2021 FIS World Junior/U23 Championships
Travel days were almost as stressful as a race day. Right after our final race, the classic mass start, coach Joel Jaques taught us how to efficiently pack ski bags (some with up to 20 pairs of skis!). We then rushed back to our rooms to gather up all our things and head out on a 2.5 hour bus ride to Oulu. We had the bus to ourselves as we said goodbye to the flat forested countryside around Vuokatti.
Once in Oulu we jumped out at the airport and checked in our heavy ski bags. It was nice to get rid of them and not be carrying them everywhere. The flight was short as it was only an hour and a half to Helsinki, the capital. We then had a bit of a hiking adventure – at around midnight we had to walk about two kilometres, with all of our carry-on baggage, to the hotel where we were staying that night. It was worse than it sounds. It was dark, about -15 degrees, and the walk took us through a deserted industrial area. We were so tired that our only goal was simply to stay on our feet. When we got there we were rewarded with hot showers and a four hour sleep before heading back to the airport for our flight to Frankfurt (Germany).
One of the more interesting things at the Helsinki airport were the covid sniffing dogs. They are supposedly as accurate as the covid tests. The airports were all really quiet. The shops closed and there wasn’t a lot to do. On the flight to Frankfurt, most of us had a whole row of seats to ourselves so we could catch up on sleep. We were so thankful to have all that room spread out.
The Canadian wax trailer.
At the Toronto airport, Jasmine, Hannah and I parted ways with the rest of the team as we headed to Vancouver. We had a long, boring, six hour stopover there, so we tried to sleep on those very uncomfortable airport seats before getting on our last flight. I don’t recommend doing this, but when you are desperate for sleep on a 30 hour trip home, that’s what you do.
Once back in Kelowna (at 8:30 a.m. Finland time, or 10:30 pm local time) we had to deal with the fact that we weren’t home yet. Jasmine had a four hour drive back to Rossland, I had a two and a half hour drive to Revelstoke, and lucky Hannah had a half hour drive to Vernon. Jasmine’s skis didn’t make it until the next day, but somehow ours did.
Now we are all in the middle of the 14-day quarantine. We are happy for the time to rest, get rid of the jet lag and catch up on school and sleep. We are keeping up our training too.
L to R: Jasmine Drolet, Beth Granstrom, Molly Miller, Liliane Gagnon, Anna Pryce, Elizabeth Elliott, Annika Richardson, Shaylynn Loewen
Our epic walk to the closest store, about ten minutes, but with windchill up to -30! Only to wait outside because there was a one athlete at a time policy!
L to R: Anna Pryce, Molly Miller, Shaylynn Loewen, Jasmine Drolet, Liliane Gagnon
Trying to find our way to the Helsinki Airport, (left to right, Graham Richie, Jasmine Drolet, Beth Granstrom, Alexandra Luxmoore taking the shot).
Additional Reports & Photos:
BC Athletes on the Canadian Team:
- Joe Davies (Whistler Nordic Ski Club, Whistler )
- Jasmine Drolet ( Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club, Rossland )
- Molly Miller ( Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club, Kimberley )
- Alexandra Luxmoore (Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club, Revelstoke)
- Elizabeth Elliott (Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club, Revelstoke )
- Hannah Mehain (Sovereign Lake Nordic Club, Vernon )
- Rémi Drolet ( Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club, Rossland )
- Annika Richardson (Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club, North Vancouver)
- Beth Granstrom (Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club, Revelstoke)