But enough of old posts. I'm in Montreal right now. Have been for a week now. Since I'm apart of the Olympic Alternate squad, we were invited out here to train with the team and help them out with some relay stuff in preparation for the World Cup this week that serves as the qualifying meet for a country's starting quota at the Games. I also managed to get up to Chicoutimi for an Elite Cup which I somehow managed to win despite being at the end of 4 exceptionally tough weeks of training.
These two weeks are all about different experiences. After settling into a routine in Calgary over the past few months, I was looking forward to changing things up a bit and coming out here. It really helps my motivation to go out and do new things with my training. I feel like you can learn a lot from training with different people too, and that can only make you better. My french is also loving being here in Montreal. This past weekend up in Chicoutimi was complete immersion for me and my french has never been better.
Enough about me though. Since I'm here at the World Cup, and I'm going to be trying to learn as much as possible, I am hoping to share some of my observations with all the short track fans out there who can't be in Montreal personally. I'll have my computer at the rink and will try to update a couple times a day if possible.
But to start here are a couple things I have observed to so far:
1. The ice was bad today. From what I could see it was really soft and wasn't freezing very well in between zambonis. There are about 12 hours of practices a day though so that will take a toll on the ice. Hopefully they can get the ice in top shape by thursday.
2. Countries are putting everything into this competition. If you don't do well in this World Cup and the one next weekend in Marquette, Michigan, you don't skate at the Olympics. Countries can qualify up to three spots per distance by placing skaters in the top 32 at the two World Cups. I got here two weeks before the start and by the time I got here, Italy and Great Britain had already arrived and were training in Montreal. The Netherlands, Hungary and Poland were all training in Trois-Rivieres, before they could get on the ice this past saturday. Poland was actually driving the 1.5-2 hours from Montreal to Trois-Rivieres each day.
3. Kind of unrelated, but it is really hard to find plain, unsweetened yogurt in the grocery stores these days.
4. Injuries are the talk of the competition so far. Two big names are out as of recently. Jordan Malone is out after a fun-wrestling accident. The biggest news is that Ho-Suk Lee has broken his ankle. Both of these skaters can still be at the Games though as the World Cups qualify spots for countries, not individuals.
Keep checking in.