This past week the Petro-Canada Sports Leadership Conference was in Vancouver. It brought together a large proportion of Canada's national team coaches, sports science people, Own the Podium reps...all told something like 800 delegates, a 100 from over seas. The Canadian Sport Centre Pacific (who I get support from out here in Van) was doing the local organizing so back in September I'd said I'd help out. Friday evening was the Coaching Awards. It was pretty inspiring to hear the stories. And for me, it was cool because Catriona Le May Doan was the emcee. I'm pretty sure everyone I told that had no idea why I was excited, but I grew up watching her race when I was still skating. After that was dinner/"after party" down @ a club/ballroom on Granville St. I'm not sure how all the volunteers ended up being girls, but anyway they had us posted in pairs on the corners from the hotel to the Commodore.... AND they gave us bright orange traffic vests. Lets just say it only took five minutes on our corner to get accosted and invited to some bachelor party. We were out there for about half an hour...
Saturday started off with a breakfast/presentation from Own the Podium. It was kind of interesting to hear the political side of everything. Sounds like the results in 2010 are going to pretty important if the money is going to stay around. After that there were a bunch of sessions running. I sat in on one about recovery and regeneration. The first half was done by a woman from the Australian Institute of Sport. For summer sports the Aussie's seem to usually have things pretty set up so it was interesting to hear their approaches. Their biggest thing seemed to be hot/cold treatments. Apparently massage and compression have no scientific support...? But she also said sometimes athletes are ahead of the research using the example of cyclists drinking flat Coke. They thought it would end up being a bad thing and so did some research to attempt to disprove the cyclists...only to find out it actually was beneficial. The second part was a presentation done by a guy from Russia who worked with Alexandre Despastie after he broke his foot before Beijing. It was a pretty involved rehab process. Not being in HKin (although I got told repeatedly I should be over the weekend) I probably didn't fully appreciate it, but from an athlete's perspective I still found it interesting. It all opened my eyes a bit to how much goes into supporting us athletes. Even if the Canadian sporting system gets complained about a lot there still is a huge network behind us. After a Women in Coaching Luncheon I had to leave to fit my own training in. Rain seems to have hit Vancouver for good unfortunately. I was supposed to head over to a friend's for dinner but didn't finish training til 6...and was done. Tried to get some work in, but pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch by like 9. Oops.
DK (my coach) was in town for CCA meetings after the conference so I met up with her on Sunday for dinner. And I only have one day of school this week before I go to Ontario for the weekend. Short trip, but it'll be nice to get out of campus for a bit seeing as I don't get to go home at all through the semester.
But a week of class, then my mom's in town, last week of class and then a week and a half of finals and I'll be back up in Yellowknife ready to do some XC skiing.