If only Katherine Stewart-Jones, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Cendrine Browne could have failed miserably, we wouldn’t be where we are now. In the midst of a leadership crisis at Nordiq Canada.Continue reading
La venue d’un directeur général par intérim à la tête de Nordiq Canada n’a pas amélioré le respect de la fédération envers ses athlètes.
Amateurs de suspense, oubliez Netflix du 6 au 9 janvier prochain et rendez-vous au mont Sainte-Anne pour les sélections olympiques de l’équipe nationale de ski de fond.
Se dérouleront aussi les sélections nationales en vue des Championnats du monde juniors et U23. Toutes ces courses réuniront plus de 400 athlètes de partout au Canada.
Mais ce sont surtout les sélections olympiques de l’équipe nationale féminine qui tiendront les spectateurs en haleine.
Zina Kocher took a lot of people by surprise when she recently announced that she was making a comeback to try to qualify for the Pyeongchang Olympic Games next February.
Does she really have a chance to make it?
Maya MacIsaac-Jones had her plan all laid out. Hard training throughout the summer, some of it at National Ski Team camps, and then Europe for the World Cup season as part of CCC’s U25 National Team.
It was going to be her first full time stint as a World Cup athlete, competing with the best of the best. She was boiling with excitement.
Quand son entraîneur Charles Castonguay l’a approchée, le coeur de Sophie Carrier-Laforte s’est mis à battre beaucoup plus fort.
Tremendous day Saturday for Maya MacIsaac-Jones.
The Rocky Mountain Racers Ski Team up and coming star earned her first senior win on NorAm Cup when she took the sr women free sprint in Sovereign Lake, ahead of teammate Andrea Dupont and CNEPH’s Marie Corriveau, also impressive as she is still a junior.
Here are Mayas’ thoughts after the race.
“After having a tough sprint on Tuesday, I was really happy to be able to pull it together both physically and mentally for today’s race.
«Racing in Senior heats is a completely different ball game than Junior heats, because you have to go at max effort in every heat to advance. Since we have such a strong group of women in Canada right now, it made today very exciting!
«One of the best parts of the day was being able to race the heats with so many of my teammates and sharing the podium with Andrea! My teammates have been extremely supportive of me this past week, especially after Tuesday’s race, and I think that played a huge part in helping me have a positive mental outlook today.»
There will be a 10 km skate race on Sunday.
Adrenaline will be flowing.
Maya MacIsaac-Jones was absolutely brilliant Wednesday at the nationals, in Thunder Bay, where she won the Jr Women long sprint (1,5 km).
She played her cards intelligently, first setting a reference time of 3 min 30 s 32/100 with a commanding 6 sec lead over local favorite and up and coming Jennifer Jackson. She knew she had set the bar high.
«My sprint day started out very well with a great qualifier, which made me both excited and very nervous for the heats», said Maya afterwards.
Then she won both her quarter final (3:49.37) and semi final (3:38.71) in a slower pace before the big showdown for the gold medal.
«I knew going into the final that it would be a big battle, so I just went for it and pushed as hard as I could and managed to lead right to the end!»
We were given two great pictures by Martin Kaiser that show both skiers at the finish line. See on both of them how much those athletes are giving it everything they’ve got. So totally dedicated to their sport.
But that’s not all ! This was about it for those girls competing with each other, as most of them, like Maya, will be moving on to the seniors next season and will face a different breed of racers. Emotion took over at the finish and they were clearly all winners then.
«One of the best things about today’s race was having a group hug with all of the other girls after the finish, said Maya. I think there we have a very strong up-and-coming group of girls right now in Canada, and it has been so much fun racing and pushing each other throughout the season.
«Although it was a bit sad for us to be done sprinting as juniors, I am very excited to see what we can do next year challenging the seniors!»
Well, so she should. Maya’s time in today’s final (3:25.34) would have given her… the bronze medal with the seniors.
It’s been a positive experience for the junior canadian squad at the Jr-U23 World Championships in Kazakhstan.
Katherine Stewart-Jones, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Sophie Carrier-Laforte will never forget their participation at the Worlds, the first one for Maya and Sophie.
We thank them for their generosity (and this amazing picture!) and wish them the best for things to come.
And that’s what it’s all about when you’re young and willing and learning and progressing.
Maya MacIsaac-Jones learned a little bit more about racing in the Jr Women 5 km F at the World Championships in Almaty.
So she placed 45th, just behind NWT’s Annah Hanthorn, the worst result among the four Canadians in the race. Think she would be devastated? Ha! That’s not knowing her.
«I had so much fun racing today in Almaty! The conditions were beautiful– hard packed cold tracks, and it was warm and sunny outside.
«Racingwise, I was disappointed with my placing but happy that I was only roughly 1 min 30 s behind the leader. Although that is a large gap for a 5 km race, it isn’t something that is impossible to make up.
«Tactically, I made a bit of a mistake by holding back a bit too much at the start of the course, but I was really happy with my finishing speed.»
By the way, when she gets older, Maya wants to become a journalist.
Maya MacIsaac-Jones may not have achieved her day’s goal in Tuesday’s sprint at the Jr World Championships, but she showed something that will serve her even better for the rest of her life : being a team girl.
«My “realistic” goal for today’s race was to qualify, so I am very happy I achieved that!
«My “dream goal” was to get a top-15, and I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t advance past the quarter finals, but overall I am happy with the day. It was so much fun to be able to race in the heats and to get a chance to go head-to-head with the best juniors in the world.
«The best part of today was begin able to qualify with 3 other Canadian girls, it felt great to show the world that Canadian girls can be fast internationally!»
Olivia Bouffart-Nesbitt and Maya MacIsaac-Jones probably wished the horse was real! They are both in Almaty, Kazakhstan, getting ready for the World Junior and U23 Championships.
«I am still adjusting to the time change in Kazakhstan, says Maya, so I am still feeling a bit tired from that, but I did intensity two days ago and felt great during the intensity.
«Mentally, I am still feeling tired from the time change, but physically my body is feeling very strong, so I think that once I adjust to the time change properly I will feel great and ready to race!
«The race organizers are still setting up the sprint course, so I haven’t had a chance to ski it yet, but once it is open I will be skiing it a lot to look at race strategy and tactical ideas.»
Skiplus will cover some : live tweeting for a number of races, reports, reactions from athletes and some exclusive pictures. Canada has sent a strong team to Kazakhstan so the week promises to be exciting.
The picture below shows what a top athlete looks like after a supreme effort. Moments before, Maya MacIsaac-Jones was helped up back on her feet after winning the junior sprint at the World Jr Championships selections in Duntroon, Ontario.
«I felt tired during my qualifier today but by the time I got to my semi-final and final I was feeling great, said Maya after the race.
«I was surprised at how the final ended up playing out. I just went as hard as I could from the start and managed to keep the lead. The great skis from my coaches for the heats were a huge help too.
«I have been working really hard towards this so it is great to see all that work pay off!»
The win qualifies Maya for the World Jr Championships in Kazakhstan.
And yes, there is reason to believe.
We’ve written a lot about the CNEPH junior men skiers in the last few days, after their stellar performances over the last week-end. The Quebec armada took five of six spots on the junior podiums in the opening two NorAm Cup events in Rossland, BC .
Par Pierre Shanks
The junior girls performances are also worth taking notice, as the same three girls stole the show!
The canadian cross-country ski season got underway Friday in Canmore with the WinSport Frozen Thunder Classic sprint race. Here are some pictures of the race. Most pictures in this photo report are from Angus Cockney.
La saison canadienne de ski de fond a commencé vendredi à Canmore avec l’épreuve de sprint de la WinSport Frozen Thunder Classic. Voici quelques photos de la course. La plupart des photos sont de : Angus Cockney.
Les filles du CNEPH ont connu une journée, une autre, exceptionnelle, jeudi, aux essais olympiques et mondiaux canadiens à Canmore, en Alberta.
par Pierre Shanks
Chez les séniors, Cendrine Browne, qui en est à sa première saison au sein de l’équipe nationale de développement, a pris le 3e rang chez les U23 dans le 10 km classique, départ individuel. Cela la place en bonne position pour se qualifier en vue des Championnats du monde U23 à Val di Femme, en Italie, à la fin du mois.
Oui, fraternelle. À ne pas confondre avec guerre fratricide! Les fondeurs et fondeuses canadiens se préparent fébrilement en vue des sélections olympiques et mondiales (U23 et juniors) qui se dérouleront à Canmore, à partir de mercredi.
par Pierre Shanks
Déjà, sept membres se rendront à Sotchi : Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov et Lenny Valjas chez les hommes; Chandra Crawford, Dasha Gaïazova et Perianne Jones chez les femmes.
L’équipe nationale choisira deux autres athlètes chez les hommes (un sprinteur et un spécialiste de longue distance) et deux autres chez les femmes (une sprinteuse et une spécialiste de longue distance) .
Une guerre fraternelle s’annonce donc. Tous ces athlètes se côtoient, s’aiment et se respectent, mais à partir de mercredi, ils ne feront pas de quartier !
Voici un tour d’horizon de la saison des athlètes du Centre national d’entraînement Pierre Harvey (CNEPH) jusqu’ici et comment ils se sentent à l’approche du moment charnière de leur saison.
Here are some pictures, most of them exclusive, from last week-end’s NorAm Cup races in Rossland, B.-C. All of them are from Shelley Peachell, who we thank profusely on behalf of FB/skipresse.
Voici des photos, dont la plupart sont exclusives, de la fin de semaine de courses à la Coupe NorAm de Rossland, en C.-B. FB/skipresse remercie la photographe Shelley Peachell.