Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baillargeon-Smith shows heart for Gryphon runners

November 28, 2007
The next time you even consider calling in sick when you're really just suffering from nothing more than a mild case of postnasal drip, think first of Andre-Paul Baillargeon-Smith.

And, the next time you call a long-distance runner soft or weak or simply not tough enough, not in the least, think first of Baillargeon-Smith.

More @ Guelph

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Whitfield continues to challenge himself

Mark Sutcliffe, The Ottawa Citizen

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Simon Whitfield seems like a mild-mannered guy. During an interview while visiting Ottawa this week, he answered questions enthusiastically and candidly. He smiled a lot. His face brightened when he talked about his four-month-old daughter. He was funny and self-deprecating.

But you didn't see Simon Whitfield while he was training.

"I'm an emotional trainer," says Whitfield, the gold medallist in the 2000 Olympic triathlon.

And he doesn't just mean he's intense and likes to train hard. "No, I've had my shoving matches at the track," says Whitfield. "And Colin Jenkins and I tried to drown each other one time."

According to Whitfield, he and Jenkins, also an elite Canadian triathlete, bumped into each other a few times during a training exercise in the pool.

"We were each 150 pounds soaking wet, so it was a pathetic fight," says Whitfield. "And we were laughing about it five minutes later."

More at the Ottawa Citizen

Plus another article on the Golden Plates at the Edmonton Sun

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cornwall Multisport Club

Slowtwich has a profile on the Cornwall Mutlisport Club here

I was born in Cornwall Ontario and got my start in triathlon in 1989 when the Cornwall Cycle Club held its first triathlon event. One of the members of the club, Donna Ryan, was on the age group national team and helped the club organize its first event, held in Long Sault. The distances were about 400m swim, 20km bike and 5km run (ish).

I was in Cornwall after a number of years last weekend. There is great riding around the Cornwall area, as well as many bike paths, and access to upper New York state and Lake Placid for hills. One of my favorite memories is doing the weekly 15km time trials during the summer.

There wasn't a multisport club in Cornwall when I got into the sport, but according to the Slowtwich article, the club has 275 members, awesome.

Simon Whitfield: The 2007 Season and Javier Gomez

More of Simon's talk here

Friday, November 23, 2007

COC Beijing Olympic Excellence Series

This past weekend I was invited to Ottawa for the Canadian Olympic Committee's Beijing Olympic Excellence Series.

Here is the COC's take on the event:

"The purpose of the Olympic Excellence Series is to bring together athletes who have demonstrated podium potential for the next Olympic Games along with the coaches, team leaders and support staff who will accompany them to the Games. The primary goal of the Olympic Excellence Series is to help prepare the athletes and coaches and support team members for medal performances by providing them with practical skills and strategies they can use to prepare for podium success. The secondary objective is to inspire and motivate all involved, leaving everyone with a greater sense of confidence and drive in their quest for the podium."

This was my third conference this fall, after the SPIN Summit in Vancouver, and the annual Sport Leadership Summit held in Halifax this year. I find these events thought provoking, and I enjoy meeting and sharing ideas with coaches and technical officials from other sports. There were a number of people with deep Olympic experience at the conference, and many helpful ideas based on past Olympic experience where shared. The COC is doing a great job assisting preparation for the Beijing games across all sports.

Highlights from the Excellence Series this year were the keynote from Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette. Julie flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1999 and worked in the International Space Station. There are many parallels between the process of becoming an astronaut and athletes who train and compete at the highest levels. Julie's presentation was excellent and provided great perspective on striving toward excellence.

The final key note was by Ultra Runner Ray Zahab. Ray completed a amazing feat of physical and mental endurance by running across the entire Sahara Desert, 7000km in 111 days, running up to 16hrs every single day. A film crew documented the event which will be out in 2008. More info here. Ray's presentation was excellent and inspiring - his theme was that the only limits we have are those we place on ourselves.

There were a number of other excellent presentations, including from Swimming Head Coach Tom Johnson, Athletics Coach Wynn Gmitroski, and Dr Dave Smith, physiologist from the Calgary.

I'll close with a quote from Dr Dave Smith about preparing for Beijing: "You are going to war, plan relentlessly"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Athletes strutting their stuff -- in the kitchen

Athletes strutting their stuff -- in the kitchen
Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007
Given celebrity chef Rob Feenie's messy public split from his signature Vancouver restaurants, triathlete Simon Whitfield joked Wednesday that the duo might be serving "flaming meatballs" at that night's Gold Medal Plates fundraiser.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Funding boost from Gold Medal Plates

Funding boost from Gold Medal Plates
The Province
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2007

Canada's summer and winter Olympians and Paralympians became $626,589.16 richer Wednesday night.
Olympic gold medalists Simon Whitfield (triathlon, 2000), Adam van Koeverden (kayaking, 2004) and Kyle Shewfelt (gymnastics, 2004) were among the star-studded group at the Westin Bayshore to accept the cheque from Stephen Leckie, chief executive officer and founder of Gold Medal Plates, a fund-raising initiative that began in 2003.


"Talk doesn't cook rice"

Chinese Proverb

Monday, November 12, 2007


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence (aka Areté) then, is not an act, but a habit."

~ Aristotle, 4th century bce Greek philosopher

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thought of the Day

"Before enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water; after enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water"

Zen Saying

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Talent is Overrated

"...the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated. Or, put another way, expert performers — whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming — are nearly always made, not born. And yes, practice does make perfect. These may be the sort of clichés that parents are fond of whispering to their children. But these particular clichés just happen to be true.

Ericsson's research suggests a third cliché as well: when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love — because if you don't love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don't like to do things they aren't "good" at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don't possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better."

Read the full article at

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quote of the Day

'The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least"


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Whitfield wins third World Cup of season

Whitfield wins third World Cup of season
Tenth triathlon World Cup win of his career; Canadians take 1st, 2nd and 4th in Cancun

Gary Kingston, CanWest News Service
Published: Sunday, November 04, 2007
Twelve years ago, Simon Whitfield came to the Cancun, Mexico stop on the World Cup triathlon circuit as the Canadian team.
On Sunday, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist was part of an amazing 1-2-4 finish by a Canada team that showed some real depth.
Whitfield, the veteran from Victoria, won his third World Cup of the season, outsprinting Paul Tichelaar of Edmonton at the finish to win by one second in one hour, 52 minutes, five seconds. Volodymyr Polikarpenko of the Ukraine was third in 1:52.08 and Brent McMahon of Victoria fourth in 1:52.15.

"I'm just stoked for Canadians to come three in the top four like that ... that's a great sign," Whitfield, who now has 10 World Cup wins in his career, said in the finish area.
"It's the evolution of where we're trying to get to. Twelve years ago when I was first here, I was by myself and now I'm with a great team. It's very exciting for Canada."

Continued at

More Cancun Pics

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Island Olympic hopefuls hit pre-Games stride

Cleve Dheensaw, Times Colonist, Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thursday will be nine months out from the start of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Not to belabor an obvious metaphor, but what Canada gives birth to at that time is being created now on Elk Lake, Saanich Commonwealth Place and roads all over the region.
Simon Whitfield of Victoria looks to be rounding into form just fine for Beijing after winning his third triathlon World Cup race of the season Sunday in Cancun, Mexico.
Whitfield, fourth at the 2007 world championships over the summer in Hamburg, Germany, heads into the Olympic year on a decided upswing. Inspired by the birth of a daughter -- Pippa Kathryn -- in June in Victoria, first-time dad Whitfield seems revitalized this year and is racing with a fresh sense of purpose and determination following a few down years after his blazing success in the early part of this decade with gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
Continued: Victoria Times Colonist

Monday, November 5, 2007

News Round Up

Whitfield victorious in Cancun

Whitfield leads gold-silver Canadian finish in Cancun

Breakaways, wind, and fast finishes as Whitfield and Ertel win the 2007 Cancun BG ITU World Cup

Bout of flu hampers Gemmell's race form

Julie Ertel wins first World Cup at Cancun

Whitfield, Ertel win Cancun World Cup

Triathlon: Whitfield leads gold-silver Canadian finish in Cancun

Whitfield, Ertel win triathlon World Cup at windy Cancun

Whitfield and Canadians dominate in Cancun

Kiwis tri but can't in Cancun
Bevan Docherty and Samantha Warriner could only manage 12th place their Elite races on Sunday's ITU Cancun triathlon world cup event.

More awful than awesome, Pollution in Beijing a big problem

'Venues are incredible'

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cancun Pics

The BIG flag...

Paul and Coach

Colin Jenkins the great...

Rollin with the crew...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Courtside comment

Another news item:

Courtside comment
By Sports Writer

To hear Simon Whitfield tell the story over the phone, it sounds as though he's writing his own made-for-TV movie as we speak. It was 1992. "I was 17 years old, going to school in Sydney, Australia. And one day in class, ...

It's Not Over Yet

"Highlighting a stacked men's start list is 2000 Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield of Canada, who narrowly owns the number two spot in the World Cup rankings, and the deadly Kiwi duo of Kris Gemmell and Bevan Docherty. Gemmell, ranked number five, comes fresh from a victory at the Rhodes BG Triathlon World Cup October 7, while fourth-ranked Docherty got down and dirty with a fifth-place finish at the XTERRA world championship in Maui October 28."

More at Inside Triathlon

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Kyle Jones

Kyle Jones is online!

Triathlon: Whitfield leads Canadians into Cancun world cup

CANCUN, Mexico – Simon Whitfield looks to solidify his spot as the world number two when he and the rest of the Canadian triathlon team head south to Cancun for the 14th stop of the BG Triathlon World Cup series. After locking a spot on his third Olympic team, Whitfield sets his sights on a third world cup title of the year after posting wins in Vancouver and Kitzbuehel earlier in the summer. Joining him in the Cancun field will be a strong Canadian team that includes national champion Paul Tichelaar and Pan Am Games silver medalist Brent McMahon.
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