Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 23, 2014

Olympic sendoff planned for Nishikawa

Emily Nishikawa’s home ski club is planning a sendoff fit for an Olympian Sunday morning.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

photo

Photo submitted

WISH HER WELL – Yukoners are invited to an informal sendoff party for Olympic cross-country skier Emily Nishikawa, pictured skiing on the Haywood circuit in November. Photo courtesy ANGUS COCKNEY

Emily Nishikawa’s home ski club is planning a sendoff fit for an Olympian Sunday morning.

The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club is inviting the public to sign a banner that will be displayed in Sochi at the 2014 Olympic Games.

An informal send-off party will be hosted by the club from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday. 

While Nishikawa herself will not be in attendance – the 24-year-old is currently training in Seiser Alm, Italy – her parents, Joan Stanton and Bob Nishikawa will be on hand to accept well wishes on her behalf. The two will take the signed banner with them to Sochi.

Skiers are invited to drop in to the wax room to sign the banner and add well-wishes to a scrapbook.

Despite Nishikawa’s absence, a life-sized photo of the Whitehorse cross-country ski star will be on hand.

The photo was produced with the help of Gary Bremner, GBP Photography and Integraphics.

Meanwhile, the banner is being designed and funded by Sport Yukon with assistance from the Yukon Sport and Recreation Branch.

Sport Yukon will also unveil a special edition T-shirt that will be available for sale at the ski chalet for $5.

“I am very happy for Emily and proud of her accomplishment,” said Mike Gladish, manager of the ski club. “It is very satisfying to see another Olympic skier come from our club.

“I’m sure I can speak for the club and say that we are all proud to have been a part of Emily’s journey along with her family and community.”

Nishikawa is the first athlete in 22 years to represent the Yukon at a Winter Olympic Games.

“She’s devoted her life to it,” her mother told the Star following the announcement. “It’s like her job. It’s her job to train and rest and eat and recover and train again. Day in and day out, that’s her life. And that’s the life of any high-level athlete.”

Stanton said her children were introduced to the sport as youngsters using the old-style three-pin bindings.

“We just did it recreationally and they loved it,” she recalled. “Then we kind of got a little more fancy about it and joined the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club and they just went through that whole progression.”

Stanton said while her oldest son Graham didn’t end up making the squad, he had a big hand in his younger sister’s Olympic dream becoming a reality.

“He’s been a big part of her success,” Stanton explained. “She’s where she is because of all the support and guidance he gave her. He’s a part of this success.”

The Whitehorse native was one of five women named to Canada’s 11-member ski squad last week.

The Sochi Olympics will kick off with opening ceremonies Feb. 7. 

The first cross-country ski competition will be the women’s 15-km skiathlon the following day.

The ski club is planning to have big-screen showings of the cross-country ski races in support of Nishikawa. Long-time Yukon ski coach Alain Masson and massage therapist Stephen Waterreus will also be in Sochi.

The complete Olympic cross-country ski event schedule can be found on Cross Country Canada’s website http://www.cccski.com.

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Meanwhile, above-zero temperatures are the cause of poor skiing conditions at the Whitehorse club.

A trail report released this morning indicated grooming is on hold while temperatures are above freezing.

Skiing is not recommended today or tomorrow. The trails are very icy and will be very soft as temperatures continue to warm this afternoon.

Skiers are asked to avoid skate skiing when the snow conditions are soft.


By MARCEL VANDER WIER
Star Sports Editor

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