Welcome! My name is Michael Gilday and I am a Short Track Speedskater from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. I currently train at the National Training Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I've created this blog primarily to let family and friends know about competitions and travel. I also hope to educate a bit about short track and maybe even entertain. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Big Cheques are Fun!!

My annual trip home for Christmas has come and gone, much to quickly as usual. While I was at home in Yellowknife though, I attended a small ceremony to hand over a cheque on behalf on Intact Insurance to the Yellowknife Speed Skating Club. As I have mentioned before, Intact has introduced a new program this season where for each individual podium achieved by a Canadian athlete on the World Cup circuit, $1000 will be donated to a grassroots club in Canada. As a bonus, the first podium by any athlete will see that $1000 donated to their home club. So as I was on the podium for the first time this season in Montreal, our club was one of the first to receive support from this great program! Speed skating in Canada is really lucky to have Intact as a sponsor, not only at the National Team level, but through all levels of the sport in Canada. They are a true example of corporate philanthropy. Thank you Intact!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

20 Thoughts from the last month

To be honest, the idea of writing the same good ol' blog update blah blah about how things are going isn't inspiring me to write anything. So I'm going to try something different today. Here are 20 random thoughts from the last month(ish)

1. Skating is a funny thing. You can be good one day and bad the next. Good one week and bad the next. Cycles are good though. Leaves you wanting more. And makes you work for it.

2. World Cups and exams always seem to coincide. That makes for a crazy week returning from a trip. I had two exams upon returning from Quebec and China. Fun week...

3. But the best way to come down from a hectic post world cup/mid-term week is to go to Canmore for some altitude/volume/mental recovery training.

4. I'm trying some new blades. Got on them just over a month ago. They are called EVOs. Men's National team coach Derrick Campbell is involved with the company and let me try some. So far, so good.

5. Trying them made me realize that its good to be able to adapt quickly to equipment. You never know when something could break and you will have to go to something you aren't necessarily comfortable with.

6. Airline upgrade certificates really do work! Got to use my first one (after having them for several years and never being able to use them) on the way to China. A 11 hour flight is a good time to be in first class.

7. You can still smoke in arenas in China. In Changchun, even the security guards were smoking in the stands despite the announcers asking people not too. Its hard to race hard when all you see when looking across the rink is a haze of smoke.

8. Speaking of China, I have to say China scares me. Not physically being there, but realizing the shear size of the population and how fast they are developing. With the increased wealth and growth, the amount of raw materials needed in the future will be ridiculous. China will surely control much of the world in the next 20 years.

9. The suburbs of Shanghai are a nice place though. All brand new. One of the neatest places I have skated for sure.

10. The Koreans are in great shape. Most would consider this a no brainer, but I guess selecting a team only on time trials doesn't compromise racing skills.

11. I thought I gave Ho-Suk Lee a pretty good run for his money at the end of the relay in Shanghai though.

12. Unfortunately that was my best skating in the Chinese world cups. Individually I made too many mistakes. Tactical mostly.

13. I'm hoping to get another 20 questions up soon. Probably with one of my teammates who did their first world cups in China.

14. It was awesome to have 5 athletes all from Calgary on the World Cup team.

15. One cool question we got was from a lady after getting off the plane in Beijing enroute to Changchun. "You guys are the Canadian Short Track team? Aren't you supposed to be francophone?"

16. That being said, I really enjoy my time on the World Cup circuit with my teammates from Montreal. We have a lot of fun. And my french always improves after two weeks on the road with them.

17. Jet lag sucks. Why can't we just jump half-way across the world and have it just be like nothing happened.

18. I once again realized how spoiled we are to have such an amazing facility here at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. The rink in Changchun was FREEZING. Shanghai's rink was slightly warmer. At least in Shanghai we could warm-up in our shorts outside in +18 degree weather.

19. It was great to have Dustin Miller and Gabby Waddell's families in Shanghai. We had our own personal cheering section!

20. I am constantly blown away by the support I receive from Yellowknifer's. I'm looking forward to coming home for Christmas big time.

We won gold in the relay in Changchun.

Teammates from Calgary. I kind of missed the cue that we were taking a pic. Liam didn't though.