Going for Gold 

Women’s ski team prepared for opening GS

The 2001-02 World Cup season is opening on Oct. 27 with a giant slalom race in Soelden, Austria. The anticipation I feel after a summer of hard training lies somewhere between readiness and anxiety. Soelden is an important race to many of us girls on the national ski team, and especially for myself as it is the first of a possible five races that I have to meet the Olympic qualifications.

To qualify for the Olympics, an alpine skier needs to meet the criteria set by the Canadian Olympic Association, and in giant slalom I have met half the criterion – I only need one more top 15 race result at the World Cup level to be named to the Canadian Olympic Team.

My name is Britt Janyk and I am a current member of the women’s Canadian Alpine Ski Team. I’ve grown up skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb since the day I was born and have lived in Whistler with my family since the 1995-96 season. Throughout this upcoming season, I will take you on the road with me and give you an inside look at the World Cup tour and the life of a Canadian Alpine Ski Team member.

We are now at the end of our training season and are ready to enter the race season. Our training season began in May and ran through the summer.

During the training season our main focus is improving our physical fitness an our on-snow technique. This past summer, my teammates and I moved to Calgary to focus on the core conditioning aspect of our sport.

In Calgary we were able to train alongside many other Canadian Olympic and national team athletes, such as speed skaters Catriona Le May Doan and Jeremy Witherspoon, and members of the swim team, bobsled team, and track and field team. I personally feel an extra bit of motivation being in this kind of environment.

The training in Calgary was broken up with on-snow training – this past summer we sought out the winter conditions of New Zealand.

Our training on and off the snow allows us to become better conditioned and to develop our technique. We are also able to challenge ourselves differently than during the race season.

For example, in New Zealand my four teammates and I – Allison Forsyth, Emily Brydon, Anna Prchal and team physiotherapist Allison Megeney – went bungy jumping off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown.

Pushing myself out of the start gates for a downhill race will now pale in comparison to what I felt jumping off the 43 metre bungy jump platform. As a souvenir we were given a piece of a bungy cord. Our team physiotherapist has made it our new mascot and it will be with us at every start. That jump will never be forgotten!

I have just returned from our final on-snow training camp in preparation for the opening race. We spent two weeks training in Austria and Italy. The first four days of the camp were spent in Soelden.

The was an important opportunity to train on the race hill and to be around the other national teams to get mentally prepared for the first race.

Competing in the GS will be myself, Allison Forsyth of Nanaimo, Anna Prchal of Outremont, Quebec, and Genevieve Simard of Val Morin, Quebec.

I can’t predict what the results will be at the first race but I can tell you that the women’s team is coming off of a great training season and we are revved up and ready to go.

Britt Janyk’s columns will appear every second week in Pique Newsmagazine throughout the ski season.

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