Olympic Oval comes back to life - Athlete Journal by James Monson

Hello,

In my last update I was talking about how summer was about half over. Well today here in Calgary it really feels like summer is over. It's raining and 11c, but it's august the 9th. It just doesn't seem right. I hope it will get a little warmer. Besides the weather everything else is going really well. Still doing lots of cycling and we're still in the weight room a couple times a week. We've also done a few hill sprint workouts. Those are so hard!!

On August 1st the Olympic oval reopened its doors to the world, about one month later then usual. The oval was under renovations this summer. We now have a brand new heating system for the building and new compressors for the ice plant. With the new upgrades its expected that the oval will be even faster this year. With the ice being in we skated twice last week. The first time on ice is always funny. Same skates as last year, but it felt so weird. Near the end of the practice I started to feel a lot more comfortable. It looks like we will be skating now every week for the rest of the summer.

The Olympic Oval is also running some speed skating camps. Last week it was the younger skaters (ages 5-12), this week it the older kids (ages 12-18). It was a lot of fun seeing so many kids out skating. It was also good because there was a lot of interaction between the national team and the younger skaters. Near the end of the week anyone wearing a national team jacket was getting mobbed for autographs.

It's neat to see the Olympic Oval come back to life. Not only are there hundreds of kids here from around the country for summer camp, there are a ton of international skaters training here. Japanese skaters, Korean skaters and Dutch skaters, all taking advantage of the new Olympic oval. It really creates a good positive training atmosphere.

All in all, I think my training has gone really well this summer. I think for the whole team there have been lots of gains. You never really know until you put it into the ice, but things have gone well this summer.

That's it for now,

James Monson