Sweden: Expectation vs. Reality

Half an Adventure

Hello again from Östersund, where I will start the post with some high quality observations, proceed to a race report, then to an adventure report, and afterwards the quality of my writing will go downhill. Well done if you make it to the end. Also, please click the ‘follow’ button on the bottom right hand corner of your screen, then you will get email updates! Just what you wanted for Christmas!

Expectation: Sweden in winter is snowy, cold and dark.

Reality: We are in Östersund during possibly its worst winter in memory. Temperatures are normally between -10 and -5, instead the temperature is between about 0 and 5, or 10 degrees above average. This means those nice thick gloves I bought in Italy haven’t been used yet.

Reality: We get 5cm of snow every couple of days, but each time it warms up again, sometimes raining a little, which…

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Daniel Karlssons Minne – Race Report

The Daniel Karlssons Minne is a 5/7.5km mass start skate race held in Ostersund on the 28th of December. Casey Wright finished third in the 19-20 age class. This was Casey’s first race in Sweden and was a solid effort as she finished only 19.9 second behind the winner. In the open female class Ash Spittle finished 8th and Ellie Phillips 9th. In the men’s event Jackson Bursill finished in 12th, Nick Montgomery 13th and Alasdair Tutt in 15th. Image Continue reading

Ice, Ice, Baby.

Ash Spittle

It has now been a week since we arrived in Ostersund, Sweden, and our time has been filled mainly with training, eating and sleeping. I feel that I am in danger of writing a very boring post if I attempt to describe our daily activities, so instead I have picked three things from the last week to cover. Ice, Ice, Baby.

Ice-Rink Roads
On Christmas Eve we had a little bit of rain and some warm temperatures come through which turned our snowy roads into a very slippery ice rink. The roads have been so slick that it’s been a challenge to walk 10 metres to the cabin next door without falling over, so I’m sure those of you that ski can appreciate how difficult walking around in ski boots has been! We’re not the only ones struggling with the slippery slopes however, as a few of us were…

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Phillip Bellingham to race the Tour de Ski

What-Phil-saidIf the first challenge is to get to the start line then Phillip Bellingham has certainly earned his way to the 8th edition of the FIS Tour de Ski, which begins tomorrow in Oberhof, Germany. The 22-year-old World Cup Team athlete from Mt Beauty will become the second Australia ever to start the Tour de Ski, the biggest event on the cross country skiing World Cup circuit which this year will feature seven events in three countries over a nine day period. However the event wasn’t always on Phillip’s schedule this winter, and finishing the event is still not one of his goals. Continue reading

Merry Christmas from the Australian Ski Team!

My crazy 6 days in Italy

Paul Kovacs. Elite Cross-Country Skier

So I have finished my whirlwind trip to Val Di Fiemme Italy. In and out in just six days but in the last week I have raced over 80kms and in 5 separate starts. I’ll admit I’m including the 30km and sprint World Cup in Davos. Last Monday the team packed up in Davos and the men’s team headed south into Italy and back into Val di Fiemme for the World University Games. We had already missed a few races because we stayed in Davos and the remaining events were all distance, which suited me fine. Europe and realistically most of the world is having a bad winter, so the only snow at the course were two separate 2.5km loops, just a grooming width wide.

So after arriving on the Monday afternoon and doing a quick ski in the evening to look at the course, we raced a 10km skate…

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It was a long and dark December (Anna’s video blog)

A quick training and racing montage from my past couple weeks in Ostersund (in northern Sweden). I’ve had a great time here and gotten some bulk training done in the last few weeks, including some PB race results. As you can see in the video there isn’t tons of daylight here and even when it is sunny the sun doesn’t hit the ground, but with the shortest day of the winter over (21st of December) it’s only going to get better from here. More training, adventures and a Christmas video to follow soon!