Friday, January 30, 2009

Sadie and Erik Bjornsen arrive at World Junior Races in France




ERIK'S DSPATCH:

It's been three days since our arrival here in Praz De Lys: A small resort town in the French alps about an hour from the famous Chamonix. The hotel we are staying at is right next to the race venue. There are four other national teams staying with us; Canadian, Finnish, Russian and Chinese so the atmosphere is very international. Seeing all the other athletes as focused and into ski racing as much I am is really exciting and a great motivator. There are so many of us that the dining room in the hotel is crammed and has many different voice and languages. I'm rooming with George Cartwright, a J1 from Lander Wyoming. The ski trails are amazing with gorgeous mountain views in every direction. I've been trying to just ski the trails that we race on, but there are so many amazing trails it's hard not to ski all of them. The first few days have consisted mainly of skiing, sightseeing, homework and trying to get adjusted to the time change. I have had some problems sleeping, but it is finally starting to get better. It is a little hard to get used to sleeping during the middle of the day at home. The first day here, Scott Johnston took us to Chamonix to check out all the amazing mountains there. We took a tram up to 13,000 feet to view all the pointy mountains around that Scott has climbed. It was pretty amazing! Yesterday there was a random selection of drug testing on our team. Ten athletes were picked to get their blood drawn to check for doping from every team. Ironically, both Sadie and I got selected for testing. We still have four days until my first race which will be the 1.3km classic sprint. The coaches decided that I should also race the 20km pursuit, which is a 10km classic followed by a 10kmmm skate. A difficult part of the 20k pursuit is switching from your classic equipment to your skate equipment in the middle of the race. The U23's start racing tomorrow, so the racing atmosphere is starting to get exciting. This is a lot larger and more serious than any race that I have been to. It's a little scary, but I am really excited.

1 comment:

swedish94 said...

Oh m'gosh! I finally found you on the Internet! I've been looking for you and Sadie and finally found you--I knew I would, but it took a little creativity.

You both look so great and I'm so proud of you and your incredible drive to perfection. No matter if you don't make it, it's just the journey (ever hear THAT before?).

I think about you so much and send my energy to you for those last pushes to victory over whatever you are trying to challenge.

I'm on your side(s)!

Linda Seaman (friend of your parents)