships - are now open for registrations and there is also a race notice and new website published. This year the Sharfest weekend of racing is returning to the high altitude Mt. Shark Ski Trails in Kananaskis Country. Race Courses open for Official Training at Noon on Friday, March 28th and the races take place on Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30, 2014. The format this year will include individual Alberta Cup awards and points for the best times on each race day; and additionally a Sharfest Championship set of awards for the best of the combined race times from both races.
Wrap up your competition season with a trip to the spectacular Mt. Shark Ski Trails in the upper reaches of Kananaskis Country. You and your family will experience great spring weather and high quality late season cross country ski racing.
Race Notice Link
Note: If you register by the Early Bird registration deadline of Friday, March 21, 2014, you will save a little on the cost of registration.
This is where the latest RMR news will be posted. Postings will be contributed by numerous RMR athletes, RMR volunteers, and the coaches.