sport

the gates

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the gates
, originally uploaded by inklake.

Abandoned lift on Grouse Mountain looks more like a sci-fi gate into a new dimension. Covered in heavy frost from all the snow-making equipment.

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Vertigo

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Ski season is back and the north shore mountains here in Vancouver are beckoning.

Came across this photo online this afternoon. It was taken by Paul Bednar, a ski instructor from the Skischule I taught with in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.  I still remember the rush of fear and adrenalin I got as I looked over this cliff myself years ago.  Believe me, when I did it, I did not hang my ski tips over the cliff face.

Here’s the note he posted with the photo:

There was a t-bar at the top of the Zugspitze (elevation 2962m/9718 ft). Once you got off the lift, you could sidestep up another 50 metres or so to a small break in the rocks that formed the border between Germany and Austria. At that point, you could just stand there with your skis still on and look down the cliff face onto the town of Lermoos, Austria.

In other words, one slip and you’re in Austria, almost 3,000m below.

Note the very old-school Völkl’s.

Freeriding

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Take a look at this freeriding video produced for network television a few years ago.  Just dug it out of the archives.  I had the good fortune to work with Jay Hoots and several other experts and coaches to create this feature about injuries and how to avoid them.  One of the most spectacular and dangerous sports around.  Some really accomplished riders in this piece.

Congrats to World Champions Jennerich and Cameron!

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Belated congratulations to Lindsay Jennerich and Tracy Cameron on a brilliant row at the World Championships in New Zealand.  We finally got to see the race yesterday on CBC Television.  Amazing determination to fight through brutally difficult course conditions.  The final 100 metres of the race showed the kind of character and stamina this crew has.  Extremely impressive victory.

Tracy Cameron of Shubenacadie, N.S., and Victoria’s Lindsay Jennerich won Canada’s second gold medal at the world rowing championships with a victory in the lightweight women’s double sculls event Friday in New Zealand.

Cameron and Jennerich finished the 2,000-metre course in a time of eight minutes 6.20 seconds. Daniela Reimer and Anja Noske of Germany won silver in 8:07.33 and Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou of Greece took bronze in 8:09.14.

Canada also won gold Wednesday in the adaptive coxed four.

Also Friday, Jensen of Innerkip, Ont. and Rares Crisan of Mississauga Ont., won bronze in the men’s light pair.

Cameron and Jennerich overcame windy conditions to win Canada’s first world championship gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls since the 1990s.

“We did an excellent job of handling the head- and cross-wind conditions,” Jennerich said.

“We just kept to the race plan — to stay long and keep breathing. … What I thought was really positive was that at 750 (metres) to go we had a lead and we were at a low enough rate, with a good enough rhythm, that I knew if someone was going to challenge us that we would be able to answer.”

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/amateur/story/2010/11/05/sp-rowing.html#ixzz15HoaXdu8

John Wood

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Usually I wouldn’t be inclined to declare who my childhood heroes were, but in this case I’ll make an exception.  Found this photo on the web today and it brought back memories of striving to improve as a competitive paddler.  John Wood (pictured above) raced to an exhilarating silver medal in the Men’s C1 (canoeing) at the Montreal Olympics.  

Not only was he racing in the days when competitors from the Soviet bloc were systematically doping, he also lost the 1976 Olympic 500m race by about 5cm.  This was a Games where Canada notoriously won multiple silvers and bronzes, but failed to win a single gold.  

Wood’s race on a level playing field would have been a gold medal result.  It remains one of the heartbreaks of the Canadian Olympic movement.  The greatest canoeist of his generation.

RBC GranFondo Whistler Bike Ride

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grandfondo_2090, originally uploaded by Dustan Sept.

Some outstanding photos here of the RBC GranFondo Whistler bike race this past weekend by Dustan Sept.

Here’s some coverage:

They came, they cycled, and most of them got here in the inaugural RBC GranFondo Whistler bike ride.

The event, which featured 4,000 keen cyclists pedalling the 120 kilo-metres from downtown Vancouver to Whistler mostly on a dedicated lane on the Sea to Sky highway, went off with few hitches on Saturday.

“We’re very proud of what we accomplished, proud of all the 4,000 riders and the 600 crew and volunteers who made it happen,” said RBC GranFondo Whistler cofounder Kevin Thomson.

A serious crash occurred early in the ride on the Upper Levels highway in West Vancouver, however. A male rider was rushed to Lions Gate Hospital under emergency conditions. Thomson said he was still waiting for details on the accident, and added that all aspects of the event would be reviewed over the next few weeks.

In light of the enthusiastic response to the event, which is modelled after mass rides of the same name held in some parts of Europe for decades, the plan is to increase the race to 6,000 next year and 10,000 in 2012. A Gran Fondo is also planned for the Okanagan next summer. The results and complete times of finishers was to be available on the event’s website ( http://www.rbcgranfondowhistler.com)at midnight Saturday.

Read more here.

Cain still passionate about paddling

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I discovered the article below about Larry Cain this morning while looking for results from the Canadian National paddling championships being held in Saskatchewan. This is a photo I took while on a shoot at the Burloak Canoe and Kayak Club with Catriona LeMay Doan for CBC Sports coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Pictured here is Larry Cain, gold and silver medalist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Right behind him is one of the flotilla of young paddlers he trains with daily.
Larry Cain, originally uploaded by inklake.
BY ROB VANSTONE, LEADER-POST AUGUST 28, 2010

At 47, Cain still races at a high level while surrounded by canoeists who are considerably younger.

“Now it’s fun for a different reason. It’s fun because I’m coaching. For me to play a part in helping them reach their goals is really gratifying — although that’s not to diminish the fact that it was really fun to race.”

From the outset of an interview, Larry Cain was fourthcoming about his past.

Cain — who won gold and silver medals in canoeing for Canada at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles — made light of his near-medal performance of four years later during a rare respite Friday at the Canadian sprint canoe-kayak championships in Regina.

“My friends took me out and gave me the top of a beer can with a string through it,” recalled Cain, who was fourth in the C-1 1,000 metres at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. “They called it an aluminum medal.”

The gold and silver medals — won in the C-1 1,500m and C-1 1,000m, respectively — are displayed on a shelf at Cain’s home in Oakville, Ont., where he coaches with the Burloak Canoe Club. He is happy to discuss his own accomplishments, but becomes especially animated and expansive when talking about medals won and sacrifices made by the canoeists he coaches.

Cain also found time to win a gold medal of his own on Friday. Along with Aaron Rublee, Cory Rublee and Evan Smith, Cain won a men’s C-4 1,000m race and the accompanying John W. Black Trophy (which was first presented in 1905). The Black Trophy is among the most-coveted awards at the nationals, which are in their 111th year.

“It was a lot of fun for me to win it with them,” Cain said of the efforts dedicated toward winning the Black Trophy. “I’m really here as a coach, but it’s great to be able to get out and race. That part of my career is not really my focus anymore.

Read entire article here.