I really wasn’t sure what to write for my inaugural post. I had thought about writing about my experiences during the past couple of months of training and racing, or maybe just a simple hello. Then it occurred to me I might as well hit the ground running and start, no need for any long introductions or anything of that sort. I will, however, take this opportunity to thank Geoff “Webmaster” Clarke for his work setting this up and keeping things running smoothly.
Racing at the national team trials over the past weekend in Montreal was great. It was really nice to see all my friends that I haven’t seen since we parted ways in Duisburg, Germany and / or since the Pan Am’s in Montreal in mid May. The main topic of conversation was the passing of arguably the best canoer of all time, György Kolonics (June 4, 1972 – July 15, 2008). He was the most decorated canoer with many world championship titles, two Olympic titles and mulitple silver and bronze medals. Its impossible to deny that he was a specimen. More importantly, he was a gentleman and in my experience always treated people with respect. After meeting him once years ago he would always say hello and shake my hand despite my status as a relative “no one” from Canada.
Apart from the sadness we all felt at the loss of one of our heroes I, and I think most of the team, had a great weekend. I only raced the 1000m because my shoulder was not enjoying starting three 1000s in one day. That and the looming cloud of the next two extremely hard weeks of training coming up convinced me that i should take a break on sunday. Unfortunatly we couldn’t use Montreal’s new starting system. Hopefully, some coaches and athletes will write letters and ensure that for future events at the basin we can have a world class starting system on a world class course. I think the experience for the younger athletes will be invaluable for their future international races.
Trials ushered in the final hard phase of my training. Starting this morning big Mike Creamer has me working hard and staying fit and hopefully taking some nice strokes until we leave for Beijing on the 4th. It is hard to believe that it’s coming so quickly. We’re working hard on keeping my tolerance for the pain at the end of the thousand high, and maybe pushing it higher. And as always trying solve the mystery of the efficient canoe stroke (check out Steve Giles’ site snappyexit.com for some help in that department, we did).
So that’s it. If anyone has any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to answer.