One Athlete's Mind
I guess one perk of racing so late in the day is that it gives me tons of sitting around time to blog! (And allows all those back in Ontario to watch the races at a not so ungodly hour). I've done 3 races so far, and will hopefully have three more before the end of the weekend (I say hopefully because we haven't picked the relay team for Thursday yet).
My first race was the 15km pursuit last Thursday, followed by the classic sprint on Saturday and the mixed team sprint on Sunday. If I had to pick one race to demonstrate the depth of the field here it would have to be the sprint qualifier on Saturday. I had a pretty solid race, feeling strong and able to push hard from start to finish. So when I caught the Swiss guy who started 15 seconds ahead of me I knew I must be having a good race. Until I crossed the line and saw 2 Kazaks coming in about 15 seconds behind me (one of them won the qualifier). I ended up finishing 15 seconds behind the winner, in 48th place. My thought when seeing those results: "We're not in Canada anymore."
The next day was the mixed team sprint, and probably the most fun race I've had yet. For anyone who doesn't know, a mixed team sprint is two people per team, one guy one girl, trading back and forth between laps of the sprint course until each person has done 3 laps. Usually these races are separated by gender, so the mixed aspect of this race added a fun new twist to what was already one of my favorite events. Camille Pepin, from Laval University, and I teamed up and had a good battle with the the Swiss, Italian and French teams and despite some Ukranian interference and some tough second laps, we both skied strong right to the end.
Yesterday I took a much needed day off and the team headed up to Moena to check out the town and do some shopping. All of these little towns in northern Italy seem pretty similar to me, but they're all so nice it still makes me smile every time I visit a new one.
I have my 4th race coming up in... 5 hours from now, the 10km skate individual start. With a field of over 100 guys, many of whom are top 40 World Cup material, this is looking to be the toughest of races so far, so it should be a good one! So if anyone is looking for something to do this morning, you can check it out here!
Well, I think that's about it for now. Thanks for reading!
No better time than the present to get back into blogging, right?! (awkward collar tug). As you may know, last May I was selected for Team Canada for the 2013 World University Games. And now, 8 months of training later, here I am!
Last Friday I wrote my last two exams of my first semester at Nipissing U, and the next day marked the beginning of my trip over to Italy. I got to spend one night back home in Penetang with the folks to recharge a bit before hopping on the plane in Toronto and heading to Paris France where my 7 hour layover was waiting for me.
As soon as I got off the plane I found out one of my teammates, Matthias Purdon, had been on the same flight, so instead of sitting around Charles de Gaulle airport, we got on the train and headed for Paris. At first when we got into the streets I joked about trying to find the Eiffel Tower, but after a few minutes of that it turned into more of a factual statement: "we need to find the Eiffel Tower." (it just seemed wrong to go to Paris and not see it). So we wandered about for a few hours, during which we found ourselves in one of the coolest places I have ever been:
We still managed to make it back to the airport with a couple hours to spare, and after all the excitement my adventure buddy needed a break...
We then boarded our last flight, along with the USA snowboarding team, and made our way to Verona Italy. By the time we arrived, I had been awake for 25/28 hours, so I was looking forward to a quick one hour shuttle to my hotel. To my surprise however, it wasn't for another 5.5 hours before I was able to climb into bed. But wow did I sleep well that night!
Yesterday morning I met up with the rest of the team and we made our way to the race site where I got a start on ski testing and checked out the courses for the first time. There is no natural snow here, but it looks like they've been making it for a while so everything should be good to go for my first race tomorrow (15km pursuit).
I've been told this website should be good for watching live feeds of the events over here, starting with the opening ceremonies which start later today (Wednesday at noon in Ontario I believe):
Well I think that's enough of me for now. Ill try to keep throwing some updates up here as the days go by. To my friends still writing exams, hope everything's going well! And to everyone else, all the best and thanks for reading!
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach