Friday, November 27, 2009

Biathlon Camp: Day 2

So the bad news is it didn't snow in Canmore last ngiht, but the good news is it didn't get cold either. However, today was a nice contrast to yesterday's dreary and drizzly weather. The sun was high and bright overhead, the snow was clean and fast, and the trails were teeming with biathletes from all over the country as well as the States. The smell of gun powder was everywhere and shots rang in the air. All in all, a great pre-race atmosphere!

I had an awesome ski with my guide for this weekend, John from Canmore. His wife is a Paralympic champion from 1988, and so he knows his way around guiding a B2. My first-time-on-skis feeling was pretty much gone, and I followed him up and down the hills without a problem. Tomorrow's course, or what we know of it, has got a number of different loops, as snow is still very limited. At the end of the green loop, there's quite a wicked corner on a downhill, where you just have to hang on for dear life untill it's over. John and I skied it a couple of times without any wipe-outs, so I think it'll be fine tomorrow, that is, if it's still in the race. The final details will be announced tonight after the team captains' meeting. Then, we'll find out our start order and what the course will really look like.

I got another opportunity to practise my shooting as well as taking my new Leki pole straps on and off. As we approach the mat, we have to take off our pole straps as quickly as we can and put them back on as we leave the range. In order to do so efficiently, we must have simple straps (ones that you can just stick your hand through) or a type that we can unclip and clip back on easily. The able-bodied biathlon team has been using poles made by a European company called Leki. The strap goes on tight around your hand, and to take it off, all you do is press a button and unhook the whole strap, which stays on your hand while you shoot. To put it back on, you just slide you hand down the pole handle and hook the little loop back on. It's much easier and quicker to use than the simple straps once you get the hang of it, pardon the pun. Sorry, I know this is very technical, but maybe someone will find this interesting.

So Alexei and I bought these poles just a couple of weeks ago at Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa (thank you so much for the awesome discount!). And this is our first time using them. I'm getting better at hooking them back on, as that's the hard part. But I'll need lots of practise to get it perfect.

Our meetings this afternoon were cancelled for some reason, so we had a lot of time to kill (here's a novel idea!). Courtney, Andrea and I went to town for a bit after we were done our practice. We went to this awesome coffee shop called Beamer's. They have the best muffins ever! Try it if you're ever in Canmore. They also have this digital picture frame with pictures of all these people who took the Beamer's coffee cup to all these different places. So we decided that we should take their cup to Europe this January when we go for the World Cups and take a bunch of pictures and bring them back for Nationals, which will be here in Canmore for the Para-Nordic group. We also went into some stores, and I bought an awesome down-filled jacket and a wool toque. After some of last year's races, where the temperature was barely under -20 (race cut-off temp), I'm winterizing early this year!

And that has been my day so far. Yes, I can get pretty wordy, and I'm loving this blogging thing now even if no one is reading it! Everyone knows how much I can talk. Well, the same goes for writing, so be prepared! :)

Good evening from Canmore!


  1. Haha that's great, Mike! Keep it up! :) (Yes, I know my smiley face is missing a nose)

  2. Reading it too! :) (As I still have a sinus infection, I'll spare you a runny nose on my smiley face!) Evelyne

  3. I love reading your posts! Yay for winterizing! I'm so proud of you Margarita. Sorry I can't understand some of the technicality but I love it anyway.

  4. Yay for being a translator and not a total lost cause as far as writing goes! Thanks for reading, Vic!