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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ready for some racing!

We have our first week of official ski racing in the books and are getting for some fast racing today and tomorrow! Just a few weeks ago we were freezing in Quebec and now this past weekend we found ourselves in days of rain. Today the sun is shining and we are ready to tear it up. Below are some photos from our second annual variety show in Quebec!

 The sophomores give us some beautiful singing.
 Some first years show us how to pronounce a long word.
 A Buff fashion shoe, who knew you could wear a Buff in so many ways!
 Sonya and Nick tearing up the dance floor with some swing dance.
 Jay shows us his new mind reading skills acquired this fall.
 Syben shows us how to feed a sourdough starter.
 Jeremy impresses us all with a magic trick.
While the race was cancelled last week, some of us went for a tour of the Colby campus.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Alumnus Report #3: My Week as a Tour de Ski Groupie

Greetings from Andorra!

It has been hard to hold back on a blog post since being inspired by Eli's and Jordan's first couple of alumni updates, but hopefully I will make up for it with some riveting content for you all to read while you are en route to the Colby Carnival or enjoying what I'm sure is an unbeatable lunch at the Becker residence.

For those that don't know, I am currently living in Andorra, a tiny mountainous country between Spain and France. While most of this post will be focusing on non-Andorran adventures, below I have included a map and a photo to give you all an image of where I am.

There's Andorra! The red dot is probably 10 times the size of the country itself.

This is the view from where I go skiing after work. 

I was lucky enough to have my family come visit me for Christmas and New Year's and we spent a lot of time skiing, struggling to drive on Andorran roads (thanks Dad), and eating various types of chocolate. When my family returned to the US, I took off for Germany and Italy to watch the last four stages of the Tour de Ski and strap on my cross country skis for the first time this year.

Destination #1: Oberstdorf, Germany (classic sprints and 10/15k skate)

I have very few pictures of Oberstdorf, as a combination of rain, more rain, a thunderstorm and hurricane force winds somewhat dampened the experience (literally and figuratively). However, this did not stop me from cramming in a much skiing as possible on a 10k pancake-flat loop. Unlike Quebec, you are not allowed to ski recreationally on the World Cup course while athletes are warming up, so the skiing was limited to this one trail. Another interesting thing about Oberstdorf was that I could not find a lodge to put my things in, so I stashed my backpack in some guy's woodpile while I skied. Finally, and perhaps most unfortunately, the sprints were cancelled due to large trees falling all over the trail. Think about the worst weather we've had at Middlebury, multiply it by 10, and that's what it was like.

A summary of Germany: gray, bad klister jobs and general chaos.
Destination #2: Val di Fiemme, Italy (10/15k classic and Alpe Cermis)

So needless to say, I was not too disappointed to have to leave Germany and head south to the Dolomites, which turned out to be the complete opposite (thank God). If I had to sum up Val di Fiemme in three words, they would be GO THERE IMMEDIATELY. The food is amazing, the skiing rivaled Norway (though I am biased because I was so desperate to ski), and the venue is top-notch. Furthermore, Alpe Cermis is a truly absurd, electrifying race to watch. It is quite humbling a) to actually stand on that slope, because cameras cannot capture how steep it is, and b) to watch some of the world's best athletes coaches skate the uphills and then double pole the flats because their legs don't work anymore. If you ever have the chance to go watch the final stages of the Tour, I would 100% recommend it. Also, please tell me if you do because I will join you.

Bliss

I went on this four hour ski with no water and no food (oops), but I did buy some chocolate at this little chalet.


I'm usually morally opposed to selfies, but considering Eli's abundant use of them I thought I'd include a few. This is me pointing down to Alpe Cermis in the background.

Pretty darn exciting to see an American leading a distance classic race!

Weng ripping near the end.

!!!!!!! SO PROUD !!!!!!!!!


I had to do it.

That's all for now and ROCK THE COW this weekend!

I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Norway, where I can't wait to ski double the k's, catch double the rays and eat my weight in wafflers.

Love,

Benson



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Holiday Ski Camp Highlights


Our annual camp at Mt. Saint Anne is always a special time, and this year was no exception. MSA delivered with perfect corduroy, bomber tracks, and frigid temps while offering some time for relaxation and a chance to catch up on our first-year men's Youtube presence. We welcomed Evan Carr back from Namibia, rung in 2018, and celebrated Isabel's 19th birthday while putting in some km's on trail 24. A big shoutout to Jeremey's fiancé Kayla for putting up with our shenanigans all week, and to our supportive parents for organizing a delicious dinner. Here are some more highlights from a memorable camp:


Lowest Temp: -17 (though this didn't keep us from doing a 3+hr OD!)


Sonya, Isabel, and Lucy bringing the positivity on yet another cold ski. Can't hold us down!


Most popular game: Code Names


Boxes of clemmies consumed: 4 (women's team only, men's record unknown but likely comparable)


Current leader in the Tour de Ski fantasy league: Syben


Watching the tour while Franklin holds court among the ladies. Note McGrew is also captivated. How is he still single?!


Favorite tea: Bengal Spice


Wax of the week: Rode Green


Fastest Speed Clocked: 36 mph on trail 24's infamous downhill


Most Creative Meal: Pizza night!

Elowyn's visionary olive oil, garlic, pear, arugula pizza assembled by Sonya & co

Ingrid proves a [pizza] pro, per usual


I remember all my years at MSA, and each has brought me closer to the funny, compassionate, hardworking, and humble humans I am lucky to call my teammates. While it was admittedly bittersweet to know it was my last year at MSA with the team, I know I'll be back to this special place in years to come.
Until next time...







Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year from Mont-Sainte-Anne! Today we capped off a great week of training with a chilly time trial and the second annual MSA talent show. Performances were shared by all, including the coaches! Notable performances include freshman Magdalen York teaching the crowd how to moo like a cow, and "Sunshine" Gardner – the older, cuter brother of Nick Gardner – demonstrating how to pick-up girls. We are so all so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a week in such a beautiful place, and are looking forward to our first carnival in less than two weeks!

Alum Jordan Fields turned my backpack into a nugget this week!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mont Saint Anne

The team had a great 5/10K Classic TT this morning. It was around -2F at the start, but there was some quality racing and many positive signs for the season to come! This afternoon we had a great skate ski on trail 33. Absolutely beautiful out there and I took a few pics along the way:
Elowyn had the best eyelashes
this afternoon!

Sonya and Elowyn enjoying the snow!

Ivy, Ingrid, Isabel and Lucy

Williams Ski Team Buddies!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy Holidays from Mont-Saint-Anne!

Happy Holidays to all of our blog readers! The team arrived in MSA on 12/26 and we just finished up our 3rd day of PERFECT skiing. Temps have been right around or just below 0F, so we've been working hard to keep everyone moving and warm. Not many pictures, since our phones are too cold and internet non-existent at the coaches condo, but here are a couple dark ones showing off the perfect conditions. We had a great gathering with our team last night and many of their wonderful family members. What an awesome group! We're looking forward to firing up the racing engines tomorrow with a 5/10K Classic TT. Happy skiing to everyone!

Men's Skate Train

Coach Hecker

Becker!

Women's Train

More ladies

And more ladies!

Monday, December 18, 2017

New Fall Edit is Up!

Fresh off the press, our fall training edit is now up on the YouTube!  Check it out below!