Tales with the telemarkers
15th May 2010 | Gus Olds, Flaine
Gus Olds, a sports therapist joins the GB Telemark Team for the World Championships as they move from Spain to France. He is new to the telemarking scene. Here’s the third and final part of his blog for PlanetSKI.
This final one comes from Meribel.
“The Giant Slalom is a physically demanding race in good conditions, so the unusually warm weather and resulting snow melt made for a punishing second day of racing.
The strain was evident on all of the athletes that were on the massage couch in the evening, and the normal jovial conversation was quieter and dominated by one topic; the classic race the next day.
The final morning began in the usual fashion; with a hearty breakfast being consumed in an attempt to fuel tired bodies and steel them for the final big push of the season.
I waited anxiously at the end of the wrap watching the first exhausted competitors crash over the finish line, many were so exhausted that they lacked the strength required even to remove their skis.
But skiers who had finished earlier and recovered sufficiently, bent to remove the skis and help their fellow competitors to their feet.
The long course, whilst punishing on all concerned, suited the powerfully built British team and it was fitting that, despite all finishing within a second of each other’s times, it was one of the younger team members, and a future hope for team GB Telemark, Jack, who set the quickest time.
After a very social lunch and prize giving, set in the middle of the final skate section, all the racers returned to the hotel on very weary legs for a much needed power nap before the end of season party.
After a night of spirited festivities, we were up early for our return to the UK.
Back in the UK a few aspects of my time spent with the Great British Telemark Team have struck a particular chord; the first of which is how so many sports could learn from the attitude of the Telemark community.
There is zero tolerance for selfishness or egotistical behavior among team members, which unites them in an exceptional way.
The second is how gifted these athletes truly are and how much they sacrifice, without complaint, for their sport.
It is my sincere hope that any future bid made for Telemark to become an Olympic accredited sport, and the funding and publicity involved, is embraced, in order to allow a wider audience to take part in this fantastic discipline.
My most heartfelt thanks to the British Team for being such welcoming and patient companions, and I look forward to working with you all again in the future.”
And those of us at PlanetSKI give his observations and thoughts a mighty “hear, hear”. Thanks Gus!
And if you want read a bit more about telemarking see this PlanetSKI story written by a member of the GB Team, Rachel Morgan. Telemarking isn’t just for the guys!
Meanwhile another member of the team, Jack Harvard-Taylor, describes the joys of the sport and the technique.