Nakiska Pre Season

Since November 6th I have been living at the Delta Hotel in Kananaskis and training at the Nakiska ski area. When I showed up I was the only athlete here from my team and only the Alberta and BC provincial teams were here training. It was very quiet but perfect for training! I was able to have 3 days of slalom training where I was the only athlete with 5 staff members…talk about a good ratio!!! This allowed us to have really high volume and work out the kinks in my slalom since I have not focused on it much thus far. I was skiing about 800 gates of slalom for the first couple days. My legs were tired to say the least but it was great to get some quick feet back!

Slowly other teams started rolling in for pre-season training/prep for the Lake Louise World Cup. The French and Swiss speed teams were the first to arrive followed by the Germans a week later. My teammates JP Roy, Erik Read joined us a few days into the camp and Sasha Zaitsoff did the same upon return from his World Cup race in Levi, Finland. JP and I spent most of our days doing double sessions…Speed training early in the morning with the Swiss/French and then GS afterwards. Overall, the training was excellent! It was pretty quiet on the hill compared to other years so we were able to have plenty of runs in all disciplines.

Our group is flying to Colorado tomorrow morning where we will spend the next few days training before the first Nor-Am races of the season in Loveland and Aspen. We will be in Colorado for the next 3 weeks! I have to say, I am extremely excited about this because I have spent a lot of time down there in the past and it is one of my favourite areas in the world to ski. I also found out recently that I will be racing in the World Cup GS at Beaver Creek the first week of December!! I can’t wait…I have always wanted to race that track and now I will have the opportunity to do so against the best in the World.

This week is the Lake Louise World Cup. The Canadian Speed team has been in Colorado for the last couple weeks getting some wicked training at Copper Mtn. and Vail. From what I hear the boys are skiing well and are ready to throw down at home next weekend! Our top guys Erik Guay, Jan Hudec and Ben Thomson will no doubt bring the heat! Manny OP and John Kucera will make their comeback from injury at home which is extremely exciting for them! Dustin Cook, Conrad Pridy and his brother Morgan will also be in Lake Louise looking to add depth to our strong speed team and hopefully gain some valuable World Cup Points. Best of luck to all the boys representing Canada this week!

Unfortunately, as many have heard. My teammate and roommate from the summer, Robbie Dixon, crashed last week in a Downhill race at Copper Mtn. He suffered a broken leg and underwent surgery immediately following. I wish Robbie all the best in his recovery…we all know he will be back soon, better then ever!

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more info from Colorado!

Cheers —-  Phil

ps. sorry for some crappy quality cell pics…

 

Snowy Nakiska

Swiss racer getting ready

JP Roy hangin at the start

 

Sasshhaaaa

Sunrise

Sasha and I

Skube killing it

JP and I

Fundraiser at Cleveland Clinic

On Monday evening, in Downtown Toronto at the Cleveland Clinic a fundraiser was held to support Maddy Irwin and I in our upcoming season. I have to say that I was blown away at how many people showed up to support us. The ski community is such a tightly knit group, especially in Ontario, and it is incredible to see how many people are backing us in our Career.

The Cleveland Clinic was kind enough to allow us to use their facilities for this event. The venue was absolutely incredible! In the heart of Toronto, on the 30th floor looking out onto the lake Ontario, a great scene for everyone to get together. I have to thank John Danson and Mike Kessel for hosting the event and taking a lot of time to organize and plan it!

We were also fortunate enough to have Brian Williams and his family join us. Brian has been involved with ski racing and other Olympic sports now for many years and his experience showed when he took the stand to speak. He was an amazing guest speaker and shared some incredible stories from his time as a broadcaster. Thanks a lot to Brian for finding time out of his extremely busy travel schedule to come to our event!

Also joining us were ex National Team members and Olympians, Brian Stemmle and Lisa Savijarvi. It was great to meet both of them and hear some of the stories that they had from their ski careers. Both were very accomplished racers and I can only hope that my career will be as successful!

The silent auction was a big hit on Monday evening. We had some great items donated to us from Alpine Canada, Alpine Ontario, TSN, Molson, Rossignol, Head, Skiis and Biikes as well as personal donations from my teammates, Mike Janyk and Larisa Yurkiw. Maddy and I decided prior to the event that all of the proceeds from the silent auction would be donated to the Nik Zoricic foundation. Nik was such a major influence to Maddy and I growing up ski racing at Craigleith and we could not have thought of a better way to support his foundation. Thanks to everyone who purchased items, we were able to raise $6500 for the NZ foundation!!

Once again, thanks a lot to everyone who came out! It was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet some new people who were all there for the same reason! Maddy and I both really appreciate it!

Now it is time to do my job, which is ski fast! I am currently in Nakiska, Alberta which is where our team often comes at this time of year for our pre season training. I will be here for the next couple works working on dialling everything in so that I can be ready for the first race of the year in Colorado.

Below are some pictures from Monday’s fundraiser. Click on the thumbnails to scroll through the gallery.

Enjoy and Thanks Again!!!

Phil

 

Fundraiser – with Brian Williams

I returned home on Monday evening after what ended up being a pretty long travel day back from Europe because of Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast. Luckily the Toronto airport was still running and our flight made it in before the storm hit! My week at home has been pretty relaxing but also pretty busy getting everything organized for the Fundraiser on this coming Monday.

The event has really taken off! It looks like there is going to be an excellent turn-out on monday night and I am really looking forward to the evening. We have also been fortunate enough to have some really cool items donated to us to use in a silent auction as well as some give-aways that will be raffled off! ACA and AOA have donated a bunch of authentic team gear. Rossignol and Head have been kind enough to each donate a pair of skis. We also have an autographed bib from Canadian Slalom skier, Mike Janyk, and a one of a kind toque made by speed skier, Larisa Yurkiw!! These are just some of the items that will be available!

Another great surprise is that CBC broadcaster, Brian Williams, will be MC-ing the event on Monday evening! I can’t wait to meet him and hear what he has to say!

Looking forward to seeing everyone! Let’s get pumped for the upcoming World Cup season!!!

-Phil

Hintertux – Pitztal – Solden World Cup

Hey guys, Sorry for the long update…I sat down this morning in the airport lounge and started writing and realized I had a lot to talk about then all of a sudden my page looked like this. Hopefully I can update this thing more frequently so I can keep it shorter. But hopefully you enjoy the read!

The last couple weeks have been pretty hectic over here in Europe. Crazy weather, tough conditions for training and quite a bit of driving around to different ski areas.

Glacier ice under fresh snow in Hintertux

Brotherly love – Morgan and Conrad Pridy

Myself, JP and Dustin ended up leaving Hintertux pretty randomly one morning because we found out that we had the opportunity to have 2 days of training on the race hill in Solden. As some of you may know, the track at Solden is fairly extreme and probably one of the toughest on the men’s GS circuit. At 2500m and over a minute long (3/4 of it is on an extremely steep pitch) it is physically and mentally demanding. So the more runs you can get on the hill before race day, the better! We also found out that on our 2nd day, Dustin and I would be racing in a qualifier to see who would have Canadas final spot in the World Cup the following weekend! We were all pretty rusty the first day (except JP who is a wily Vet. on that hill) but learned a lot and were ready to go for the quail the next day. Unfortunately, Dustin skied better then me that day and earned the spot for the race the next weekend. It is always a bit of a bummer when you lose a quail but it definitely puts fuel in the fire for when the next opportunity arises to qualify for a big race!!

From there we moved over to the Pitztal Glacier for some training to prep the guys for Solden. I was lucky enough to come along even though I wasn’t racing but it was a wicked opportunity for me to feel like a part of the team and try to learn as much as possible so I can be fast moving forward. The coaches were able to work with the Norwegians and Swiss teams to inject the hill and with clear skies and hard snow it made for the best training of the year so far. JP, Dustin and Trevor Philp (aka Junior, aka College) were getting everything dialled in so they would be ready for race day and I was doing the same even though I wasn’t racing. We had a lot of staff during this training block for the small amount of athletes so it was a great way to make some changes in my skiing and try to get the next skis figured out.

Trev Philp “Junior in the new suit at Pitztal

Dustin and Skube talking about skis probably

Junior about to crush!

Dainese!!

By the end of the week, the hay was in the barn and we were ready to move back over to Solden for the World Cup Opener. I have been to Solden to watch the race a couple time but being there with the team and being more involved in the race was definitely a different feeling. The atmosphere at this race is incredible, with all the Austrian fans piling into the town for a weekend of partying and ski racing!

The Girls (Mitch, MP and Erin) raced on saturday. Winter weather rolled in and it made for some pretty interesting race day conditions but luckily they were able to get the race off. Mitch and MP both qualified for 2nd run which was incredible!! They ended up 6th and 19th respectively and you could tell that this provided our guys with some extra energy and incentive to have a great day on Sunday.

We woke up Sunday morning to complete winter…Tons of snow had fallen and it continued to dump as we went up for inspection. I was able to sneak in a few powder runs while the boys were inspecting and getting ready for the race. All the snow, combined with the new skis, made for a rather interesting race. But, the race still went on and there was still going to be a winner at the end of the day. Dustin had an amazing first run and was able to move from bib 54 to 27th place and qualify for the second run for the first time in his career. He ended up 22nd scoring his first ever World Cup points, a major accomplishment so congrats to Cookie!! JP also skied well and finished 19th! The story of the day was Ted Ligety though. He was absolutely lights out in tough conditions winning the race by 2.75!!! An absolutely ridiculous margin proving to the world that regardless of the conditions and new ski equipment, the best skier will still win the race! Overall, it was an exciting day for our entire team and being there to witness all the success over the weekend definitely made me hungry and gave me some belief that I can do it too, just need to be patient and work my ass off.

Trev inspecting his first WC GS in a blizzard

Looking down the epic Solden pitch during inspection. Pic doesn’t do it justice!

Junior in the finish

Solden from the finish – It was sunny for a bit!

I am in Munich now, about to board a flight to head back to Canada!!! Its been a long trip and my body definitely has some aches and pains from a 3 and a half week camp. Looking forward to resting so I can be in tip top shape when I travel out west next week to prep for the season.

Thats all for now // Phil

PS. Check out this video from JP Roy’s second run in Solden. Commentary by American racer, Warner Nickerson…He should have done the whole race…I think Warner will make a great MC some day!!