The busyness seems to have calmed down considerably. Appears there was a mad rush for the Opening Ceremonies but now, sadly, there are many empty seats in the Grandstands. Even during the excitement of last night’s Sprints there were fewer than expected spectators. It was cold and windy. Today, substantially warmer (+2), cloudy but serious wind) They postponed the biathlon event and there were delays at the Ski Jumps.

2 nights ago I renovated (photo attached) the 2 full laps of both red and blue courses and the stadium to great success. Everyone seems very happy the result and  with all of the course preparation…so far. Our true challenge lies head, the 30 and 50km classic events. Today we have a Nordic Combined (Ski Jumping and then straight into a 10km Free XC event (4 laps of 2.5km) Tomorrow is Women’s Individual start 10km Free Technique (2 x 5km). Only 1 classic track on the long downhill on the red course. This is a fast but mainly straight downhill from the course highest point to the lowest point. A 50 meter drop over 3/4km… and then you have to climb all the way out.

Not long after we first arrived we noticed that 2 Pisten Bulley 400’s we are using on the XC Venue have course combing. This contour is typically used for Alpine skiing as opposed to the finer XC  combing. For those folks on this email list who ski in Gatineau Park, some of Demsis’s machines are also using Alpine comb. Under cold hard snow conditions this profile tends to grab narrow XC skis. Lars and I skied into the Biathlon Stadium and noticed that they are using the finer combing on their machines. (2 photos attached) We have kept this quiet as we didn’t really have an easy fix.  Surprisingly few teams have mentioned this. Jussi, the XC TD has asked the forerunners to snowplow the faster downhills to cut the top off the combing pattern. Mark, Tom and Len, cc’ed, all coming in from Canada for the Paralympics take note! The OC is aware and will have the Biathlon Cats to be available for you.

And then how about Len Valjas – almost making it to the men’s  sprint final. Skiing with the likes of Pellegrino, Hakola (fastest qualifier) and Klaebo. Before the days of timed heats he would have been there! Unfortunately his semi final heat was significantly slower than the other resulting in 4 from the faster heat advancing and only the top 2 from Len’s. The other difference which I only learned last night is that the top 30 advancing from the qualifying round select their own quarter final heats. You may have seen this happening on TV? The fastest 10 qualifiers get to select their choice of 5 quarter final heats starting with the 10th  finisher, going to the 1st finisher. The fastest guys try to spread themselves out to avoid knocking each other out in the first round. Then the 11th fastest selects their heat all the way to the 30th, who takes the last available spot. We should do this at Eastern’s and Nationals next year!!

My Len Valjas Story;  My daughter Katrina raced with Len on the Ontario Team. Her and her teammates would try to snag each other’s ski ties and come home after an event with all of these random ties and none of hers. I was a little obsessive with my full set of Swix ski ties with my signature “VW” on them and was annoyed at this activity. Since those days we have had a “Valjas” Ski tie in our basement. A week or so ago while the Canadian wax team had my skis and they weren’t ready yet, Joel handed me a set of Len’s to ski the courses with the Jury. I think I finally  one-upped my daughter.

1/ Showing the local operators how the renovator works over at the biathlon venue.


2/  The Bachler Renovator mounted on a PB 400 – Sorry Doug and Maureen – it is not a “YTS”

3/  Nordic Comb on the 2 PB’s at Biathlon

4/ Photo 334 – Alpine Comb on the 2 PB’s at XC

5/  Happy Jury with Lars and I

6/  Myself with Valjas Skis – Don’t worry, I did return them.

Grooming resumes again at 2200HRS tonight  after the course are closed and OBS has completed their camera moves. If there are not too many “To Do’s” we should be in bed before 0300HRS.

Cheers Dirk