Greetings from Germany, some thoughts from Jason Parker as he prepares for his competition in Baselga di Piné

Hi Everyone,

I have finally managed to get online and thought I'd drop a quick message. Arrived in Erfurt on Monday (February 3rd). I have to admit it was definitely one of the easier trips I have had. I only had to drag myself on to one plane to get here! I didn't even have to take the train as I had first expected as a friend of the family I am staying with picked me up from the airport.

Everything was going smoothly until the car broke down on the Autobahn, 1 hour from Erfurt. I knew what it was immediately (rear wheel bearing seized up) and new my easy trip had just got harder. Throw on top of that the fact that my driver didnät speak any English and mine deutsch ist nicht gut!

Thanks to the prevalence of cell phones in Europe (I think even dogs and cats have their own), we managed to have another friend come to our rescue. Needless to say, I did arrive at my final destination a little later than expected but safe and sound.

The training has been going really well here, despite the lack of sleep due to my nasty friend "Jet Lag". The ice has been quiet, especially since the only people here are German and 2 Dutch, so it is really quiet for the only Canadian. I have to say my German is getting much better (my learning is accelerated due to the fact that most of the family I'm staying with don't speak English either).

I came to Erfurt by myself to get an extra week to allow my sleeping patterns to get back to normal and boy am I ever glad I did. I couldn't imagine trying to race a World Cup this weekend (February 8-9) in this condition! On Monday, February 10th, I leave Erfurt for Northern Italy, a small town called Baselga di Piné. This will be my third time there. The first two experiences were good some I'm hoping for similar results. I will be racing the 1500m, the 4th of the season.

From there I move on, again by myself to another beautiful town in Northern Italy called Collalbo. The rest of the team is returning to Canada, and the sprinters don't arrive for a week. Sounds like I'll be hanging out with the Americans. Should be all right.

I don't think I'll be able to get online in either of these places, hence the reason I wanted to touch base before I left Erfurt. For those of you that are looking to follow my results in the World Cup, just follow this link ( and click on Results.

The next leg of my journey takes me back to Germany to a little town called Inzell where I join up with the sprinters and race some 1000m. From there, to Heerenveen, Holland for a combined World Cup for both 1000m and 1500m.

Then to Berlin for the last leg of my trip and the World Championships.

I'll do my best to keep in touch. I wish you all the best. Until next time...

Auf Wiedersehen!

Jason Parker
Canadian Speed Skating Team