Sunday, March 20, 2005 - Perspective
Gord's Ski Newsletter, Vol.5, No.2: Headed for Worlds

- By: Gord Jewett

Now that I have some good news to report to everyone I thought it was time to resurrect my old newsletter that has been in Hibernation since June. I will skip all the excuses for the break in coverage, and will instead make up for it with regular reports on my current trip.

Canada's top ski racers congregated in Quebec for the past two weekends for the World Championship trials. February 2003 is an action packed month including World Junior Championships, World Under-23 Championships and World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Of course at my ancient age of 25 I went into the trial races with the World Championships in mind but the races also selected the teams for the other big competitions. After two weekends of racing in Mont Ste Anne and Mont Orford, I managed to squeak onto the World Championship team. I would like to say it was easy, but the selection was for five men and I was the fifth man on the list, only 0.16% ahead of my team-mate Dan Roycroft in 6th. That translates into about one or two seconds over the two races that were used for selections! Fortunately the selection committee decided to take a sixth man given how close Dan and I were. It was definitely the fair thing to do! One big positive of making the World Championship team is that my parents won't have to cancel the trip they have been planning to Italy since last summer!

The final team for the World Championships is made up of Beckie Scott, Sara Renner, Tasha Betcherman, Drew Goldsack, George Grey, Dan Roycroft, Chris Jeffries, Devon Kershaw and myself. Drew and Devon are both young and will also represent Canada at the Under-23 World Championships along with Vincent Renard, Adam Kates, Tara Whitten and Sara Daitch. We also have a huge team of supporters, but I will save those details for another report.

It has been a strong racing season for me so far, and the trial races also went well. As a result of this I am now sitting in my hotel room in Pontressina, Switzerland after arriving today from Montreal via Paris. My back has been holding up well since I managed to get it under control about mid-summer, and the racing season doesn't seem to be affecting it negatively. Of course I will now get the biggest kind of test that a skier can hope for at the World Championships. While I've been to 3 World Junior Championships this will be a totally new experience. I have never skied in races at this level and it is exciting to have that same feeling that I did seven years ago at my first World Junior Championships. When I started my first and only World Cup race two years ago at the Olympic venue in Soldier Hollow it was a similar feeling, but the fields in those North American World Cups are slightly thinner than I will meet in Italy. The competition will be incredible but I will approach it with the same attitude I took into my first World Junior Championships back in 1996: I am here for experience and to show the best skiers in the world that I am to be taken seriously.

We are staying here in Pontressina for the next 10 days to train and get adjusted after the long travel days, and then will head to Italy where we will race in a World Cup sprint relay in Asiago before the World Championships. The sprint relay format is made up of 2-man teams where each skier skis multiple legs, but other than that I don't know much about the race. I will most likely be better education on our planned schedule after a team meeting later tonight.

It's time to head to dinner but I will work hard to keep the newsletter flowing more steadily over the next month!

Gordon Jewett
Pontressina, Switzerland

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