Vieumäki Finland - Otepää Estonia

World Junior Championships

January 16, 2011

Start time: 4.30am.

Course Details: Calgary – Toronto – Frankfurt – Helskinki – Vierumaki

Elapsed time: 27 hours

January 17, 2011

First ski in Vierumaki! The ski trails here are a quick walk from hotel we’re staying at, Scandic Hotel. The accommodation, food, people and skiing are all top notch. The clouds stay very low here, come to think of it, I haven’t seen the sun since we left Canada. That sounds really miserable, but I guess the great skiing makes up for it all. Lots of good laughs here with the Canadian team.

Heidi - Janelle - Annika

January 18, 2011

More skiing in the am and in the evening, the bowling alley at the hotel was grounds for a Canadian/American ‘bowl-off’. For the most part, I’m thinking most of us should stick to skiing and leave the bowling for the pinheads. It was great to meet most of the Americans who will be competing in Otepaa as well as have some friendly competition before it gets serious on the race trails.

Annika with her game face isn't fazed by the shady moves in the background.

Janelle showing us how its done.

January 19, 2011

In the 70’s my mom spent some time in Finland and, go figure, she made some friends. Hannu and Pierrko live in Lahti, which is about 30 minute drive from where I was staying in Vierumaki. The generous Hannu came to Vierumaki to pick me up and show me the sights around Lahti. We headed to the ski jumps, which are by far the tallest thing on the horizon here in Lahti and have hosted many Ski Jumping as well as Cross-country competitions. After grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant on site, we checked out a skiing exhibit showcasing the history of skiing, as well as the history of Finnish women in skiing. Cool stuff. I was excited to be able to see some tourist sights before leaving Finland.

The climbing wall on the side of the ski jump.

Hannu checking out some of the really old school rollerskis. Leather ski boots anyone?

This is for Kate.

At the ski jump in Lahti. It's huge.

January 20, 2011

Jumpin’ Town. 7 of the athletes are leaving Vierumaki today to get an early start in Estonia and race the World Cups this weekend!

Alysson Marshall, Emily Nishikawa and I will be joining Chandra Crawford and Dasha Gaiazova for the Canadian start spots this weekend. As for the men, the strong U23’s starting will include Kevin Sandau, Jess Cockney, Michael Somppi and Len Valjas will be hunting down the World’s best.

The trip today is a 2hr drive back to Helsinki where we drive onto the Ferry for a 2hr ride and then complete the journey on the Estonian side of the Gulf of Finland to arrive in Otepaa another 2hrs later.