After an overnight accumulation of snow that was just enough to get everyone on a shovel or a scoop or a rake or a quad or a cat or a snowblower or out slipping but when it was all said and done – it was a very well run training run. Getting the first one under our belts bodes well for the rest of the week.
Today, it looks like the overcast weather of yesterday will be breaking up and we should be in for another smooth training run.
Thanks to all of you who supported the visit by the study groups from the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee. The medical study group and George, the BOCOG Alpine Manager departed Lake Louise early this morning. To a person, the three study groups were most impressed with our organization and the capability, experience & enthusiasm of the Sled Dogs. One of them took me aside and in broken English, tapped me on the chest and said ‘what I have learned from everyone here is that you all have heart’. Great to know the Sled Dog spirit translates well.
Note: the forerunner who went down hard in Fallaway was discharged from the Foothills Hospital last evening – which is great news. Kudos to those in the rescue chain that responded to her.
That switch from DH to SuperG is always a challenge but the crews did great. There is a need to be checked out of the LL Inn, sharing our breakfast space with the VIP set up, adjusting the safety, moving the start and having a brand new SG track crisscross the DH track. But…we got this!
Before the POV racer and forerunners, we were treated to Erik Guay’s Final Run when he down skied the course. Wearing jeans and a Canadian Cowboy jacket, Erik was cheered on by every Sled Dog all the way down. He stopped to thank his Canadian coaches along the way and finished with a big wave of a Canadian flag in the finish corral to the cheers of an appreciative crowd.
Then we had a heck of a SuperG race. Under full sun, crews were kept busy maintaining gates and panels. Dustin Cook was top Canadian in 16th.
In conversation, with the TV guys, they said the DH was perfect…..and the SuperG looked even better. For a made-for-TV event – that is great news.
Besides Erik’s final fun, Karl Ricker made his final walk up and down the course. The Legend is an integral part of the slipskirt crew and Sunday’s race may be his last time with us. I say ‘may’ because I wouldn’t be surprised if Karl doesn’t get a tune-up in the offseason and was back in Lake Louise next November. So…hats off to Karl and a safe travel home…..and we will see you next year.
We have now transitioned into the Ladies Week. A few of crew have stayed on for this week but there is a whole new line of fresh ski legs that jumped in to get to work this morning. The flat light, warm temps and early morning grooming has softened up outside the line and while the course was set, the test pilot program was postponed. The Ladies DH start on the Saddle breakover is receiving jugs and jugs and jugs and jugs of water to get it punched in.
We now have access to Cameron Way, so crews started installing B nets. Having a warm up space for the athletes really helps.
The FIS Crew is currently on route from the Calgary airport after the races in Killington. We are still on schedule for our first training run on Tuesday.
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You couldn’t have picked a better day for a race. Sunny, blue sky, cold temps, hot crews, loud crowds and fast racers.
The entire field came through the finish and Ben Thomsen was top Canadian coming in 15th. It was an awesome result for a Canadian team that has taken a few hits over the last couple of weeks. The day had no course holds, we never had to re-dye once and the slip crews kept the track in awesome shape.
As quickly as the race was over, the entire team switched into SuperG mode. No real time to celebrate an amazing day. The SuperG course was set and safety systems adjusted, course length calculated and voila, we are ready for a 7:45 am jury inspection this morning (trust me that sounded much simpler than it really is).
Last night’s Bib Pick, the large crowd enjoyed an evening of the top athletes picking their bibs, the introduction of the Canadian Mens Team and meeting the DH podium winners while enjoying bevy’s and buffet from kitchens of the Chateau. Drew Bragg & Brian Stemmle did great job of leading the event.
Speaking to one of the World Cup tour veterans, he said ‘this is the best bib pick event’, he added ‘look around you, this is great and we are inside where it is nice and warm’, apparently European bib picks typically take place outdoors….which can be fun too.
On today’s program, at 11:42 am, is Erik Guay’s Final Run. A FIS tribute to retiring athletes is the opportunity to come down the course on their terms. We will all be cheering him as he makes his way down the track – very fitting for Erik, a former SuperG World Champion, to make his final run on our SuperG course.
The race starts at high noon – let’s make a great one.