Tag Archives: mountains

Sochi pictures

So, as promised, I brought my camera to practice today. Luckily, the sun came out!

Sochi has been great so far. The rink is new and nice and the volunteers are friendly and will check your accreditation more times that you can count. The biggest thing that we have all noticed is that the entire area from our hotel to the Olympic park (about a 15 min drive without traffic, 45 with traffic) is one enormous construction zone. Everything is being built. Roads, train tracks and stations, hotels, Olympic venues. You name it. Even one part of the road that we drive on is open only to us as its still under construction. It seems like there is a TON of work still to be done, but I’m sure that they will finish it all up for next year and that everything will look great!

Another shot of the main stadium under construction.

The main stadium under construction.

The iceberg is huge!

The iceberg is huge!

Security is tight even for a test event. X-ray scanners, metal detectors and pat-downs everytime we get to the rink

Security is tight even for a test event. X-ray scanners, metal detectors and pat-downs everytime we get to the rink

This building will house the IOC during the games. The dirt construction area is what everything around the rink looks like

This building will house the IOC during the games. The dirt construction area is what everything around the rink looks like

The temporary dirt road that we use to access the rink

The temporary dirt road that we use to access the rink

Contruction of something Olympics related

Contruction of something Olympics related

Flat roofed building is the Long track oval.

Flat roofed building is the Long track oval.

Morning view of the Black sea from my hotel room
The stadium that will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies is, like so many other things in Sochi, still under construction

The stadium that will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies is, like so many other things in Sochi, still under construction

Some snow up in the mountains. Kind of reminds me of Vancouver. Warm and ocean influenced city with snow capped mountains in the background

Some snow up in the mountains. Kind of reminds me of Vancouver. Warm and ocean influenced city with snow capped mountains in the background

The biggest rink is home to men's hockey.

The biggest rink is home to men’s hockey.

Inside our rink.

Inside our rink.

The Iceberg, the arena for Short Track and figure Skating

The Iceberg, the arena for Short Track and figure Skating

LOTS of construction all around the Olympic park

LOTS of construction all around the Olympic park

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Weekly Update #21 Christmas and Trials

Coming up this week is our Canadian Championships. They are being held here in Montreal, which is nice for us Montreal based skaters since sleeping in your own bed and competing on your home ice is always a nice comfort. The Canadian Championships are also the selection competition for the last two World Cups in Sochi, Russia and Dresden, Germany as well as the World Champs in Debrecen, Hungary.

For me, this week will be all about refining a few specific things that I have been working on and focusing on relaxing and gearing up to hopefully have some good performances on the weekend.

To end this blog off, check out a couple pictures from my short Christmas trip to Canmore. Because travel to Yellowknife from Montreal takes at least a whole day each way, our family decided to meet part-way in between the two, in Canmore, and easy choice and pretty awesome place all around. I took advantage to get in some mountain time, one day of snowshoeing and anther of hiking.

Group shot at our destination for the day, Rummel Lake.

Group shot at our destination for the day, Rummel Lake.

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There hadn't been many people up the trail since a recent snowfall, which made for some good bushwacking powder adventures

There hadn’t been many people up the trail since a recent snowfall, which made for some good bushwacking powder adventures

The beautiful Spray Valley. The day started out cloudy and cold, but the sun came through just as we started out.

The beautiful Spray Valley. The day started out cloudy and cold, but the sun came through just as we started out.

If you are in Montreal and want to come out and watch this weekend, come on out! Racing starts a 2pm on Friday and Saturday, and 10am on Sunday.

Weekly Update #12 – Now with bonus weeks!!

Alright here we go. Whats new? Well, first off, World Cup trials week came and went. The first trials of the year always bring out some nerves in everyone. After not racing for the summer, everyone is anxious to test out their form and see if the changes they have made over the summer are starting to pay off.

For me, the trials marked my return to racing since breaking my shoulder in January. Even though I hadn’t raced for the better part of 8 months, the longest period I’ve gone without racing since 2004, I was surprisingly relaxed going into the weekend. Maybe it was that I knew that I had put in a good summer of training, or that I just felt at ease in my old home rink and favourite speed skating facility in the world, the Olympic Oval, or maybe it was the awesome lead up to the weekend I had thanks to my sister letting me use her kitchen to cook exactly what I wanted (she cooked for me a couple times too – Huge thanks goes out to here for being my #1 support crew that week). Im going to go with a combo of all of those things.

By the end of the weekend, I had racked up some up and down results. We did each of the 1500m, 500m and 1000m twice. My 1500m was consistent, I finished 3rd and 2nd, which were good results for me. My 500 and 1000 were also consistent, but not were I wanted to be. I finished 11th in both the first time around and 6th in both the second time around. Obviously I’m looking for more in those two distances.

Normally I’d be mad with those results in the 1000 and 500. But I honestly felt like I raced well. I know that I am capable of great results in both of those distances, its just a matter of being patient. I am definitely on the right track.

The good news was that after all that, my overall result was good enough to qualify me for the World Cup team for the first 4 World cups this season. I finished 4th overall. Our team for the men will consist of Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Francois Hamelin, myself, Liam Mcfarlane and one more person to be named by the High Performance Committee as a discretionary choice.

Photo credit – Tracy Hillis

Photo credit – Tracy Hillis

Following trials, I had planned to take a couple of days off and head out to the mountains for a couple days of camping and hiking in the backcountry with my good buddy Reid. We were super lucky to have perfect, perfect september weather for the three days. I absolutely love spending time in the mountains and of course, living in Montreal, I get out way less often than I wish I could, so it was great to get out and enjoy some time away from skating.

Life is tough – Hanging out on an unnamed peak after scrambling up

Smooooke on the waaater. Literally. This is smoke from our campfire.

Ladies, this man is single

Before I wrap it up, I should mention that my blog is now featured on sportcafe.ca alongside the blogs of many other awesome Canadian amateur athletes. Check SportCafe out, they are the leading resource for news and updates from your Canadian Olympic athletes!