Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nationals in Canmore: 10 km free

We arrived in Canmore safe and more or less sound last night (I'm still a bit sick). Our travels were pretty uneventful and very smooth, thankfully. We settled in at the Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge as usual, where Patti and the team had supper ready for us. It's nice to be taken care of! Alexei, Robert and I also have a pretty spacious two-bedroom apartment suite all to ourselves. We really can't complain!

This morning we had our first of two races here in Canmore, a 10 km free technique. The course was a 2.5 km loop that we did 4 times. Last night, the national team coach, Kaspar, had told me to take the first two laps pretty easy and then pick it up on the last two, seeing as I've got a cold and the Paralympics are just around the corner. So that was what Robert and I did this morning. The race went very well. It was a pretty tough hilly course, and I'm glad we went slow on the first two laps. I think I might have died on the last two otherwise! As it was, I came in second after Robbi in my category, and third in the combined Blind and Limb Weakness category. I got $100 for being third, and I think this is the first ski race I ever won money in! Pretty cool!
We also had a little athletes and coaches' Meet and Greet and banquet, which were both pretty low key, but pleasant.

On a less pleasant note, we found out today that Brian McKeever won't get to race in the 50 km race at the Olympics tomorrow, because of a coach's decision to put in racers who are more likely to medal. We were all very upset by this decision, knowing that it has been Brian's dream for so long and how disappointed he must be. He was such an inspiration to so many across Canada and even beyond. We all thought it was horrible that someone would take that dream and that inspiration away. There is so much more to say, but it's not really my place to say it and I should really go to bed. I've got a 5 km classic race tomorrow on the same tough course, and my throat is still sore. Here's hoping I feel better in the morning.

Good night from Canmore. 

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