A typical sunny RMISA racing experience this past weekend:
Monday, February 27, 2017
With eight years' worth of post-collegiate World Cup experience and a couple Olympic Games under her belt, Sara's not a bad person to have a chat with if you've got any questions about ski racing and how to do it better.
|Here's Sara making sure the men are ready for yesterday's start.|
|Debriefing with Zacke and Marcus|
|Consulting with Sadie, who had a rough skate race|
|Consulting with Hannah post-race|
Saturday, February 25, 2017
We all gathered at 3AM at UAA to catch a 5am flight to Colorado for the NCAA western region championships. It was a long and difficult journey, but some of us caught up on our sleep along the way.
And guess who flew in from New York City for the weekend to help us this weekend? Mario Roncador! Mario is living the dream these days, flying all around the United States of America and taking care of all kinds of business. He has been a great help to Sara and me this weekend, as Andrew had to miss this trip for the impending birth of a family member. Thank you to Mario for not only helping with the physical work and ski testing, but also for all the great entertainment this weekend! It's been a real pleasure having him back in the UAA team house. (There's a rumor going around that he might come visit us in New Hampshire next week at the NCAA Championships. It wouldn't be the first time an Italian ex-UAA skier showed up at NCAA's to help our team. Check out this flashback from 2013 in Middlebury, Vermont.)
|Sadie, Hannah and The Quail. And Tom|
|Here we are at the RMISA banquet, alpine skiers, coaches and all.|
|Hey, it's Mario!|
|We're getting enough to eat...|
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Some people think curling and bandy are the same thing. They’re not. They are very different.
But it’s easy to see how folks could get confused. Both games are obscure sports played in northern countries on ice. Both sports have a fanatical following in the little corner of the world where they are played. In the case of curling, we’re talking about Canada. And when it comes to bandy, it’s Sweden. And both games have a beer culture associated with them.
But here’s where the differences begin. In curling, the beer is often consumed during the match (think bowling). But in bandy, the first beer is rarely poured until after the match is over. Another distinction between the two sports is that only one of them is an Olympic sport. I bet you’ll be shocked to find out which one. I’ll give you a hint: It’s the one where you don’t wear a helmet but you do wear clothes like this:
|No, this is not an a cappella group. These four dandies are the members of Norway's Olympic curling team. You can tell they are real curlers by the way they hold their brooms, with the bristles up so they don't smoosh them.|
If you know anything at all about Scandinavia, you probably know that Sweden and Norway have had a long and bitter rivalry. These two countries have been at each others' throats since long before the Birkebeiners carried Håkon Håkonsson over the mountains from Lillehammer to Rena in the year 1206. And it continues to this day.
Seawolf skier Hanna Slotte finished up her studies last spring and headed back to her Swedish home. Naturally, with her college skiing career behind her, Hanna was looking for a new and exciting sport to dive into. She took one look at the photo of the Norwegian curling team above and decided that a year or two spent at Meråker was plenty enough Norwegian culture for one lifetime, so she decided to do the patriotic thing and took up bandy instead.
Hanna has spent the winter working her way up through the ranks of the Swedish bandy federation. And her success in her new sport has been so meteoric that she’s already earned a spot as an “anfallare” (attacker) on the Uppsala BOIS A-team in the "Allsvenskan" league, Sweden’s second division. That’s just one division below Sweden’s premier bandy division, comprised of the best bandy players in Sweden!
|How are you going to get past this?|
I was so impressed with Hanna’s success in this sport, and wanting to catch her in action before she got so big and famous that I wouldn’t be able to get access to her anymore, I skipped two days’ worth of UAA Ski Team practices earlier this week and took the UAA Nordic Ski Team Blog's private jet over the pole to try to catch a glimpse of number 19 in action in an Uppsala BOIS second division game. I was lucky to snag one of the last tickets for the game at the ticket window before they sold out. Here are a few of the photos I was able to get of Hanna in action.
|Check out the "transfer" that Hanna picked up on her right elbow. And now check out the color of the opposing team's helmets. They don't call her an "anfallare" for nothing! You might get past Hanna, but she's going to make you pay.|
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Andrew and Sara put me to work this past week as the stadium announcer for our series of home races. After a full day of hearing my own voice blasting back at me through Kincaid Park’s PA system, all I wanted during the drive home was to turn on the car radio and hear the soft soothing voice of a National Public Radio newsreader telling me sweet stories about Donald Trump’s newest scandal or latest tweet. But when I flipped on the radio, what did I hear? I heard my own voice coming across the airwaves – in an interview that I’d done earlier in the week. I couldn’t escape myself!
But I wasn’t the only one in the interview. My segment was during the second half of the hour; the first half hour featured other guests. And as I listened to the discussion of the first half-hour, I realized that something sounded very familiar about it. I got the feeling I’d heard these people before. But where and when had I heard these voices? Why were they so familiar?
And suddenly it hit me! It was those heavyfooting pioneers! I'd been fascinated by the documentary about the innovative and revolutionary advances made by Corey Staab when he single-handedly pulled the underground sport of heavyfooting out of the shadows and into the spotlight. And here I was, witnessing another Corey Staab moment! I was listening to Jesse Jayson!
Monday, February 13, 2017
As you may be aware, we held the UAA Invitational college meet this weekend. Everybody was there. Trying to be the race announcer while simultaneously taking these pictures had a significant detrimental impact on the quality of both. But anyway, here they are. Your favorite Seawolf is likely in here somewhere**.
|Zacke Toresson & Pietro Mosconi|
|Zacke Toresson & Pietro Mosconi|
|See how Zacke's tracks are the only straight-line tracks across the stadium? That's what we like to see.|
**...unless your favorite Seawolf's name Marcus Deuling, in which case there are no photos of him on this page because he wasn't feeling well on race morning and wasn't able to join our fun.