Today was an official day off so no racing for any of us nordic skiers. So what better way to spend the day than exploring Whistler? Our coach Tom, actually organized a scavenger hunt as a team building exercise and had us running all over the place looking for stuff and learning about Whistler. As corny as it sounds, it was a lot of fun! In this photo is Margarita, Mary's sister Leanne, Kathy, Mary, my dad Rick, my mom Margo and yours truly. Among other things, we learned that Whistler was originally called London Mountain because of all the rain and fog and that it got the name Whistler after all of the hoary marmots in the area and the sound that they make. Somehow there seems to be a marmot theme to this ski season....Three Marmots Tea Company in Bessans, including their special Aroma of Marmot flavour (I kid you not!), then the fact that Whistler was named after some breed of marmot and the fact that one of the four Games mascots, Muk muk, is a marmot.
We had to collect photos of ourselves at certain spots throughout Whistler, including the inukshuk. I was with my mom and dad, Leanne and Margarita and we were awesome! We beat back Andrea's team to the finish by more than 10 minutes even though we left the last checkpoint at the same time...luckily for my team, my dad has a very good sense of direction and found a huge shortcut through some trails back to finish while Andrea and her team stuck to the roads and essentially had to walk all the way around Whistler to get to the finish. Okay, she also stopped to buy some nice gifts along the way so it wasn't just her sense of direction that took all the extra time! And yes, I'm giving her a bad time, but she fully admits to the fact that she is directionally challenged though she has never once taken me the wrong way out on a ski course. Though I'm not sure our wax tech David will be going skiing with Andrea any time soon after she took him out for what was supposed to be a short ski and turned into a 2 1/2 hour tour of Norwegian Woods trail....twice! I think Andrea proved to be a bit too fast for David so he was definitely done by the time they got back.
Because today was a day off, I also got a chance to hang out with my parents and Don a bit in the village along with Joan and Sue. Mom and I did a leisurely tour of the Whistler village while Don and Dad sat outside and enjoyed a cup of coffee. In the evening, Andrea and I, along with Margarita, headed over to Saskatchewan House and ironically, all three of us have a connection to that province. Andrea proudly calls Regina home, my dad was born and grew up in North Battleford and Margarita's parents made the decision to emigrate to Canada from Russia when they competed at some World Cup races held in Saskatchewan in the 1990's. This photo is of Andrea with her parents, Mo and Michelle, at Saskatchewan House.
So you can see that things have been busy for me, which explains my slow posting, but I'll catch up, I promise!