This is the first in a three part series where I will attempt to write accurate and entertaining bios for the athletes of NDC Thunder Bay 2014/2015. My goal is to have them all posted by mid-June, so check in for the next instalment sometime early next week.
Part 1 features the most senior members of the team: Andy, Alannah, and Bob.
Part 2 features our U23 men: Scott, Evan, and Ben.
Part 3 features this years’ rookies: Julian, Sam, and Dave.
As there are conveniently three parts, and three athletes per part, I have omitted myself from this bio-ing.
These folk are the ones who know what’s going on. They’ve been there, done that, and still haven’t had enough of it. Being an elite athlete is a big commitment, you might only log 600 or 700 hours a year (which, at minimum wage, you’d make -like- $6-7500), but you’re not getting paid to do this, and you’re actually working 24/7 because the work of an athlete is a lifestyle, as well as a job. The Vets’ know this, they know how to make it work, and they love their jobs. For me, it’s pretty awesome to have people like this around. I’m still trying to figure out how my job as an athlete fits into my life, but now that I’ve spent some time with these guys (and gal) I’m starting to piece things together.
This is Andy. He’s pretty awesome. Originally from Cambridge (in the SOD), he won his first Nationals medal racing in splash pants as a Juvenile Boy. He’s come a long way since then, winning the overall aggregate in Canmore as a Junior Man, representing Canada on 4 occasions at World Junior and Under 23 Championships, and most recently placing 4th three times, as a Senior, at Nationals in Corner Brook this year. Andy now lives in Thunder Bay and races for Lappe Nordic. He takes pride in being a Lappe Boy, and in his ability to accurately estimate ingredients without actually measuring while cooking and baking, as well as being a staggering 5’6″ tall (allegedly). Andy is now in his 5th year with NDC Thunder Bay and hopes to qualify for the World Championships in Falun and to make his adoptive hometown proud when Nationals come to Thunder Bay next year.
This is Alannah. She’s a girl. She’s also 50% of the female population of NDC Thunder Bay, and skis for Walden. Frequently clad in bright pink, Alannah more than makes up for the lack of floral coloured clothing I wear to training. More than well dressed (and a fast skier, and really smart, and really nice, and rea–), Alannah is also an avid reader. Ploughing through more books in a month than I’d read in four decades, it’s a wonder she still has time to fiddle around on her phone – playing Clash of Clans (was I supposed to say that?), and hitting highscores, and to get all her schoolwork done perfectly. Yep – she’s also a full-time student and model varsity athlete. Her best results last year came at Easterns where she was the top U23 all weekend. Alannah is now in her 4th year on NDC Thunder Bay (and 4th year of her university degree) and hopes to qualify for the U23 World Championships and the Senior National Team this year.
This is Bob. He’s pretty tall. Nearly as tall as that hydro tower in the background, and the tallest member of our team – the only one who looks down on our coach – Timo (much to his dismay). Bob is a member of Team Hardwood and is in his 3rd year with NDC Thunder Bay, but has spent 6 years in the training centre system – the preceding three being with the Alberta World Cup Academy. Perhaps it was the return to familiar soil that gave him the edge in his best race of the year, where he won the opening Olympic Sprint Trial race in Canmore, stunning -well- everybody, with a truly spectacular performance. Other than being a sprint-heat hero, Bob also likes cats, enjoys making bread, and is taking a course on Java programming. This year, Bob hopes to qualify for Senior World Championships and the National Team.
And that’s that. The Vets’.
Thanks for reading.
Next up: U23 Men feat. Scott Hill, Evan Palmer-Charrette, and Ben Wilkinson-Zan.