Thursday, July 19, 2001 - Athlete Perspective
NSDT Athlete Update

By: Tara Whitten

Another year is underway here in Canmore, with new goals and new challenges, and some new faces too. This year we gained four new people (to our Canmore Training Centre Team); Tasha (Betcherman), Dan (Roycroft) and Chris (Jeffries) moved here from Thunder Bay and Charles (Nadeau) will be moving here from Quebec. Things are also quite different this year; with Tasha and I being the only girls on the team, we have been training primarily with the Senior Team women while Robin (McKeever) is joining the training centre and Team 2006 boys. So it was with some trepidation that Tasha and I headed up to the Haig glacier last week for our first camp with the 'big girls'.

It was a fun-filled week! We had some good skiing, although with a poor snow year and some warm spring and summer weather the snow is quickly deteriorating. The camp consisted of eight girls and only three guys, which I think could be a record female: male ratio! The girls were Beckie (Scott), Amanda (Fortier), Milaine (Theriault), Sara (Renner), Tasha and me, plus two American girls: Barb Jones and Tessa Benoit. We were lucky enough to have Dave's nephew, also named Dave Wood, do our cooking. Dave Jr., who is an aspiring chef, spent most of his day in the kitchen whipping up incredible meals and decadent deserts, but he did take a few breaks for 'rock naps' as he liked to call them.

The weather was great, except for some hail and thunder storms on the unlucky Friday the 13th, which happened to be Tasha's and my birthday! We were down playing pictionary in the warmth of the camp during the thunder, but Rob (Owens, glacier camp staff) had hiked up to the glacier to set the track for the following day, and had to run down to the camp as fast as he could to escape the lightning. We were watching out for his yellow jacket, but had trouble seeing him through the rain and hail, and we were grateful when he finally stumbled into the cabin.

It was a great experience to be up at the glacier with the senior team girls. I learned a lot from them, and had a lot of fun too. I am looking forward to this coming season and enjoying the summer training.

(Tara Whitten is a former member for the Canadian National Junior Team and a 3 time member of the Canadian World Junior Championship Team. Originally from Edmonton, Tara now lives and trains with the National Senior Team in Canmore, Alberta)

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