I don't know if it's just me, but I'm finding it impossible not to be
inspired by the Olympics. After three days, we have two golds in
cycling road racing and swimming, a silver in canoeing, and things are
looking good in rowing too.
These sports have much in common with cross-country skiing: they all combine strength and endurance with technique and tactics, and it's great to see GB doing so well in these sports.
Having the Olympics in August is great for skiers - it gives us a real motivation for to get stronger, faster and fitter in the autumn - when the weather is cooler, and the time comes to set new challenges for the winter.
It's a good time to set a challenge - be it a ski holiday, ski marathon, rollerski race or fitness goal. Anyone can do this, and we currently have skiers preparing for all of these, plus running marathons, races to the South Pole and various other things. Whatever your challenge, we welcome you to our autumn programme.
IMPROVE YOUR CLASSIC IN HYDE PARK
We have a classic Wednesday evening course starting on 10th September in Hyde Park. In fact, two courses, a 4-week beginners' course and a 6-week advanced course. For more information, go to:
Level 1 (beginners) - http://www.rollersk
Level 2 - http://www.rollersk
Full course listing - http://www.rollersk
Our next Dorney course is on Sunday 24th August, the August Bank Holiday. For the Level 2 course, we have new instructor, Karolina Bicova, who will bring with her a wealth of experience from XC ski and rollerski racing, and a lifetime of skiing. For more about Karolina, read on. For more information on Dorney, go to: http://www.rollersk
JOIN US IN SEEFELD, 2009
We can now reveal our ski trip for 2009. We're going to the Austrian village of Mosern, in the heart of the ski trails around Seefeld. This is a fantastic place to cross-country ski, and the setting for the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic games.
If you would like to join us for a week of skiing, instruction and the chance to take part in the Ganghofer ski marathon, take a look at: http://www.rollersk
KAROLINA BICOVA - NEW INSTRUCTOR
Karolina Bicova joins the coaching team - athlete, instructor, nanny and extreme athlete, Karolina is the top rated British rollerskier, and you can read more about her here: http://www.rollersk
JOIN THE CLUB TEAM
Our rollerski club continues to gather momentum. A lot of members took part in last Saturday's Snowsport England course in London, and we will shortly be announcing a new club name, logo and club kit. We hope to affiliate to Snowsport England and create a new force in British cross-country skiing. http://www.rollersk
AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE OF SPORT - RECIPE IDEAS
Healthy eating is a hugely important element of sporting life, and the Australian Institute of Sport website is a great resource with hundreds of free recipes to try, from 3 'Survival' cookbooks. You will need an Australian-English dictionary for some words (and if anyone can find tinned baby corn, let me know!), but this is well worth using: http://www.ausport.
YOUTUBE - IVAN GORBENKO
Ivan Gorbenko has produced the following YouTube video, created from classic rollerskiing on and off road in Greenwich Park. It's well worth a look and you can check this out here: http://www.youtube.
The 5th race in the GB Rollerski Race Series took place on Saturday in London. Official results have yet to be released, but the mens race was won by Mike Dixon, followed by Ivan Gorbenko and Iain Ballentine. The ladies race was won by Karolina Bicova, followed by Fiona Crossley and Rachel Buttery. Well done to all who took part.
PS ALAN CAMPBELL, OLYMPIC ROWER
The following article is well worth a read: http://news.
Alan Campbell's story is a good one - he started rowing at 'Coleraine Inst', one of Northern Ireland's four rowing schools (the others being Belfast Inst (RBAI), Portora and Methody). I rowed at Methody and we were always spiring with Coleraine Inst at regattas and head of the river races across Ireland - some races they were better than us although, at the time, we mostly beat them!
But the competition was good, and if we had egos, we always had a laugh with the lads from Coleraine Inst. Both schools had inspirational, outstanding coaches, who got us to work incredibly hard on the river and in the gym, at the same time as we were working hard to pass exams. We were successful on the water and made it to good universities, against the odds. One mother said that if it hadn't been for rowing, her son would be on drugs - in fact he made it to Cambridge and rowed in Goldie, the Cambridge reserve boat, in 2000. Such is the power of sport.
A fellow rower from Methody, and neighbour from home, Roger Pim, made it to the Cambridge crew in 1997 and won over Oxford (at 6'3+ he was one of the smallest in the boat!). I made it to Cambridge, but not into any of the University crews - I trialled for the lightweight team in 1998-9, but my hopes were dealt a blow through a broken collarbone, suffered cycling with Roger back in NI. Still, we all got a huge amount out of rowing at school and beyond.
But Alan Campbell is clearly in a different league, and I hope he wins the sculling gold at Beijing - and if he doesn't, he is still a legend! I think we haven't heard the last of him.
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