Saturday, May 31, 2008

$8 for 08.08.08

$8 for 08.08.08
We are recruiting Canadians to donate
$8 for 08.08.08 to support our Canadian Athletes.

Imagine a country without role models...

We all need to see excellence and examples of the human spirit in triumph & defeat and overcoming obstacles. $8 can buy you hope, joy, inspiration, and even a better country.

Click Here to Donate $8 for 08.08.08

Friday, May 30, 2008

ATTN: Vancouver Peeps

Media Invitation/Photo Opportunity - Olympic triathlete Simon Whitfield and 800M silver medalist Gary Reed encourage Canadians to register for the Nike+ Human Race

VANCOUVER, May 30 /CNW/ - Join Canadian athletes Simon Whitfield and Gary
Reed for the launch of the Nike+ Human Race, Nike's latest initiative for
global running communities.
On June 2, registration will begin for the Nike+ Human Race - a 10km race
taking place on August 31st that will span multiple continents and cover 24
cities, including LA, New York, London, Madrid, Paris, Istanbul, Melbourne,
Shanghai, Sao Paulo and will end in Vancouver. The goal for participation is
one million runners worldwide.

WHAT: Launch of the Nike+ 10km Human Race

Race announcement and rationale, athlete photo opportunity and

WHO: Simon Whitfield, triathlon gold medalist
Gary Reed, 800M silver medalist
Kirsten Sweetland, World Cup Triathlete
Katie Tsuyuki, freestyle snowboarder and 2010 Olympic hopeful
John Stanton Jr., Running Room
Jane Shaw, Head of Corporate Communications, Nike Canada

WHEN: 2:30 p.m.
Monday, June 2nd

WHERE: Nike Runner's Lounge
510 Nicola Street, Coal Harbour
Vancouver, BC

For further information: To confirm attendance and/or more information,
please contact: Melanie Dulos, APEX Public Relations, T: (416) 924-4442 ext.
254, C: (647) 201-8994, E:

As seen at training today (thursday edition), part 2

Paul and Simon, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

As seen at training today (thursday edition)

Observatory Bike Action, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

WCSN to Deliver Online Highlights of ITU World Cup Events

ITU Highlight shows will be posted on-demand on Please visit for updated schedules, news, results, photo galleries and more information.

WHAT: Highlight shows of 2008 ITU World Cup Series
WHEN: Now - November 2008

June 8 Vancouver, CAN Vancouver World Championships
June 22 Des Moines, USA Des Moines BG Triathlon World Cup
July 5 Hamburg, GER Hamburg BG Triathlon World Cup
July 13 Tiszaujvaros, HUN Tiszaujvaros BG Triathlon World Cup
July 20 Kitzbuhel, AUT Kitzbuhel BG Triathlon World Cup
Sept 27 Lorient, FRA Lorient BG Triathlon World Cup
Oct 12 Chiapas, MEX Chiapas BG Triathlon World Cup
Nov 16 Huatulco, MEX Huatulco BG Triathlon World Cup

*Highlight show posted after the event.
World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) is the premier destination for fans of Olympic and lifestyle sports, delivering an immersive experience via exclusive live and on demand coverage of world class competitions, interaction with top athletes and in depth access to sports news and information year round.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

As seen at training today, Part 3 (of 3)

3 Stooges, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

As seen at training today, Part 2

Riding Action, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

As seen at training today, Part 1

LB in full stride, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And then there were? Bill Davoren gives us the score

Article on the chase for the top 8 countries to get 3 male starters in the Beijing Games:

And then there were? Bill Davoren gives us the score

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Bill Davoren is a man with plenty on his mind. Last weekend was a disastrous one for the Australian Olympic Triathlon Team. Good results for both Russian and U.S teams mean that the strength of the Australian team could be compromised. We caught up with Triathlon Australia's High Performance Director waiting for his flight out of Madrid, one he was probably happy to take. We get the inside word on what happened in Madrid, how the team now shapes up, Brad Kahlefeldt's injury and the up and coming world titles in Vancouver.

There have been all sorts of rumours about what happened in Madrid. What's the real story?
Firstly let me tell you that Sexton crashed. I'm not sure if people realise that, but he crashed on the first lap. Conditions in Europe have been horrendous for the last month. If I'd said to you that Madrid was going to be a wetsuit swim and freezing cold and 30 guys are going to DNF (did not finish) with borderline hypothermia, you would've laughed. So we've had some freak conditions.

Brendan's (Sexton) crash on the first lap came after rain had brought all this gravel onto the course and basically his wheel slipped out from in front of him. He landed pretty heavily and there was just no way he could continue. And they are the facts. Did we foresee that? No, you can't plan for that. That's the reality of the game.

As that scenario unfolded and you realised that the U.S and Russia had overtaken Australia on the points table, possibly limiting our men's field to 2, did you contact Greg Bennett?
I haven't spoken to Greg at this stage. I received an email this morning and I'll talk to him when I get to Vancouver in the next 24 hours. The bottom line is the game is still alive. It's alive until the end of the world Championships in Vancouver in two weeks time.

The fact that we're 9th (only the top 8 can field 3 athletes at the games) means we still have one last shot to rectify that. Even if Brendan had scored points, and we anticipated that he would've scored some, the game would still be alive in Vancouver, that's how tight it is. We've known for 18 months that it was going to be touch and go all the way.

More at First off the Bike

'Focused' on Beijing

'Focused' on Beijing

Island race winners have Olympic bids in back of their minds
Cleve Dheensaw, CanWest News Service

Published: Monday, May 26, 2008
Olympian-sized moments of reckoning await Kirsten Sweetland of Victoria and Paul Tichelaar of Edmonton on June 8 amid the shimmering waters of English Bay and towering condos of the West End.
Respective top-eight finishes in the women's and men's races at the world triathlon championships in Vancouver will get Sweetland and Tichelaar to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Not that there's any pressure.

Sweetland and Tichelaar tuned up for the worlds by winning the women's and men's titles Sunday in the sprint division (500-metre swim, 22K bike race and 5K run) of the Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon

More on

Monday, May 26, 2008

Whitfield and McGlone win 2007 Triathlon Canada Overall Athlete of the Year Awards

Whitfield and McGlone win 2007 Triathlon Canada Overall Athlete of the Year Awards
May 26, 2008

For the ninth straight year, Simon Whitfield has been named Triathlon Canada Athlete of the Year, while Montreal’s Samantha McGlone picked up the honour for the third time and the first since 2005, Triathlon Canada announced today.
Whitfield, of Victoria, had an impressive 2007 season, finishing the year at No.2 in the World Cup rankings. He placed fourth at the ITU World Championships in Hamburg and took home the gold medals from the Vancouver, Cancun and Kitzbuhel World Cups. He managed a Top-10 finish in all of the World Cups in which he competed including a bronze medal in Salford, fifth place in Beijing, sixth in Des Moines, eighth in Ishigaki and 10th in Lisbon. His 2007 results have already secured him a berth on the 2008 Canadian Olympic team.

Read the full list on

Congrats to Simon, and in the U23 category, Kirsten and Kyle, and Tom Evans in the elite long distance category

The Wonders of Euclid

The Wonders of Euclid
Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman
2008.05.25 - Shawnigan Lake, BC, Canada

One of the rules that forms the foundation of Euclidian geometry is "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line." In the case of racing, there is a modern corollary which is "the shortest distance from start to finish is on the course." Now, before everyone does a gasp and shakes their head in disbelief, I did stay on course, for the third time in three races this season, and again it proved to be a much more successful race strategy than that which I employed during several races last season.

The race itself took place on a course that Coach Joel sends out to ride quite often - the 22km loop around Shawnigan Lake, which sits down in the Cowichan Valley, northwest of Victoria (mostly west). It's really a beautiful area, one that I forgot to take pictures of. So just imagine a typical lush forest surrounding a lake in the Pacific Northwest, and you've got the idea.

I felt quite fast and strong during the swim, but unfortunately, the clock revealed that perception really is quite fallible, since what I thought was a pretty good swim turned out to be rather slow. I'll just tell myself the course was a bit long (despite the fact that the lead swimmers went fast enough to show that it really wasn't). I have ordered Joel to make me a faster swimmer, so let's hope he listens. If I start coming out on the swim closer to the front, you'll know that he did.

More at

Shawnigan BAMF Action

A few of the crew raced the Shawnigan Lake triathlon this weekend in both the half Iron, and sprint races.

Half Results Here

Jordan Rapp, 1st, Daniel Wells, 4th

Sprint Results Here

Paul Tichelaar 1st, Connor Hammond 2nd, Kirsten Sweetland 1st

Sunday, May 25, 2008

'Focus on the music and just run faster'

'Focus on the music and just run faster'

Dave Leeder, 23/05/08 at 9:57 AM EDT
"Focus on the music and just run faster."

I just kept repeating that to myself every time I lost focus and starting thinking about how much the workout was hurting. Courage by the Hip came on just as I started the fourth round of intervals, I was 10 kilometres in with three K to go and it was a welcome reprieve from the sound of my own heavy breathing pounding in my ears. My shuffle had supplied a steady stream of Cuff the duke, The Tragically Hip, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Flogging Molly for the first 40 minutes of the workout. The Hip Live 10 vol 3 had dominated the random playlist so far and 'Captain Dramatic' Gord Downie had inspired some fast running around my favorite loops at Beacon Hill park. So when the "hard yards" started (the last third of the set is when the work is really done and I refer to it as "the hard yards") and the Hip's Courage was followed by Impossibilium I was thankful for the company and I started repeating to myself "just run faster" . I was breathing hard, my legs were burning, I was running fast, the music was blaring and I was just loving it.

More at the Globe and Mail

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gold medal coverage on CBC

Gold medal coverage on CBC

Don’t miss your chance to watch Simon Whitfield’s gold medal performance at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup and Carolyn Murray’s first-ever World Cup gold medal win at the Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup in South Africa when CBC airs two hours of triathlon coverage on Saturday, May 24 at 2:30pm ET.

On Saturday, June 14, CBC will also air two hours of the World Championships, running in Vancouver June 5-8. More information about the World Championships can be found at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fitzgerald interviews Simon

Author Matt Fitzgerald has an except of an interview with Simon here:

An Interview with Simon Whitfield
I recently interviewed 2004 Olympic Triathlon gold medalist Simon Whitfield of Canada for an article on mental laziness that I’m writing for Triathlete. Here are some excerpts for your enjoyment:

The age-groupers that I know are always picking the brains of pro and coaches. A lot of the age-groupers are very open to trying new things, whereas a lot of the pros I’ve trained with over the years have an inability to adapt and change—a stubbornness, even.

It’s the classic line: “I know what I’m doing.” When I hear an athlete say that, particularly a pro, it’s like the kiss of death. I think there’s a touch of arrogance in there. And I think there is a touch of laziness. It’s easy to fall into that trap. With it comes a lack of accountability, and that’s very attractive to people, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s no coincidence that athletes go through it when they’re 26, 27 years old. They’re more sure of themselves, they’re more independent. The natural progression is to start saying, “I know what I’m doing.”


Now [coach] Joel [Filliol] never announces the set before the warm-up is done. He always stands there and watches the warm-up, and you can tell that he’s making an assessment. He’s asking, “Does what I have in mind for today actually apply today?” By not being so tied to planning, he’s able to make on-the-fly adjustments.


There are a couple inaccuracies, but otherwise some good thoughts from Simon.

Read the rest here

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No Comment

Austrian triathlete tests positive for EPO
Posted by: Annie Emmerson
Posted on: Tuesday 20th May 2008

According to reports from several other international websites the Austrian triathlete and potential Olympian Lisa Hutthaler, has tested positive for EPO. This is a two stage process though and although her A sample is positive, the test won't be confirmed until the B sample has been tested. Hutthaler is one of Austria's leading triathletes and was hoping to gain qualification for the Beijing Olympics. Last year Hutthaler had several top 30 places in ITU World Cup races, but her best result came this year when she finished tenth at the Ishigaki World Cup in Japan.

It seems as if the Austrian athlete is surrounded by controversy at the moment. A bike crash that took place at the New Plymouth World Cup in April involving the current Olympic Champion Kate Allen, was said to have been caused by Hutthaler and the Austrian federation and the ITU are currently investigating reports that the accident may have been caused deliberately ., also here

OK, one comment, this sort of thing shouldn't be released before the B sample is tested.

Mimi Boyle Chats with Rising Star, Jordan Rapp

Mimi Boyle Chats with Rising Star, Jordan Rapp
By Mimi Boyle

True-Motion’s director of marketing, Mimi Boyle, was able to catch up with rising star professional triathlete Jordan Rapp after his recent 3rd place finish in Ironman Arizona.

MB: Seeing is believing, and you made us, and the rest of the triathlon community believers with a nail-biting 3rd place finish on a diabolically hot/windy/dusty day in Tempe. I’ll start with the basics….what did you eat the night before the race? What about on race morning?

Jordan: I actually really like racing in Tempe for a couple of reasons, but one of the major ones is that there is a Whole Foods market about 5miles from where I stayed. That particular Whole Foods has also fueled a 2nd overall at the Desert Du (2007) and a 1st overall at the SOMA half (2007), so I think it has good karma. I'm a huge believer in the importance of nutrition, and every time I race and can eat at a Whole Foods, I seem to have good races. The night before Ironman, I just ate a variety of things from the prepared foods bar there. I don't really remember exactly what I ate except for a turkey cutlet. I know it was a mixture of things. Not too much with wheat, since I've found that things with too much gluten tend to be what gives me (and others) stomach issues during intense exercise. I try to take in a reasonable amount of calories in a variety of healthy forms throughout the day. I've found I perform best on a pretty balanced mixture of calories, so I roughly try to go 33% carbs, 33% fat, 33% protein. So none of that traditional "carbo load" for me.

Race morning, I had a couple bowls of EnviroKids Organic Koala Krisp, which is a puffed brown rice cereal (again, avoiding the gluten and also fiber, which hopefully means no need for trips to the port-o-johns during the race). Basically, it is the healthy version of cocoa crispies. Digests easily. Lots of calories. Tasty. Brown rice cereals have really worked well for me, and that's what I take in some form before my races these days. I have it with Almond Breeze almond milk, since I think staying away from lactose is also a good idea before racing, though I actually don't ever drink regular milk anymore. Before heading over to the race, I ate a banana and a couple dates for some easy sugar. And then the last thing I "ate" before the start was a RedBull about an hour before. So that was my "carbo load," on race morning. Too much before then, and I just feel bloated and slow. But on the morning of the race, I want easy fuel.

Read the rest at

More news clippings from Monday

Island triathletes gear up for Beijing Olympics

Cleve Dheensaw, Victoria Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When you have qualified for the Olympics, sometimes the best thing is to stay out of the way of those who have yet to. They know what they have to do.
"I try to stay clear a bit . . . because I know they will punch me if I give any more advice," chuckled triathlete Simon Whitfield of Victoria, who has qualified for the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Whitfield, the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics champion and who needs no introduction, was ranked No. 2 in the world last year and looks trim and determined with a buzz building about him as Beijing approaches.

Nineteen-year-old Stelly's-grad Kirsten Sweetland is considered the Next Thing on the women's side but needs a top-eight finish at the world championships June 5-8 in Vancouver in order to qualify for the Beijing Games.
As the big home-province hopefuls, Whitfield and Sweetland were featured yesterday at a press conference in Vancouver promoting the world championships.
"I try to be good enough that I don't have to know about or worry about or pay attention to the qualification criteria," Whitfield said yesterday en route to Vancouver.

More at the Victoria Times Colonist

Olympic berths can be won in Vancouver
Top-eight finishes crucial to Beijing hopes of both women and men

Terry Bell, The Province
Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008
When Kirsten Sweetland was a kid she used to enjoy drawing little pictures of herself standing atop the Olympic podium.
On June 8 the 19-year-old Victoria triathlete will have a chance to inch her way closer to that Olympic dream when the 2008 world championships come to Vancouver's English Bay.
Sweetland, the 2006 world junior champion, needs to get a top-eight finish at worlds to secure one of the three berths Canada has in the women's triathlon in Beijing this summer.

Vancouver's Lauren Groves already has a berth because of her strong 2007 results. That leaves Sweetland, Edmonton's Carolyn Murray and Montreal's Kathy Tremblay -- who all have at least one of the necessary top-eight World Cup finishes this season -- to fight for a top-eight at worlds and the two remaining Olympic spots.
"I'm always racing for my best performance," Sweetland, who is trying not let the mounting pressure get to her, said Monday. "I'm trying not to have too many outcome goals. I just want to take it one step at a time."

More at the Province

Articles from today's press conference in Vancouver

Whitfield hopes his first world title is on home soil

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
May 19, 2008 at 10:24 PM EDT

VANCOUVER — Normally, in an Olympic year, Canadian triathlete Simon Whitfield would be thinking about one race and one race only.

But this year is different. So different, in fact, that Whitfield admitted yesterday he has two focuses.

Yes, there is the Olympic triathlon in Beijing this August and a chance for Whitfield to win a second gold medal.

There is also the world championships next month in Vancouver.

Canadian triathlete Simon Whitfield runs out of the waters of English Bay following a media availability to promote the upcoming world triathlon championships in Vancouver Monday. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Whitfield already has an Olympic gold on his mantelpiece, from Sydney in 2000 when the sport made its debut at the Games, but he has never won at the world championships.

More at the Globe and Mail

Top-eight finish at worlds would boost Sweetland’s quest for Beijing berth

Gary Kingston, Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, May 19, 2008

VANCOUVER -- Her nickname is Sweets, which is an apt description of her demeanor.

And at barely five feet and just 108 pounds, teenage triathlon phenom Kirsten Sweetland, all freckles and dazzling smile, looks more angelic than a Disney parade dancer.

But underneath that wholesome exterior is one tough girl, hardened in part by the fact she trains in Victoria with a mostly male group led by 2000 Olympic champion Simon Whitfield.

"It's a rough-and-tumble kind of atmosphere and they hold nothing back anymore," says Sweetland, on a drizzly Monday afternoon. "There's no more ear muffs for me.

"It's good. It makes me tough. We do open water swims together and I get pushed under water and beat up. I'm pretty much treated like one of the guys."

More at the National Post

Sweetland hopes less is more as she prepares for world triathlon championships

VANCOUVER — After surviving a gruelling 10-race schedule last season triathlete Kirsten Sweetland is taking a less-is-more approach as she prepares for next month's world championship and a chance to qualify for this summer's Olympic Games.
Sweetland needs a top-eight finish in the June 8 world championship race to punch her title to Beijing. The 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-km bike ride and 10-km run event will be held in and around Vancouver's Stanley Park.
That's a short ferry ride from Sweetland's home in Victoria, but the 19-year-old denies she'll be nervous on the start line.
"I get excited but I've never been the type of person that gets nervous," Sweetland said Monday during a news conference where the province of B.C. pledged $400,000 towards the hosting of the event. "I'm hoping to stick with that.

More at the Canadian Press

No Games to play

No Games to play

Once-dominant Ontario is fading as a source of Canadian Olympians. High-level training facilities have gone to other provinces that have hosted major international Games. The Pan Am Games bid hopes to change that.

May 17, 2008
John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 17, 2008)

Ontario's steady decline as a source of elite Canadian athletes has seemed in danger of becoming a free fall.

The province that is home to almost 40 per cent of Canadians once contributed half of our Winter Olympics athletes and more than a third of those at Summer Games.

With participation dropping to almost a fifth in recent Games, the alarm bells finally rang at the Canadian Olympic Committee.


Hamilton's Colin Jenkins enjoys that pride and assistance first hand as a member of Canada's men's triathlon team.

"It seems that half the athletes I bump into here are from Ontario," the Olympic candidate says.

He lists the advantages of training that are a legacy of the 1994 Games.

"There's the facilities, especially the pool for us, there's help with housing through individuals or corporations and discounts at a grocery chain. And there's low-cost medical insurance, which covers the therapy, massage and chiropractic we need."

Most of all, all the best athletes gravitate there, from rowers to cyclists, he points out.

The weather is obviously a big attraction as it permits year-round training, but Jenkins said it would be nice to spend some of the year in Ontario if the day-to-day competition warranted it.


More at the The Hamilton Spectator

Sunday, May 18, 2008

First OW Squad Swim of the year

Le Jenk, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Army of athletes Marches on stomach

Army of athletes Marches on stomach

Victoria restaurateur hungry for gold medals

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, May 17, 2008

With two young children at home and a busy restaurant to run in Victoria, young chef Cosmo Meens' playing days are limited.
That's tough for a guy who says that while he wouldn't call himself an athlete, he's "definitely athletic."
Yoga he can still find time for. But he does less mountain biking than he used to. And those pickup basketball games and afternoons on a snowboard? They just don't happen as regularly as they once did.

Nonetheless, Meens is headed to Beijing in August with what he calls a unique opportunity to be part of the Olympic Games.
Triathlon Canada, at the urging of 2000 Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield, has hired Meens to cook for the squad -- likely six athletes, plus a coach and five support staff -- at the villa they've rented within walking distance of the Olympic venue where the gruelling swim-bike-run discipline will take place.
For Meens, who shares similar views on diet and health with the fastidious Whitfield, it's like being a kid in a candy store. Or, in his case, a raw-food afficionado at an organic farm market.

When Whitfield won gold in Japan last month at an International Triathlon Union World Cup, Meens says he "was more excited about that than any other athlete doing anything since the Oilers winning the Stanley Cup" when he was a kid.
"I have the potential to be part of an Olympic team," says Meens, now 29.

"Simon was feeling that taking the pressure off the athletes and the coaches by having a chef come and focus on [making nutritional meals] would be a benefit to the team, give them a leg up, even."

Meens is already so attuned to the team concept that he confidently proclaims: "I think we are going to win."
Triathlon head coach Joel Filliol says while the athletes, many of whom have eaten at Meens' trendy Mo:Le restaurant, like his "organic, clean, unprocessed type of food," the motorcycle-riding chef is also a neat guy to have around.

"Liking his food is a big part of it, but he's also got the right kind of energy and attitude for our team."

Says Whitfield: "You want to be around this guy. He's one cool dude. He rolls up on his Triumph motorbike wearing this blue helmet and orange leather jacket that only he could pull off. It's the Cosmo."

Read the full article at the Vancouver Sun

Birthday Boy

Done and Done, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Toronto Star Videos on Youtube

More here

Speedo rival takes its suit to U.S. court

Speedo rival takes its suit to U.S. court

By Karen Crouse Published: May 16, 2008

The swimsuit war has spilled into the court of law.

TYR Sport filed a lawsuit this week against Warnaco Swimwear, the parent company of Speedo and the maker of the LZR Racer high-tech suit, citing unlawful restraint of trade and an attempt to monopolize the competitive swimwear marketplace.

Also named in the lawsuit, which was first reported Thursday by The Los Angeles Times, are USA Swimming; the U.S. national team director, Mark Schubert; and the Olympic distance freestyler Erik Vendt, a former pitchman for TYR.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, TYR describes a climate in which elite athletes have been led to believe they cannot excel on the world stage unless they wear Speedo's newest high-tech suit, which was designed with the help of NASA and was unveiled in February.

Among the allegations by TYR are that Speedo, USA Swimming and Schubert systematically "combined to engage in a campaign of falsely disparaging the products of Speedo's competitors, including TYR, for the purpose of inducing competitive swimmers to refrain from doing business with Speedo's competitors."

More on

I don't know about the validity of the court case, but I think Speedo made a huge error when allowing the Lazer suit. "Technical doping" indeed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Changes at USAT

USA Triathlon Lets Cliff English Go as National Teams Coach

USAT eliminates the position on eve of Beijing Olympics

By Timothy Carlson - IT senior correspondent
Posted May. 14, 2008

Cliff English
Photo: Timothy Carlson

USA Triathlon Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn announced that widely acclaimed National Team Coach Cliff English was let go April 30, as his position was being eliminated in a surprise shakeup three months before the Beijing Olympics.

In a circumspect statement, Schnitzspahn paid tribute to English’s rapport with many of the elite athletes under his supervision, his great tactical advice and his success in shepherding many young athletes to the limelight. “We see no fault of the coach,” said Schnitzspahn. “It was a difficult role to coach athletes personally and also coach a national team and Cliff did a great job at it. Unfortunately other circumstances made us make a decision now rather than after the Olympics.”

Schnitzspahn said English had a big impact on the program. “Definitely many of our athletes are going to miss Cliff’s daily contact with them,” said Schnitzspahn. “He has had a very positive emotional impact and he is a great tactician. Cliff brought a constant voice to lead the program and facilitate very diverse athletes to work together. Obviously, the quality of coaching he brought to the program was humongous. And many athletes will continue to work with Cliff as a personal coach and we encourage that.”

Read more at Inside Triathlon

I've worked with Cliff for a numbers of years and know him to be a world class coach. This change is a significant loss for USAT's elite programs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'It's all about the process'

'It's all about the process'

Dave Leeder introduces Olympic triathlon champion Simon Whitfield as a regular Right to Play blogger leading up to the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer. In addition to being one of the top triathletes in the world, the Victoria native is also an Athlete Ambassador for the international humanitarian organization Right To Play. Headquartered in Toronto, Right To Play uses sport and play programs to improve health, build life skills and foster peace for children and communities in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. In their roles as Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors, Simon and dozens of other top Canadian athletes inspire children, are role models for healthy lifestyle choices and help raise awareness and funding for Right To Play projects

Here's his first entry:

"It's all about the process, if I prepare relentlessly the outcome will take care of itself".

A blog for by a guy who runs around in his swimsuit for a living . . .

Running a treadmill session while watching the Habs verses the Flyers -- it's the closest I'll come to playing in the NHL. I finish my workout just as Steve Downie of the Flyers trips up the Habs goalie Carey Price and all hell breaks loose. The camera focuses on the punching and grabbing (along with the WWE-style take-down the commentators seem to miss) but I'm watching the melee. I'm watching the corner of the screen where Carey Price, the habs 20-year-old rookie goalie stands with his Ken Dryden-inspired helmet, regrouping and mentally preparing himself for the next Flyer attack. I can't help but be envious of the pressure he's under, the hockey-crazed city of Montreal and Habs fans across the country (that's you Adrian Leslie) riding on the shoulders of a 20-year-old. (As I finish writing this blog Carey Price is now sitting alone on the Habs' bench having let in three goals on 20 shots..... he'll be back, just not tonight).

Read the rest at The Globe and Mail

Monday, May 12, 2008

No pain, no gain for rowers in race for gold

Another good article from Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star - about the rowing 8s program in Victoria.

Here are some great parts:

"We train this hard so that on a bad day we can still win the gold," said veteran Dominic Seiterle. "That's the bottom line."

Hamilton puts it in more blunt terms.

"From training with these guys every day for the last seven years, I know that when it comes down to it they're going to go out there and they're going to kill themselves to get to the line first."

Read the article at the Toronto Star

Sunday, May 11, 2008

BAMFs May 11 2008

BAMFs May 11 2008, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

Coach Joel, Daniel Wells, Jordan Rapp, Paul Tichelaar, Kirsten Sweetland, Colin Jenkins, Kyle Jones, Simon Whitfield, Connor Hammond

Tichelaar powers his way up world triathalon rankings

Tichelaar powers his way up world triathalon rankings

John MacKinnon, Canwest News Service

Published: Saturday, May 10, 2008

EDMONTON -- The rhythm of life for a full-time triathlete is exhaustingly simple: you swim, you bike, you run, you eat, you sleep, you swim, you bike, you run.
More important, you improve -- significantly. Edmonton's Paul Tichelaar sure has, zooming up to No. 5 in the International Triathlon Union World Cup rankings this year.
And if the minor downside of the daily triathlon treadmill is a bit of boredom for someone who's as smart as he is fit, well, you blog, you read, you listen to books on tape while you pedal.

And you keep your eyes on the prize: a berth on the Canadian team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
After all, that's why Tichelaar, 25, put his budding career as an electrical engineer on hold this year, took a nine-month leave of absence and rented an apartment in Victoria to train full time under national team coach Joel Filliol.

More on

Saturday, May 10, 2008


"About the demons? They make you want to run through the jungle...cover countryside at a clip, slide by in the night like a scuttling cloud....They make you bolt awake in the middle of the night with an involuntary shot of your own true adrenaline, ready to run a hundred miles; we're talking when you're there, now, really there, four-minute shape or better. They make you jittery with the smell of forest, ready to hurdle fallen trees, run down game, leave gore in the bushes.....And then when you get them all reigned in they make you lay back in the pack, coasting three laps on an old melody...and then they make you wail out of the final turn and blow down the last goddamn straightaway like the midnight trail to hell!"
- Quenton Cassidy

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Simon Whitfield leads a strong Canadian team heading to Vancouver for the Triathlon World Championships

Simon Whitfield leads a strong Canadian team heading to Vancouver for the Triathlon World Championships
May 7, 2008

Triathlon Canada announced on May 7 its team selection for the Triathlon World Championships running June 5-8 in Vancouver, led by 2000 Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield.
The elite men’s team consists of Team Teck Cominco National team members Colin Jenkins of Hamilton, Ont., Kyle Jones of Oakville, Ont., Victoria’s Brent McMahon, Edmonton’s Paul Tichelaar and Simon Whitfield of Victoria. The elite women’s team is made up of Team Teck Cominco National team members Lauren Groves of Vancouver, Edmonton’s Carolyn Murray, Kirsten Sweetland of Victoria and Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay.

More at Triathlon Canada

The Road To Beijing: Part 3

The Road To Beijing: Part 3

Written by: Colin Jenkins
Date: Tue May 06 2008

Last week the weather here in Victoria, BC was all over the place. We had some sun, some cloud, some wind, some rain, some hail, and an unusual amount of snow. OK, it was only like half a foot and it only lasted for half the day but snow in Victoria is rare, snow in Victoria at the end of April is ridiculous! This is the time of the year that the rest of Canada is supposed to be jealous of us because of all the sun and warmth we get ... well not this year. The rest of the country is laughing at us, we are the ones waiting for the weather to warm up and get more Victoria-like. In the past there have been times when we have gone open water swimming in April, but unfortunately not this year. It just means more meters spent swimming at the "House of BAMF" (Crystal Pool) as coach Joel likes to refer to our local watering pit.

Read the rest at

Colin reports for ST again.... He's giving away all our secrets!! Fortunately we've got some STWKT up our sleeves :-)

Check out those tree trunk legs!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Why Quantitative Measures Often Make Performance Worse, not Better

Why Quantitative Measures Often Make Performance Worse, not Better

Posted on 11 April 2008

Today’s obsession with quantifiable objectives is more about office politics than performance

I was working for a well-known European government a couple of decades ago, in the days when quantifiable objectives for performance measurement were new and exciting — at least if you were excited by quantifiable measures of performance objectives. We had an office in the department where I was working which spent most of its time involved in complicated international negotiations.

So, when it was approached by the management planners, with their Boy Scout-like enthusiasm for the task of performance measurement, the department in question said, “Sorry, no can do. You don’t understand — our work can’t be reduced to quantifiable targets, because too many other people in all sorts of countries are involved; no one organization, or even country, controls the process.”

“No,” said the Boy Scouts. “You don’t understand. This is a political directive. If you don’t have any quantifiable objectives already, you’d better make some up.”

Read the rest including: Measuring what can be measured, not what truly matters, The psychology of facing set targets, Treating human beings like Pavlov’s dogs at

This article has a number parallels in sport. More funding in sports generally brings more accountability, and often in the form of increased quantitative performance measures, whether truly meaningful or not. In sport many aspects of performance can be quantitatively measured, but whether measuring athletes and performances in this way positively affects endurance performance is up for debate. Witness a number of "old school" endurance programs still dominating the results of many international competitions, despite the increasing emphasis of technology and sports science interventions. While simple measurement doesn't necessarily affect performance in a positive or negative way, often I see those who go the route of extensive quantitative measurement lose the plot of what's important for endurance success. Its easy to get caught up in the measurements and data and lose sight of the human side of performance. Key coaching decisions don't always leave time for analysis of the "data", quick decisions in the moment often have to be made, thus developing those instincts, supported by data when possible, but primarily by keen observation is key. In addition, a heavy emphasis on quantitative measurements can take the spontaneity and fun out of sport, and leave athletes stressed and feeling like lab rats. I'm found of the saying "the best measure of performance is performance itself", so leave the testing to the races.

Monday, May 5, 2008

3 Men in ITU World Cup Top Ten

Dr Jones in da House!

Dr Jones produced a Huge BAMF performance today in South Africa with a career best 4th place and a 31.01 run split, just seconds back from the podium and winner, and 2007 World Champion Daniel Unger. Jones achieved part of the Olympic criteria, a top 8 performance at a World Cup prior to the Worlds in Vancouver with his second world cup top ten this year.

Inside Triathlon Story on the mens race and womens race
Vancouver Sun story on the race, and also the Canadian Press story
Also a big shout-out to Carolyn Murray who took the win with a fantastic performance, and Kathy Tremblay close behind in 4th. Great day for Canadians.

Whitfield relentless in pursuit of another Olympic gold

Whitfield relentless in pursuit of another Olympic gold

May 04, 2008 04:30 AM

VICTORIA–Simon Whitfield strolls on to the pool deck, cradling his pride and joy, baby daughter Pippa Katherine.

He puts the 10-month-old on a gym mat and coach Joel Filliol hands her a stopwatch, which she immediately starts gnawing, as Whitfield jumps into the water wearing a Speedo and a look that shows it's time for Daddy to get down to work.

No rest for the wickedly ambitious. This guy flew home the day before from Japan, where he kicked off the Olympic triathlon season with a win achieved in ruthlessly efficient fashion. His coach was prepared to let him rest, but he wanted no part of it.

After all, there's another Olympic gold up for grabs this summer in Beijing.

He's already been for a morning run in the dark, pushing Pippa Katherine, or P.K. as she's known, in a jogging stroller. Now, a 7:30 a.m. swim with his training partners at an aging but funky Crystal Pool. They have to get their laps in before the lane buoys are rolled in for a seniors aquafitness course led by a long-maned Fabio impersonator.

For good measure, Whitfield trains on his bike in the afternoon.

The image of Whitfield in most Canadians' memories is of the wide-eyed athlete who shot out of nowhere, his racing suit unzipped to the waist, to snatch a surprise victory at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His easy smile, exuberance and deprecating sense of humour endeared him to Canadians. But underneath is a guy with an edge.

"I've been relentless," said Whitfield. "I think that's been my key, is I'm obsessed and relentless."

Read the full article at

Randy and Rene from the Toronto Star were great to have out here checking out our squad, and the Olympic hopefuls from Victoria in other sports, like rowing and swimming . Look for more excellent Olympic content from Randy and as we roll toward Beijing.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Triathlon Canada announces 2008 Teck Cominco Development Team

The 2008 Teck Cominco Development Team, consists of one male and two females: Connor Hammond of London, Ont, Edmonton's Paula Findlay and Sarah-Anne Brault of Winnipeg.

More details at Triathlon Canada

The boys, (and Kirsten) are currently putting Connor through BAMF 101, here in Victoria.

Don't lose perspective on sport...

Secret world of a gymnast: starvation, sex and fear

The shocking new memoirs of a top US athlete reveal the dark side of the struggle to win gold

Paul Harris, New York
The Observer, Sunday April 27 2008

Jennifer Sey remembers exactly what it felt like to fly through the air, performing gravity-defying moves as a champion US gymnast. 'It is a transcendent experience. Pushing your body like that; it's beyond human,' she said.

But Sey was also pushing her body - and mind - in disturbing ways far beyond her feats of athleticism. In a shocking new book, the former No. 1 gymnast in America has revealed the terrible regime of starvation and abuse that lay behind her achievements.

Sey's memoir has sent shock waves through the tightly knit world of top athletes, sparking controversy as the Beijing Olympics loom. She has detailed widespread eating disorders, coaches suspected of being sexually attracted to their young charges, and a brutal physical regime that leaves gymnasts crippled in later life and bearing psychological scars. She describes a sometimes hellish experience in which she ended up so obsessed with losing weight that she did not menstruate until she gave up gymnastics and turned 20.

She was so addicted to laxatives that she once soiled herself in public. And the physical brutalities of her training and injuries left her years later with premature arthritis and permanently bruised feet and other physical problems.

More at the

Even in the most physically demanding sports, athletes with good perspective still enjoy the process it takes to achieve their best. A case could be made to limit the age of some sports like gymnastics where I wonder how much these athletes are choosing this experience vs it being chosen for them.

Prison sentences and fines for dopers in France

Prison sentences and fines for dopers in France

By BikeRadar & AFP

Spectators let us know how they feel about doping in the Tour. (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
The French government on Wednesday moved to toughen anti-doping legislation ahead of this summer's Tour de France.

Members of Parliament adopted a new law which penalises the possession and trafficking of doping products in sport with prison sentences and fines.

Under the new measures offenders will receive up of five years in jail and a 75,000-euro fine, when it relates to drug trafficking, explained French Minister for Sport Bernard Laporte. The penalty will be increased to seven years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros when the offence is committed as part of an organised group or against a minor.

The sentence will comprise a year in prison and a 3,750-euro fine when the offence is committed by a sports person for his personal use, Laporte said.

More at

Good plan... most doping products are restricted or illegal for sale without a prescription... jail time, and fines might make some dopers think twice rather than the current "deterrents" of merely being caught (and often keeping their ill-gotten winnings).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

BAMF of the day

Gets spiked in the head... keeps running... awesome!

Canada's Olympic outfits go green

Canada's Olympic outfits go green

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CBC News
Canada's Olympic athletes will be sporting a touch of green in their traditionally red and white uniforms at the Beijing Games — not only as a colour but also in the eco-friendly fabrics used for the clothing line.

Models and Olympic athletes model the clothes that will be worn by Canada's Olympic athletes in the athletes' village at the Beijing Games during a fashion show in Toronto Wednesday. (J.P. Moczulski/Canadian Press)
The Hudson's Bay Company unveiled the athletes' clothing line for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Toronto on Wednesday.

The outfits use such materials as bamboo, organic cotton and cacona, which is derived from coconut.

Designer Tu Ly said the move to environmentally sustainable materials was made easy by a larger worldwide trend that increased the availability of such products.

"It was a real movement in every part of our lives, so it was hard not to be conscious of it," Ly said in an interview Wednesday with Canadian Press prior to the unveiling of the clothing line.

Designers also adapted the clothing to the high temperatures expected in Beijing after consulting with athletes who took part in the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. Those athletes said they were unprepared for the heat in Greece.

With that in mind, the clothing for the Beijing Games was made using fabrics that provide UV protection, four-way stretch, odour resistance and wicking and cooling properties to help keep athletes comfortable.

While some of the designs use only the traditional red and white colours of the Canadian Olympic team, others feature a busy blend of symbols and patterns in a mix of muted tones.

Colour and design inspiration came in part from the five aspects of Chinese astrology — earth, wood, fire, water and metal — the designers said in a press release.

More at

I can see Simon will have that tracksuit in heavy rotation after the games.