One Athlete's Mind
Wow how the time flies! These past 5 days have just soared by here in Almaty, though come to think of it it feels like only yesterday I was being handed my accreditation when I first arrived at the Athletes Village. But nevertheless, time for an update!
Racing continued on Thursday with the Individual Classic Sprint. Those who have seen my post race video on Facebook have a good idea of how that went down, but long story short, I was happy with how I skied my qualifier, but with the changing snow conditions just before my race, I had some technical problems which had me left wanting, finishing in 50th place. We (Team Canada) did qualify 5 athletes through to the heats however, 4 women and 1 man, who fought hard in their quarter-finals but came up just short of advancing through to the semis.
Team Canada's Laval U women starting their quarter-final (left) and Alexis Morin representing our Men's team in his quarter (right).
The following day came my second rest day since arriving in Almaty. While some of our team went up to the race site to pre-ski for their upcoming races, I opted to spend a relatively quiet day here in the AV. Though I did manage to leave for a few hours that afternoon to take in some of the culture and events going on outside the AV compound, doing a bit of souvenir shopping and checking out some curling and figure skating events taking place next door at the Almaty Arena.
Figure Skating in a PACKED Almaty Arena.
Canadian Men's Curling team warming up before their game against Czech Republic.
The next day brought the Mixed Team Sprint event back up at Alatau, so following a brief pre-ski of my race course for Monday, I rigged up my giant Canada Flag and planted myself on the race course where I cheered on our two Canadian teams (the team sprints only allowed for four of our athletes to compete, 2 male and 2 female, so the rest of us cheered them on as best we could). Despite some hard efforts, our teams came up just seconds outside of qualifying for the final.
Canadian Gavin Shields blazing the trails today with the fastest first lap of anyone!
Today was another rest day for the team as we gear up for our final three days of racing. We took advantage of our day off by going on a mini tour of the city of Almaty, getting to take in a bit more of the sights and the culture than we have so far. Our tour guide provided us with really interesting history about the city as we drove to our destinations (I mean interesting, I even took notes so I'd remember it!), and we wrapped up the tour by spending some time in the local market. Apparently I wasn't supposed to take pictures, but being the oblivious tourist that I was, voila :).
They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so here's my 3,000 word recap of our tour today!
Tomorrow we're back to races with the Team Relay events. Just like back in Italy at the 2013 Universiade, I've been given the lead leg of our 4 x 7.5km relay, so I'm looking forward to starting us off on a strong note. Back in 2013 we raced to a 16th place finish, so I'm hopeful we can improve on that!
Things will get fairly busy for the rest of the Games once tomorrow hits, so I won't make any promises about more blogging before I return to Canada on Friday. But I'll keep the videos coming via Facebook for anyone who wants updates!
Until next time,
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach