Whitfield: What a journey
Well that chapter is over, what a journey.
Four years ago Coach Joel and I set the goal to get back on the podium at the Olympic Games after what can only be described as a what-doesn't-break-you-only- makes-you-stronger experience in Athens.
Read the rest at The Globe and Mail
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Whitfield: What a journey
Friday, August 29, 2008
On race morning for the women I was up early again after a decent sleep. I did my usual run on the course to prep for the day (same loop every single morning over the bike course plus a bit). One positive aspect of arriving in Beijing closer to the race with the jet lag timing was being able to go to bed early and get up early. With a 10am start being a bit earlier than the athletes are used to (especially the men) its important to get food in and digestion happening, so the body needs to be awake for all the to happen efficiently.
With all three women ready to leave the villa about 7.45 we made our way to the race course. The road from the Jundu villas to the race venue was shut down expect for official vehicles so we opted to walk the 10 mins or so. In the Jundu parking lot some athletes were gathering for what looked like an official bus to the venue but it didn't look organized enough so we stuck with the plan of walking. Of course the bus eventually arrived at the venue about 30 secs before we did...
Getting through the security to the race venue went smoothly and the women set about their race preparation and warm up routines. One difference with major races like the Olympics is the pre race start formalities take a lot longer and they like to give themselves extra time so they can start at the exact time given the live TV, so the athletes had to have all their warm up done 30 mins before the start and then were held in a waiting area until they were marched out to the pontoon. Not a big change but the warm up routines have to be adjusted to accommodate.
Onto the pontoon, we had Kathy and Lauren on the right side, near a number of the top 10 ranked athletes, and Carolyn closer to the left side. The start went off and I was able to walk alongside for the first 200m before arriving at the swim exit and being blocked by the media areas. Lauren and Kathy both had good starts and I could clearly pick them out of the group closer to me. I could see Kathy was on Haskins' hip and moving well. Lauren was stuck on Vanessa's hip after a great dive and start. I couldn't see Carolyn on the other side of the field, so I was hoping she got going cleanly. I was able to take some nice photos with the zoom lens of the start sequence - check out my flickr page for more pics of the race.
After the women passed the swim exit I couldn't see much so it was a wait until they finished the full one lap swim to figure out what was happening. When the group came around the last turn before the exit it was clear that the swim hadn't spread out very much. I had expected a faster swim that might set up for a break early on the bike, perhaps from the americans among others but a huge pack of women exited together including Kathy in the top 8, which was an excellent swim for her and Lauren just 14 secs back, and at the tail of the front group, a great swim for her as well. There were a few more swimmers just off the back of the first group before the main second bunch came in over a minute back including Carolyn. Not a bad gap to the first swimmers in terms of time for a non-wetsuit swim, but still work to be done, so the chase was on.
As the riders came back towards the exit to the dam after the transition the first swim pack had actually spread out a lot more than it appeared coming out of the water. The big favorites were still together including heavy medal favorites Fernandes and Snowsill, but the back of the front pack was strung out by the quick early pace. Lauren was just a few seconds off the main first bunch so it was going to be all on for the first lap to get up there. I could see Spirig riding up behind her which I knew could be a back up plan as well if she didn't latch onto the first bunch. Kathy was in good position to make it up the first climb in the front group.
As a coach at a race venue there is really not a lot of coaching going on. Really I am there for the just in case support before the race and after the race, and to observe first hand, as often you see different things in person that if you follow online or even on TV. Sure often coaches are yelling encouragement or technical cues at the athletes but you can't rely on any message getting through given the speeds and crowd noise, not mention the often glazed over eyes of the athletes as they are focusing on what's in front of them, so you hope that the preparation you've done allows the athletes to make the right decisions out on the course in terms of tactics and strategy.
My spectating strategy was to stand near the entrance/exit to the dam to see the athletes going around that corner and along the front of the stands, and then run back over to the athletes recovery tent where there was a TV with the live feed so I could see the rest of the race unfold. Fortunately the athlete tent also was air conditioned and had free mini-snickers bars and coke....
After the first lap of the bike I could see Kathy in great position in the front bunch. Lauren was in the next group but within 10-20 secs, close enough that the gap could be closed with Spirig taking some big pulls. Carolyn came through in the next group about a minute back. The following laps the front bunch remained basically the same but Spirig simply rode off the front of the chase group dragging Ide from Japan with her in a very impressive piece of riding. With Spirig gone the momentum of the chase group was lost. Lauren took some solid pulls but was battling Spirig again who was now pulling the front group farther away. Eventually the second and third packs merged and settled about a minute back. With two laps to go out of the six, I was standing in my usual spot as the pack came up the spillway in the dam to the front straight away when "the" crash happened. I was snapping a few photos as it happened right in front of me. The course narrows before making the final turn onto the straight and one athlete touched wheels with another in front and down she went. I watched Lauren, as if in slow motion, have no where to go, ride overtop of the crashed athletes and go over the handle bars. The artificial surface of the course made things a bit worse as instead of sliding along the pavement they came to a dead stop right away, leading to some nice road rash. Lauren ended up bracing her fall with her arms outstretched and landed on her elbow. As soon as it happened I rushed over and tried to see if she could continue. It was obvious she was in quite a bit of pain and when it was clear should couldn't grip her hand or straighten her arm I knew she couldn't continue. She was very disappointed but it wouldn't have been safe to keep riding. There was lots of medical support as the medical area was right in that spot and soon enough Lauren was off the hospital in the ambulance.
Back to the race, the first group continued to gain on the chase bunch. Coming off the bike it was somewhere around 90 secs but the majority of the main contenders were all there in the front. Onto the run, Snowsill simply ran away from everyone in a display of absolute dominance that was very impressive to watch. To be able to do that with all the pressure in the world on her was just awesome. Fernandes never got going with Snowsill so was left of battle for the silver. For a while it looked like she would be challenged, but eventually found her legs and got some distance to 3rd. The battle for bronze was great with Bennett and Moffatt have a go at each other and Ide from Japan not for behind having an outstanding race. Eventually Moffy got clear and Bennett and Ida went back and forth before Bennett was able to dig in for 4th. With Snowsill, Fernandes and Moffy being the medals we had a very worthy podium of the most consistent performers of the last couple of years. There were no major surprises in the top 10 but Ide and Ryf rose to the occasion with big performances on the day.
As far as the Canadians, neither Kathy nor Carolyn seemed to really find their legs on the run. Kathy did everything right until the run but right from the beginning she didn't look light on her feet. The chase on the bike was always going to take a toll for Carolyn, but she's been in that position before. We saw some nice running from both women earlier in the year, but both struggled to get moving at that level today. Either from the heat, the efforts from the bike, or the expectations and pressure of competing at the Olympic games, its hard to say for sure. Being able to put it all together on the day you want it most is not easy and there are so many factors that go into a performance, which is what makes the podium so impressive in the Olympics.
With Lauren's crash the disappointment was also that she simply didn't get to show her run in the hot conditions which she usually excels in. Lauren had a challenging year with injuries and I was really impressed by how she was able to overcome those obstacles and arriving in Beijing fit and ready to go. Her swim was one of her best at a championship race and a few seconds more there or in the first lap of the bike might have made all the difference, but to not get a chance to show what she had on the run was frustrating.
All in all, although I didn't go into the race expecting to have a medal, I thought if things went right we could have top 16 performances and if everything clicked we might have a top 8 or two. So it was disappointing to come out of the race without anyone in the top 20. We have some work to do with our womens program leading into London, and there will be a hard look at where we are at in the coming months.
My major impressions of the race were Snowsill's dominance under all the pressure and the lack of any significant tactics on the swim and bike. There was a number of athletes whose strengths suited making the bike more tactical and who might have been able to get away had they taken the risk. Tactics like we saw in the womens race in Vancouver for instance. However doing it at the games is another thing all together with everything on the line. Much like in athletics, the higher stakes at championship races often means athletes are less willing to take risks and tend to conserve until closer to the end. The conditions also played a role with the course and the heat, but I can't help but feel that there were some missed opportunities.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Will post thoughts on the races in the next coming days. For now here are a couple articles:
Olympics turn ratings to pure gold for CBC
Viewership up 15 per cent over 2004 Games; 2.574 million watch Whitfield's silver triathlon finish
From my hometown newpaper in Cornwall Ontario:
City native Filliol shares in Olympic medal victory
Coached silver medalist Simon Whitfield to victory
And some props from Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star:
Canadian coaches stand out among the best in the world
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"This was a story of possibility. If we fund our athletes, if we are innovative, if we do not bow to the nattering chorus, if we are talented, and if we are brave enough to commit our whole selves to winning knowing how much more crushing it will be should we fail, then Canada can compete with anybody. Then Canada can win."
- Bruce Arthur, National Post August 19, 2008
My thoughts on the races are coming - I'm going to enjoy the Olympic experience for the next few days.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The clouds rolled back in for day 4 here in Beijing today, but it was still relatively cool temperature wise. I went out for a run first thing again (4 days in a row - woohoo :-), and didn't see too many people out this time. The early morning runs (which Kim pointed out are actually the same time as I usually run at home, 5pm pacific) have been great to get onto the time zone.
Training wise it was a pretty smooth and simple day with the women doing their pre race routines including morning run with strides, short activation swim in the pool and a bike spin with accelerations, while the guys did a ride around the reservoir early and then the pool swim at the same time as the women. We had 8 athletes swimming in the pool today with 5 different workouts going on, all in 3 lanes.
Today we watched the mens eight rowers dominate and "crush the dreams" of the other teams - awesome performance and an inspiration to the women who are racing tomorrow to really go for it, and leave everything on the course. Going into the Olympics as a gold medal favorite is a whole other experience than "making the team" and just being happy to be there. Seeing the rowers execute under that pressure was a real highlight and what it is all about. Canada is on the medal board now after a great weekend with some excellent performances in rowing, wrestling and a great swim from Ryan Cochrane of Victoria finishing with the bronze medal in the 1500m.
Before dinner Tom, Gabor and I took the womens bikes to the race venue, where they were inspected for logos and handlebars (there are strict logo rules in the Olympics for equipment, in the case of bikes, only one manufacturer logo per side). They'll pick the bikes up race morning before the warm up and finally placing them in the transition.
The few days we've been here have flown by and its time for the women to have their go. They are ready and looking forward to giving everything they have tomorrow. Send them good vibes!
Our third day in Beijing was another beautiful day, with the sun shining on clear blue skies. I am told that the pollution index the last two days was near the lowest in a few years. The rain that passed through a couple of days ago has cooled the temperatures off from what most were expecting. We prepared a number of cooling methods to deal with the heat post training but haven't needed to use many of them yet. We're prepared if we need them but so far have been fine. We had this great bug ice tub provided by the COC sitting the lobby of the villa so we decided to pump it up and put it to use anyway. After the battery unit supplied with the tub failed, Gabor, Tom and Rob took turns pumping it up with a bike pump. That took a while... Meanwhile to fill the tub with ice the hotel was charging us ~$8 per grocery sized bag... lets just say it took more than 10 bags to bring the temp to the right spec...
Training wise yesterday was similar to the previous day. Most of the team did a run in the early am, had breakfast then went off to the course for the cycle, followed by another swim on the course. All the athletes were at this session as it was the last official swim training session before the venue is closed on Sunday for rehearsals. It was interesting to see all the athletes in various states: some looking nervous, some tired, some joking around, others very serious. A couple of the favorites looking like they may be having issues... we'll see soon enough!
At the end of the swim training triathlon Legend Greg Welch was on site working for Oakley, giving his sponsored athletes fresh specs for the race. Country colored frames like Aussie green and yellow, and of course red and white for Canada. Greg was kind enough to give the coach a pair too, thanks Greg!
The next activity was the race briefing. The briefing content is all pretty much the same as you get at any ITU World cup, plus after the managers meeting I gave our troops the need to know info. There was definitely some energy among the athletes as the briefing means that the race is really almost here. Also at the briefing the pontoon draw was held. The ITU has done away with this at world cups now as it takes too long, but for the Olympics for TV purposes they still use it. This time the top ten athletes drew blind, followed by the rest of the field drawing publicly, and revealing the top ten once all the selections are made. The mens side lined up mostly left to right and the women right to left, interestingly. The pontoon selection can make a difference depending who an athlete starts beside (faster or slower for instance) and where they are relative to the fastest swimmers in the field. But mostly its a lot of drama compared to its actual importance.
At the briefing the ITU announced the replacement of a few athletes, with Nadia Cortassa out and replaced by another Italian woman, as well as Hendrick Devilliers and Dmitry Gaag also out, but replaced by a Hungarian and Ukrainian. No official reasons were given for the mens replacements.
Also at the briefing Les McDonald announced that the ITU has secured a new multi-million dollar sponsor to replace the BG group which pulled out of triathlon earlier this year. Its supposed to be revealed on Tuesday after the mens race... stay tuned...
Friday, August 15, 2008
It was a beautiful day in Beijing today. The skies were blue and clear, revealing the spectacular venue where the triathlon will be held. Check out my flickr page for the latest pics. We started the day early with another jog on the bike course. I got in another 50 mins to yesterdays 56 mins - I'm feeling a bit more fit than last year when I could barely make it around one lap of the bike course from the villa (about 8km). Last year Rob H had to practically escort me back to the villa as I'm sure it looked like I was going to die. This year I debated doing another lap or two, but then thought I'd better conserve energy for the remainder of the day.
Our main activities today were a bike ride and a swim on the race course. Since this was the first official training we had to go through the security check point prior to gaining entry to the swim course and transition areas. Fortunately everyone got through without any trouble including Kyle and Kirsten who were able to get in a swim on the Olympic course. The bike ride went smoothly with Gabor on hand just in case any adjustments were needed.
The swim went well with the crew doing about a lap and a half of the course including some mini sets to tune up. Its a unique swim course compared to many of the races on the ITU circuit with one 1500m lap rather than two laps. Its 560m to the first buoy which gives some time for things to spread out, instead of the mad dash to the first buoy which is often the case. Its still be a dash alright, but slightly less hectic that usual.
After the swim the athletes did their CBC interviews with Barrie and then headed back to the villa for some R&R. Tomorrow will be another similar day, with the last official course training before the local organizers shut down the course on Sunday for rehearsals prior to the womens event on Monday.
Tom and I headed off to the Managers meeting as well today. No surprises - basically the same meeting as we've experienced dozens of times, with everything taking a little longer due to the levels of organization surrounding the Olympic games.
Our full team is now here at the villa with Carolyn arriving from Korea this afternoon. The team looks great and the energy is very good. All in all things have gone pretty smoothly so far (it sure helps having excellent food to keep the spirits high).
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The second wave of the Canadian triathlon team arrived in Beijing yesterday, including myself, team massage therapist Kim Ward, Doc Steve Keeler, athletes Lauren Groves, Kathy Tremblay, Paul Tichelaar, and team alternate Kirsten Sweetland. The travel and arrival at the airport went pretty smoothly, with plenty of volunteers eager to assist. Lauren and Paul had to head over to the Olympic Village to fix an accreditation issue, but made it back to the villa not long after the rest of us arrived. They were pretty excited seeing all the international athletes for their short stay in the village and mentioned that the food was pretty good...
The travel up our accommodation went smoothly and everything looks great here at the Villa. We are between the Italian cycling team and the Portuguese triathlon team. The French and Japanese teams are here as well, with many of the teams opting to stay here within walking distance of the race course. The Jundu hotel is also the ITU hotel for officials so the place has the feel of a regular world cup, with all the familiar faces from the World Cup circuit.
The first wave of the team, including the team leader Tom Patrick, mechanic Gabor Herner, chef Cosmo means and assistant coach Phil Bertrand did a great job setting up the place before we arrived. The villas have been renovated since we were here last year, no doubt with the amount it costs to stay here they could afford to clean the place up for us and the other teams staying here. The Jundu hotel and villas is a bit of a bizarre place. I get the feeling it must be pretty dead here most of the year. The compound and hotel are enormous and its mostly empty, even for the games. I'll take a few more photos of the area in the next few days to post on my flickr page.
Seems everyone slept well last night and was up this morning ready for the final preparations before the races next Monday and Tuesday. The athletes did a jog this morning before heading over to the pool here at the hotel. They have an indoor 25m pool which is handy being right on the hotel grounds. Today were we the only ones swimming at the pool, most teams were likely at the first open water training practice this morning.
I went for a run with a loop of the bike course also this morning. There was a bike course tour scheduled for 10am, but at even at 7.30 there was a plethora of volunteers out around the course, perhaps practicing for when the cyclists eventually come through. The volunteers are very keen to help with anything and there is more than enough to line most of the course cheering for the athletes out training. No doubt they were impressed with my pace this morning given the clapping and cheering as a shuffled by... :-)
Our afternoon cycling session got rained out by a torrential downpour that flooded many of the roads. Paul went out just before it started to darken and he was back in a hurry when the rain started, unfortunately getting his new Olympic Cervelo dirty... Good thing we packed a few trainers as the rain has been coming down for a couple hours now.
The final team members arrive this afternoon, including athletes Colin Jenkins and Simon Whitfield, team alternate Kyle Jones and Chiro Rob Hawsagawa. Tomorrow we are going out for a ride on the bike course and the open water swim. With the race start at 10am for both the men and women we'll be getting most of our training done in the mornings. Thinking we might have a bit of free time in the afternoons we set up a sling-box to watch the Canadian CBC Olympic feeds, and I brought my Nintendo Wii for some entertainment. However when setting up the Wii today, I forgot to check if the power brick was a dual voltage (most are), and judging by the loud "pop" and ensuing burning smell, I quickly figured out it was not... ouch.
Here are few of the latest news items:
Simon Whifield on his way to Beijing in search of gold
Sharie Epp, Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008
With kisses for partner Jennie Sprigings and 13-month-old Pippa, a big smile, and a wave good-bye, Simon Whitfield walked through the departure gate of Victoria International Airport on his way to Beijing Wednesday.
OUR OLYMPIANS: Lauren Groves
Fellow Kingstonian athlete inspired woman's interest in triathlon
Posted By JANE SWITZER FOR THE WHIG-STANDARD
Fifteenth in a series profiling Kingston's contributions to the Canadian Olympic team.
Lauren Groves' athletic accomplishments come from a combination of hard work and persistence, but not necessarily genetics.
Knox column: More than medals make Olympians
Jack Knox, Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008
So, there I was wobbling downhill on my bike, the twin laws of gravity and incompetence bringing me ever closer to Ryder Hesjedal's back wheel, when this imaginary headline popped into my head: "Times Colonist writer crashes into Olympic cyclist, crushes Canada's dreams."
Where are the medals?
Sun columnist Terry Jones looks back at the wait Canada's endured at prior Summer Games
By TERRY JONES, Sun Media
The woman who has been described as “the Wal-Mart greeter” at Canada House, the first person a medal-winning athlete sees before coming into contact with the other 30 volunteers at the venue where our nation celebrates medal victories with family, friends and fans, hasn't seen anybody show up with a medal around their neck yet.
Olympic athletes look for strategies to fight smog and heat
August 09, 2008
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR
(Aug 9, 2008)
Environmental fears hung over these Olympics like toxic storm clouds.
Would these be the seriously and literally dirty Games, as opposed to other merely drug-dirty Games?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Victoria athlete packs pill that's said to ease stress and boost endurance
Paul Luke, The Province
Published: Sunday, August 10, 2008
Olympic athletes groaning under the weight of overstuffed suitcases may envy Victoria's Lauren Groves when she arrives in Beijing this week for the triathlon.
Groves will be lighter on her feet than rival triathletes who have crammed dozens of bottles of vitamins and minerals in their bags to see them through their gruelling event.
Groves, 26, avoided supplement angst by finding pretty much everything she wants in a new product called 7systems.
more at The Province
Turn the spotlight to the athletes
Published: Friday, August 08, 2008
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad officially open today in Beijing. For the next 17 days, it's time to place the focus where it belongs -- on the athletes. They have trained years for this opportunity to test themselves against the best in the world. Through hard work and sacrifice, they earned that chance and deserve their moment to shine.
That's certainly what Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France had in mind when he spearheaded the advent of the modern games in the late 19th century.
More at the Times Colonist
Simon Whitfield defies heat, hills, and smog in Beijing
By Jeff Paterson
To give you an idea of just how far the sport of triathlon has advanced in a relatively short time, Victoria’s Simon Whitfield can only laugh at the suggestion that the performance that was good enough to earn him the sport’s first ever Olympic gold medal in Sydney, back in 2000, could garner a similar result in Beijing this month.
“Our sport has evolved so much, with different players coming in and taking the level up,” Whitfield told the national media on a pre-Olympic conference call, fondly reliving his greatest achievement.
More at Straight.com
New article from Jenkins on Slowtwitch:
Cervelo Presents The Road To Beijing: Part 5
Written by: Colin Jenkins
Date: Sat Aug 09 2008
The Olympics were kicked off this morning with the Opening Ceremonies to open the 2008 Summer Olympic Games! I was able to catch a little bit of the spectacular show on my computer before I was off to swim practice here in Victoria. Yes that is right, I am still in Canada when the Games have already started. We are actually do not leave for Beijing until the 13th when we fly FIRST CLASS to Beijing from Vancouver.
Read the rest on ST
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Whitfield eyes return to glory
2000 Olympic champ has firm belief in abilities
Cleve Dheensaw, Victoria Times Colonist; Canwest News Service
Published: 2:02 am
VICTORIA - In 2000, Simon Whitfield sprinted to the finish line in the shadow of the Sydney Opera House. It seems he has been trying to run out of it ever since.
The moment that has come to define him is both boon and curse. Ever since winning the inaugural gold medal in the men's triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Simon Whitfield has had to live up to being Simon Whitfield.
More at Canada.com
Road to Excellence looks ahead to 2012
Posted By DONNA SPENCER, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Posted 5 hours ago
WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF BREAKING A bone in his foot, diver Alexandre Despatie was on a plane to Boston to see rehabilitation specialist.
When Canada's triathletes, including Kingston native Simon Whitfield, arrive in Beijing next week, they'll have a house to themselves a few metres from a training pool and less than a kilometre from the Olympic course at the Ming Tombs Reservoir.
The men's gymnastics team has been to China each of the last two years to train at the Olympic venue and compete against the host Chinese.
Canada's top medal hopefuls at the 2008 Summer Games, which open Friday, got a sports psychologist when they needed it and had their massage and physiotherapy sessions paid for.
All of the above cost money and it doesn't come from a magic ATM.
More at the Kingston Whig-Standard
Swim, bike, run and be Mr. Support
Triathlete Tichelaar is entering the best summer of his life, even if he might be Whitfield's caddy
By TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA
BEIJING -- As the Olympic Games get set to begin here, Paul Tichelaar remained at home preparing.
For his wedding.
And the Olympics.
Three weeks after he competes here, the Edmonton triathlete returns home to be wed to Lindsay Acheson.
More at the Edmonton Sun
Bill Davoren's Olympic Games Preview
Wednesday, 06 August 2008
With the Olympics just around the corner, we asked Australia's Head Triathlon coach, Bill Davoren, for his views on how both races might unfold. Bill also gives us an individual look at the whole Australian team. While the team is split at the moment, with Densham, Kahlefeldt and Davoren in France and the rest of the group in Australia with their medical and coaching team, the group comes together later this week to make their final preparations to vie for an elusive gold medal.
More at First Off the Bike
5:01 PM Tue, Aug 05, 2008
That's the term used by Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC's medical commission, regarding the case of seven female Russian track and field athletes suspended last week by track's governing body, the IAAF. Five of the athletes were on the Russian Olympic roster, including middle distance star Yelena Soboleva, considered by many the favorite in the 1,500 meters on Beijing.
More on the Dallas News Olympic Blog
All-out war in the water
Murray loves many things about triathlon, but the swimming low blows are not one of them
By DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA
To Carolyn Murray, it's not about being next to other competitors during the swimming portion of a triathon that's an issue.
It's having them on top of her, kicking and punching in order to gain an advantage that's a problem.
Especially since she's had to train hard in order to become a world-class swimmer.
"There are moments where you want to stop and say 'OK girls, lets just settle down and swim,' " Murray said. "It's not a problem just having people close by, it's because they're beating you up and trying to slow you down that's a bit frustrating. It's the same for everyone and I really just try to keep moving. But I find that if you retaliate, you're just going to get it back worse.
"There are certain athletes that are more aggressive than others and I try not to start beside them," she added. "But there is not much you can do, you just have to keep your head down and keep swimming."
More at the Edmonton Sun
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Being Simon Whitfield
Cleve Dheensaw, Canwest News Service
Published: Sunday, August 03, 2008
He sprinted to gold in the first Olympic men's triathlon.
Refocused and rejuvenated, he heads to Beijing ready to swim, bike and run for the podium
Born: May 16, 1975, Kingston, Ont.
Home town: Kingston, Ont.
Height: Five foot nine
Weight: 154 pounds
On team since: 1994
- 2000 Olympic champion, becoming the first male triathlete to win a gold medal in triathlon at the Olympic Games.
More at the Ottawa Citizen
Cervelo Cycles a major player in Tour de France, Olympics
Successful riders like billboards for the Canadian company
Posted By BY DONNA SPENCER, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Posted 1 month ago
Some of the fastest legs in the world will pedal Canadian- made bikes in both the Tour de France and at the Olympic Games this summer.
This is the sixth year of the Tour that the bottoms of the multi-national Team CSC will be on bikes designed by Toronto's Cervelo Cycles.
The 95th Tour de France opens Saturday in Brest, France. The 21- stage, 3,500-kilometre race ends July 27 in Paris.
CSC Saxo Bank includes previous stage winners Fabian Cancellera of Spain, Jens Voigt of Germany and perennial contender Carlos Sastre of Spain.
The Canadian men's triathlon team -- Paul Tichelaar, Colin Jenkins and gold medallist Simon Whitfield -- will be on Cervelo bikes in the Olympic Games. World champion Javier Gomez of Spain will also be on a Cervelo in Beijing.
More from the Canadian Press
Canadians bring several compelling plot lines to Beijing
John MacKinnon, Canwest News Service
Published: Sunday, August 03, 2008
BEIJING - Finally, Olympic competition may be about the journey, after all, not the destination.
Yes, yes, all athletes want to perform on the day and win, if possible. Or at least, win a medal.
But if getting there isn't half the fun, it sure makes for some compelling plot lines.
I arrived in Beijing having followed significant parts of the Olympic journey of a wide swath of Canadians over the last several years, and virtually all those from Edmonton.
It will be hugely compelling to see how these stories turn out.
More at the Vancouver Sun
BEIJING OLYMPICS PREVIEW: PART 2 OF 6: CANADA'S CHANCES: DESPITE THE COMPETITION, THERE'S OPTIMISM THAT CANADA'S DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF OLYMPIC MEDALS WILL END
Buoyant athletes sense a turnaround
August 4, 2008
Canada's athletes came out of the Athens Olympic Games looking like Napoleon's bedraggled soldiers returning from Russia.
Canada brought home 12 medals, the smallest take of hardware since the scandal-darkened days of Seoul in 1988. The country was shut out in the marquee sports of track and swimming. The first whitewash in the Olympic pool in half a century was followed by a mutiny against coach Dave Johnson. The performance continued a downward spiral in Summer Olympic success, from 22 medals at Atlanta in 1996 to 14 at Sydney in 2000.
More at the Globe and Mail