Monthly Archives: March 2013

Big Announcement

I am very happy to announce that for the upcoming 2013-14 season, I will be welcoming SSi Micro to my team as a Silver Sponsor! I had the chance to visit SSi’s headquarters in Yellowknife last week. They have an awesome set up (yes the TV’s and couches in the pic are at their offices!!) and it was great to meet some of the staff.

gilday_sponsorship

SSi Micro is a Yellowknife, NWT, Canada based communications solutions and service provider. Involved with operations across Canada’s North and the World, SSi’s business, not unlike Short Track Speed Skating, requires inovation and speed to excel.

I have always received fantastic support from the people of the NWT, and I am excited to be able to represent a company that, like me, is excelling to be the best in its field!

About SSi Micro:

Headquartered in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, the SSi Group of Companies provides broadband service across Canada’s North. SSi understands first-hand the challenges faced in providing effective and affordable communications services to remote and outlying areas, and in providing a competitive alternative to the incumbent operator in small and remote markets.

SSi has deployed advanced satellite and local broadband wireless facilities that deliver services throughout Nunavut under the “QINIQ” brand, and in over thirty communities of the Northwest Territories, an area spanning over three million square kilometers. The network uses state-of-the-art full mesh connectivity and supports broadband Internet, voice and videoconferencing technologies.

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Weekly Update #27 – World Championships

The end of another season. I can’t believe how fast this season seemed to go. World Championships are now done, and I’m back in Canada.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way things went in my first individual World Championships. It seemed to take me a while to get the goal of skating individually at Worlds checked off my list, especially so since I was slated to compete last year but had to miss out due to my broken shoulder. But its checked off now, and I can hopefully move onto bigger things!

Instead of rehashing the details of how my races went (well I’ll write this: 5th in 1500m, PEN in 500m quarter finals, 5th in 1000m, 1st in relay) I’ll share some highlights and lowlights of the competition with you, the faithful few readers. If you really want to see how my races went, I suggest watching some video. Full coverage can be found online at CBC’s website or on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/lgs1083?feature=g-high-rec.

I’ll start with the lowlights, since no one likes ending on a low.

1. All three Canadian men (Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean and myself) getting penalised  (Dqed) in our quarter finals. Canada has traditionally been strongest in the 500m and after a strong start on Friday in the 1500 with 2 men in the final (myself included), I think we all thought some big results were possible in the 500m. Not to be, and everyone was bummed out about that one. I think I read somewhere that this was the first time that no Canadian man has podiumed in the 500 at World Champs since 2002.

2. Meng Wang’s blatant contact to knock Park Seung-Hi down in the 3000m super final, which ended Park’s chances of catching Meng in the overall standings. Despicable in my opinion. Sure our sport is unpredictable, but predictably taking someone out in order to win does not fall in the category of unpredictable. Win fair and square or accept that someone else was better than you on the day.

3. My pre-competition preparation. This isn’t really a massive low light, but I definitely felt that I fought myself mentally in the month between the World Cup in Dresden and the start of the World Champs. As a result, I didn’t come in with as much confidence as I would have liked. That said, I still managed to have decent performances, so maybe how I managed the fact that I wasn’t feeling 100% prior to a competition so that I could get good results can be considered a highlight. Hmm, I’ll take that as a sign to switch to highlights now.

Highlights

1. Winning the relay. We didn’t do well this year on the World Cup. We wanted to be better at World Champs and defend our title from last year. We did.

2. Our team staff. I really can’t say enough about our team staff. They work hard and tirelessly to make it easy for us and they have fun while the do it. Thanks to Yves, Suzanne, Vero, Fabian, Alex, Laurent, Francois, Phil and the coaches Derrick and Fred. For this trip, a special mention goes out to Fabian our sports psych for helping me keep my head on straight, and Vero, our physio for keeping the body in one piece at the end of the season.

3. Another highlight was the Hungarian hospitality in Debrecen. The competition itself was very well organized. There was a boardless mat system which no doubt saved me from injury after I fell with a Dutch skater in the 500m. The hotel and food were great, in a great location and close to the rink. I hope they can host more competitions there in the future.

And now…Pictures!

Relay Gold! Photo Credit - Istvan Lehotzky

Relay Gold! Photo Credit – Istvan Lehotzky

Thats a good looking team there! (minus the possessed eyes we all seem to have)

Thats a good looking team there! (minus the possessed eyes we all seem to have)

Notice something wrong with how I'm skating here? Just after the Korean skater on the right bumped me, resulting in their DQ. Photo credit - Istvan Lehotzky

Notice something wrong with how I’m skating here? Just after the Korean skater on the right bumped me, resulting in their DQ. Photo credit – Istvan Lehotzky

Painfaces. 1000m Quarter final behind 2013 World Champ Sin Da-Woon. Photo Credit - Istvan Lehotzky

Painfaces. 1000m Quarter final behind 2013 World Champ Sin Da-Woon. Photo Credit – Istvan Lehotzky

Photo Credit - Istvan Lehotzky

Photo Credit – Istvan Lehotzky

Weekly Update #26 – Hungary!

The team and I are now in Debrecen, site of the 2013 World Championships putting the final touches on our form for this weekend’s competition.

Like I mentioned in my last post, we spent a week in Budapest acclimatizing to the jet-lag and getting a last bit of training under our belts. Despite having trained in Budapest this summer, I had completely forgotten how cold the rink was. Maybe it was the fact that when we were there in June it was above 30C almost everyday or my mind had erased bad memories of the cold, but I was shocked. Most of the team struggled a bit with not being able to feel our feet after 30 or so minutes on the ice. We also had to resort to extra layers over our skin suits. I like to consider myself a hardy northerner, but even I had to wear a toque under my helmet a couple times. Pathetic!

I love dried dates and figs. I picked some up at the Budapest market.

I love dried dates and figs. I picked some up at the Budapest market.

Olivier was pumped to buy his weight in sausage

Olivier was pumped to buy his weight in sausage at the market

On Sunday we hoped on a bus with the Hungarian team and travelled the 2.5 hours to Debrecen. We are staying at a very nice hotel only a few minutes from the rink. Its been gorgeous here every day. Today, Val, Gabby and I rented bikes from the hotel and went for a little tour around the hotel. The area around the hotel is a big park/sports complex/water park, and the local university is close to, so that made for a nice short tour to shake our legs out on our afternoon off.

Our hotel in Debrecen.

Our hotel in Debrecen.

Afternoon bike ride

Afternoon bike ride

University in Debrecen. According to Gabby, it has a good medical school.

University in Debrecen. According to Gabby, it has a good medical school.

Some off path riding...

Some off path riding…

...And some off roading

…And some off roading

Tomorrow is the last day of practice of the season. I’m ready to get this competition going!