Thursday, September 27, 2001 - Perspective
Junior National Team Update

- By: Jacqui Benson

Junior National Team Update

With the ski season rapidly approaching, the word around the Canmore Nordic Center has been the race at the end of the month. Ya, that's right, the Western Canadian Championships are being held on September 30th. ROLLER SKI Championships that is, and what better place for them to be held than the base of the National Ski Team. Many of the x-country skiers living in and around Canmore are looking to use this race as an early jump on the ski season and to once again familiarize themselves with the race situation. Can't forget about the opportunity for the coaches to perfect their split time calculations and encouraging words after a well-deserved break. Although, as far as waxing and ski testing goes, it should be a walk in the park. Almost literally, as the scenery of the race course is breathtaking. The course begins on the new Three Sisters Parkway, winding, and climbing out and back on this highway, and then finishing off with a long, all too familiar for some, gradual climb up to finish at the Nordic Center, with a never ending view of the mountains.

The main buzz amongst the athletes hasn't been the breathtaking view of the mountains; it has actually been quite the opposite. The main concern has been what type of rollerski wheels will be allowed. Initially "anything goes" as far as equipment went in hopes to draw interest from other athletes, such as speed skaters. Really the only two choices that can be made for rollerski wheels are between the regular black wheels that come on most rollerskis, and clear wheels or "scooter wheels". If you're wanting speed, the "scooter wheels" are the way to go. They were originally discovered because they are one quarter the price of the black wheels, making it much more reasonable to replace the wheels once the previous set has worn out. If one were to race on these "scooter wheels" they would definitely have an advantage over anyone on the black wheels. Because of this advantage, there has now been a slight change in the guidelines, where all National Teams (Sr. National Team, National Training Center and Jr. National Team) members must use the original black wheels.

Just a reminder that this race is open to everybody and the more the merrier. So, I'll leave you to sharpening your pole tips and gearing up for the big race. Good luck to everybody rising to the challenge, and for those of you who need a little more information before you pull on a race bib in September, click here.

A Big Thank you to the Canmore Training Center Team, for the organizing.

Jacqui Benson
National Jr. Development Team


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