A new winter season 

Welcome to the 2007-08, winter ski season, the snow is starting to fly, temperatures are dropping and it’s getting dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. It must be winter!

While all of you are at home in Whistler waiting for the lifts to open, I and the rest of the ski team have been training on glaciers, in various countries. We’re now in Alberta trying to find the “man made” snow. But before I get started and chat about what’s coming up, let me take you back to our summer training and what went on there.

Our first camps of the training season were way back in the spring on Whistler Mountain. We had the fortunate opportunity to train on The Saddle and had it all to ourselves. Following the camp in May we went on to spend the next three months training in the gym and getting stronger. It was a well-deserved break from the snow because by the time our Chile camp came around in mid-August we were all very hungry to get back on snow.

The women’s speed team spent three and a half weeks in Chile, splitting our time between La Parva and Portillo, two main resorts just outside of Santiago. We also ran into some of the Whistler racers while down there. After our camp in Chile we started to feel very lucky, throughout the whole camp we had only one cloudy day. The rest of the time were beautiful sunny days, a little cold and windy at times, but the sun was always shining! I’d like to think it’s because we are the sunshine girls!

At the end of October the new race season officially began with the openers in Solden, Austria. They had plenty of snow this year and from what I hear, the conditions were great. For me, I chose to stay in North America and benefited from the training facilities up at the Farnham Glacier and Camp Green. We spent two weeks training there, as did as many other Canadian teams, and we had an amazing camp. Once again, great weather — even a little powder skiing half way through — and great training.

Oh, and did I mention that we were flying in and out everyday by helicopter? Oops, must have slipped my mind! Rather than staying up at Camp Green like most of the teams, the men’s and women’s speed teams stayed in Panorama and had the wonderful opportunity of flying in a B-212 to get up to the glacier. Life is rough, but I’m okay with it!

After the camp in Farnham I was at home for my final two weeks before the winter season was really going to begin. Things were busy and hectic as we had many team fundraising events across the country. I attended the events in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. All were very successful and it was so great to see everyone out to support the team. (If you would like to check out the goings on from the Toronto event, the link to the TSN clip is: http://broadband.tsn.ca/tsn/?nla=1&vid=21594 .)

At this point, we are officially on the road and the races are creeping up on us soon. And we are ready. Panorama will be our first big event with the women’s GS and slalom races Nov. 24 and 25 and the men in Lake Louise on the same weekend. I’ve also noticed that the Grey Cup is on the same weekend, but that shouldn’t matter; we know what all the ski fans will be watching.

Lake Louise will be the following weekend for the girls. The whole team is ready to race and we are very excited about racing more events in Canada this season. Right now we are crossing our fingers for a little more snow and cold weather, but I think everything will be fine come race weekend!

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