World University Winter Games Opening

Originally posted on Callum Watson:

The expectations for this year’s Universiade were honestly very low. I came here to Strbske Pleso many years ago and it was more or less quite a run down facility from an era during the 70’s that would have looked like a promising affluent ski resort. It was all a bit sad really – I find it hard to see once great and promising places just being left to rot.

Amazingly now however, lots has changed! With huge developments and refurbishments it has actually turned out to be an awesome venue for these championships. Unfortunately, the big jump has still not been touched and appears to only be used as a satellite tower – a little sad for those who worked towards creating such an amazing structure. Who knows, there may be plans to give it the maintenance it deserves.


The opening ceremony was an absolute blast and being given…

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Phil and Jess finish in 8th, gain Australia’s highest ever finish at a Winter Universiade

Day one of the World University Winter Games could not have started better for Australia with Phil Bellingham and Jessica Yeaton both finishing in 8th place in the skate sprint. This results surpasses Australia’s previous highest finish of 9th place by Esther Bottomley in Turkey 2011 and shows the form that both Phil and Jess are in as they head into the important part of the year.


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Let the 2015 Winter Universiade begin!

The 2015 World University Winter Games begin tonight with a skate sprint. The event will be held in Strbske Pleso which is in Slovakia. Australia will be represented by Phillip Bellingham, Callum Watson, Jessica Yeaton, Jackson Bursill and Anna Trnka.

“With three members of our World Cup Team this is one of the strongest teams that we have sent to the university games,” commented SSA XC High Performance Manager Finn Marsland. “All five athletes seem to be coming into form at the right time and it will be exciting to see how they can perform.” The best ever Australian cross country skiing result at the WUWG was 9th by Esther Bottomley in the Freestyle Sprint in 2011, and the best ever distance result was 18th by Chris Heberle in the 15km Freestyle in 1991. Continue reading

Training in Bozeman

Originally posted on Paul Kovacs:

Ok, so I’ll admit I’m writing this with less than ideal sleeping hours under my belt and probably one cup of coffee too many this early in the morning. So if this post seems a little shaky or I start rambling on I do apologise in advance!

Why didn’t I get enough hours of sleep? As an athlete shouldn’t I be totally onto this? We’ll you’re right and I did drop the ball a little, luckily today is an easier day of training for me and a nap is definitely in order later!

I’m still in Bozeman and at the moment I’m babysitting the family dog, a 13 year old husky with mild anxiety issues. Since I’m the only one at home, he decided to sleep in my room. If you don’t believe dogs snore, come hang out with me and Beans for a night! It’s like sleeping in the…

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Czeching out the Championships

Originally posted on Half an Adventure:

The first thing I should do is apologise for the title of the blog, but I’m not going to. It’s time for this pun to have its time in the sun, even though the country in questions seems completely bereft of sunshine.

The following morning after arriving back from my last lot of races in Lackenhof (Lower Austria), I headed off with Aimee Watson to Nové Město na Moravě, which translates to ‘New Town in Moravia’, for one of the races of the Czech Republic National Championships. Moravia is basically the eastern third of Czech Republic, with the rest of the country being Bohemia (think Prague and most of the tourist spots) and Czech Silesia. We were both there to chase FIS points and qualify for World Championships in Sweden, hence the short period between races and the somewhat abrupt decision to travel 500km in either direction to do only a…

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Tour De Canmore

Originally posted on AUSXC Junior Development Tour :

Waking up in Canmore is something not many can complain about. The surrounding mountains are a sight for sore eyes, not to mention easing pain that came with the thought of the three races ahead. That’s three days of grueling Western Canadian Champs (a small step down from Canadian Nationals). We had close to no idea of what the competition would be like and especially how our results would differ considering the difficulty of the World Cup courses. But fear we did not, four weeks of training and race preparation ensured the self confidence that we had what it takes.


Come Tuesday morning, the whole team were shocked to find out that Veronique’s bruised/sprained wrist from Saturday’s ice hockey game turned out to be a broken arm. Oops!

We were lucky enough to have a contact in the prestigious Canmore Nordic Ski Club, the one and only Allison McArdle, who…

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Esther Bottomley and the La Diagonela

The La Diagonela is a new classic ski marathon held in the beautiful Engadine Valley in Switzerland. This 65km event has been included as part of the Swix Ski Classic series and thus attracted a large field including all the pro-teams. Due to lack of snow the race was shortened to 42km.

Racers in the La Diagonela cross a bridge near Zouz. Pic taken from

Australian Esther Bottomley competed with for her Italian Pro-Team – Team Xcalibur Lillsport. She finished in 14th position in a time of 2:41.08 just behind two Norwegians and in front of a girl from the Czech Republic.


Esther Bottomley (15) of Team Xcalibur Lillsport skiing behind Sweden’s Nina Lintzen (5) from Team Ski ProAm

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