J1 Scando News From Trondheim, Norway

Adam St.Pierre, one of the trip leaders for the US Ski Team U18 Nation’s cup competition wrote the following from Norway.  Colorado RMN skiers attending are Keegan Swirbul (AVSC), Cal DeLine (SSCV), Cully Brown (SSCV), Haakon Sigurslid (DNSC), Evan Weinman (SSWSC), Gretchen Burkholder (SSWSC), and Hailey Swirbul (AVSC).

We’ve been in Norway for a few days and nights now. We are getting adjusted to the time change and into the routine and experimenting with some new foods! It sounds like most of your kids aren’t sending very good updates home, so here’s one from me! Also, check out the J1 Team page on Facebook for some pictures. We are working to get the J1 Trip blog (http://usaj1team.blogspot.com) updated for this year, hopefully tonight (trouble with passwords…)

Breakfast is served buffet style and includes a variety of foods, both familiar and foreign. Some kids are more adventurous than others. Lunch and Supper are served sit down style. Lunch at 12:30, supper at 6. We then have dinner (evening meal) at 8:30. Dinner strongly resembles breakfast.

We usually ski right after breakfast, today we’ll ski in the afternoon under the lights, to prepare for tomorrow’s night sprint. The sun rises around

9:30 and sets at 3:30. Many of the trails are lighted, but we’ve skiied in daylight so far. The people of Trondheim wear reflective high vis garments pretty much all the time, from what I can tell.

The venue is about a 15 minute drive from the hotel, which is right in downtown Trondheim. The other teams arrived last night so we’ll see them today I’m sure. There are 70 girls registered for the races this weekend and

94 boys. There are 6 athletes each from the US, Swe, Est, and Fin. There are the top 6 Nor athletes, who will be scored for nations cup points, then there are dozens of additional Nor athletes who will be here with their home clubs. The kids are nervous about the level of competition, hopefully their nerves result in positive energy!

The venue is called Granasen. They had tons of snow and great skiing from Oct-Dec. but 2 weeks of warm temps and rain wiped it all out just after New Years. They’ve been making snow and trucking it all over the courses. They are hoping to have all the trails for racing prepared today, so far we haven’t been able to train specifically on the course, because no one knows what it will be. The stadium is situated such that you must climb a pretty big hill to leave it, so the courses will all contain some hills. The trails are teared for great spectating from the stadium area which contains bleacher seating for a few hundred people. hopefully we get some spectators for the weekend!

Friday’s classic sprint qualification starts at 4pm. with heats from 5:30-7pm. Saturday are individual start skate races. We won’t start until 11:30am, girls 5km first, then boys 10km. Prior to our races are some open races that will see younger athletes, J6-J2 age. There are 100 athletes or more registered in each class, so the courses will be well skiied in! Sunday is the relay, starting at 10am. Girls will do 3 by 3km, boys 3 by 5km. The first leg is classic, the second 2 skate.

Our hotel is a few blocks from a huge mall, and right next door to a movie theater, movies are in english, with Norwegian subtitles. Everything is expensive here! Tonight we’ll go bowling after dinner. After the races we’ll do some fun stuff. Monday we’ll go to Norways’ biggest water park and go for an evening ski. Tuesday we’ll take a train ride to Roros and go for a long ski there, as well as check out the 1800s era mining town. Wednesday we’ll go to Meraker for a long ski, and maybe to check out the ski school there.

This was the school of Peter Northug. His youngest brother will be competing in the J1 races this weekend. I think our boys can whoop him!

Adam St.Pierre, M.S.