Watching our Olympic XC ski racers today

Ski racers at Canmore Nordic Centre. Dec 22, 2009

 We watched Brian McKeever win the 50K classic at the Canmore Nordic Centre and come a step closer to making the  Olympic team. He’s already on the Paralympic team, being legally blind. There’s been lots of media coverage, here’s a few of the stories:

SkiTrax: McKeever bound for history books.     
CBC :Paralympic champ closer to Olympic spot
Calgary Herald: McKeever hopes to set good example…

I’ve been hearing a lot about Olympian George Grey, as Cheryl works with George’s wife in Canmore. He’s already on the Olympic team, as is Ivan Babikov, but they were both tuning up in today’s 15K classic event.   

Canadian olympians George Grey(L) and Ivan Babikov in 15K Nor-Am race at Canmore Nordic Centre. Dec 22, 2009

Not unexpectedly, Babikov and Grey finished one-two in their event. You can read George’s own comments about today’s race here George Grey   

What I found most enjoyable about spectating today was that we could stand at the side of the tracks and get within a few feet of the racers. We had a great vantage point at the top of a small hill where we could observe them climbing. It’s fascinating to see the raw power and flawless technique of these world-class athletes up close.   

You can see all the results of today’s races here    

We’ll get another chance to see them up close in six weeks, when they compete with Olympians from all the other countries at the World Cup event in Canmore on Feb 5,6. Can’t wait. You won’t get a seat this good at the Olympics. Read more Canmore World Cup
 Sandy McNabb Recreation Area  

I saw from the trail report that Sandy McNabb had been groomed and was wondering how it was, so I was happy to get this update today:  

Ski trail at Sandy McNabb Recreation area. Dec 22, 2009. Photo courtesy of Richard

Hi Bob, 

I went and checked out the trails north of the Visitor Center at Sandy McNabb this afternoon. It was quite the serene winter wonderland as everything was covered in a thick layer of hoar frost and I’m sure I was the only skier out there.  It was about -12C and there was a couple of fresh centimeters of snow over the solid snowmobile packed trails which made for easy skiing. There were a few rough patches here and there, but that is typical for Sandy McNabb. I asked at the Ranger Station if they were going to trackset soon but they said there wasn’t enough snow yet. So, bottom line, if you don’t mind skiing packed trails with out track set, Sandy McNabb is a good place to go.
Happy Trails

Pine Ridge viewpoint at Sandy McNabb ski area. Dec 22, 2009. Photo courtesy of Richard.


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  1. I nearly fell over backwards from my chair when I saw the 50k result.Brian is a driven athlete.Believe me when I say his performace today is worthy of an olympic medal. Good luck Brian.

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