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Wild Rumpus Sports

July 31 Roundup: Australian Championships Begin; Pierre Harvey Talks Olympism

— Winter is in full swing in the Southern Hemisphere, and the 2012 FIS Australia/New Zealand Cup began last weekend with the start of the Australian Championship at Perisher Valley. Esther Bottomley (AUS) won both the freestyle sprint and 5 k classic for a strong start in defending her 2011 championship title. Lucy Glanville (AUS) was the runner-up to Bottomley on both days.

There was more variety on the men’s podiums; after two races there is currently a three-way tie in the series between Callum Watson, Alex Almoukov and Phillip Bellingham, all Australian. Almoukov won the sprint on the first day, and Watson took the 10 k classic a day later. The overall championship is scored by points, and all three currently have 160.

The series resumes August 9 – 12 at the Snow Farm in New Zealand, where skiers from Russia and Japan are also expected to compete. The final three events take place back in Australia at Falls Creek, ultimately concluding with the 42 k Kangaroo Hoppet.

— Arvis Liepins and Inga Dauskane (LAT) took top honors at the second stage of the Roller Tour series in Madona, Latvia, over the weekend. The race consisted of a 6.8/15 k skiathlon, and the respective winners of the men’s and women’s races skied to convincing victories over a field that included competitors from four countries, including Russia and Estonia.

The third stage of the Roller Tour, a 200 m uphill sprint, takes place in September on the streets of Cesis.

— Pierre Harvey, father of Alex Harvey and the first Canadian athlete to compete in both the summer and winter Olympics, recently wrote an article (in French) in La Presse about the athlete’s experience of competing in the Games.

“These athletes live a cocktail composed of a mixture of stress, adrenaline, hope and luck. Among the 20 best in the world in each discipline, 19 will be disappointed not to win. For them, the games are difficult and they will long remember this event,” Harvey writes.

“I love to watch the Games and see our Canadians perform better and better. I remain convinced that the investment made by our governments is very profitable. If each and every Canadian Quebecers who follow our athletes said they too can do a little better, a little further, the country would improve. Take responsibility for your health, wanting to be better at work, help others, well enjoy life and learn to be happy, it costs nothing, but it changes everything. It’s just we who decide if we want to or not.”

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