I just got back from a week of racing at XC Ski Nationals at the Canmore Nordic Center. As the host site of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games Nordic events, the fantastic venue, spectacular scenery, and challenging courses impress everyone. Along with the impeccable organization, I’d have to say it’s one of the best xc ski racing events that I have ever attended.
It was a terrific week of racing, with some of the best Canadian nordic skiers vying for national titles. As an athlete I raced 5 events (team ski cross with my XC Ottawa teammate Kyla, 5k skate, 10km classic, classic sprint, and 30km skate), and was proud to watch athletes I coach at Nakkertok Nordic lay down many inspiring races and win the overall all Club Aggregate title for the 8th year in a row.
Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers of the event and Doug Ranahan capturing the beauty of Canmore and nordic ski racing in his many great photos!
Beyond the event organizers, tremendous support crews of coaches and volunteers from clubs all over Canada help make this trip possible for a great number of athletes. Thanks to the crew from Nakkertok Nordic for taking care of my skis and making the experience a memorable one for all Nakkertok athletes.
I also had a chance to explore a bit more of Canmore beyond the Nordic Center with friends, and couldn’t believe the incredible outdoor opportunities this community offers.
Beyond racing, the week included events such as Fast & Female, and in the last few years has included a session to promote post-secondary options to encourage athletes to keep skiing . Unfortunately few options exist for skiers, and many leave the sport (over 80% of athletes stop competing after high school).
As a health promotion specialist, I recognize the far reaching benefits for students to stay active and engaged in sport, and as a coach and athlete know that for Canada to achieve excellence in the sport of Cross Country skiing, providing multiple options and pathways for athletes to stay involved beyond high school and University is critical.
On that note, I am helping efforts to bring a varsity ski team to UOttawa.
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