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Alpine Canada drops ladies speed program for 2013/14

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Despite a long history of success in ladies speed, Alpine Canada has dropped support for the ladies speed program going into an Olympic year. Un-freaking-believeable that they would hang athlete Larisa Yurkiw out to dry, killing her Olympic chance as well as SC contender Marie-Michelle Gagnon.

 

Alpine Canada, what are you thinking???? eek.gif

 

Radio interview with Larisa here: http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=56431

post #2 of 18
Why only the women's program? Was she all they had?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Larisa is currently the only speed-only skier in the program at the moment, but there are potential super-combined threats like Marie-Michelle Gagnon. Alpine Canada has been holding spots for injured skiers, like Kelly Vanderbeek, who ultimately weren't able to make the comeback as well as a spate of retirements, like Britt Janyk. Not sure why, but there doesn't seem to be anyone else in the development pipeline.
 

post #4 of 18
Maybe with such a small program, it's just too much overhead to support so few racers and the funds are better used elsewhere?
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

No doubt it comes down to $$, but it is incredible, and shameful, with such a history of successful women speed skiers, that the program has been left to wither and die, especially before an Olympic year. I feel really bad for Larisa, who was on her way back from injury has no real options except going at WC as an independent and no shot at the Olympics.

post #6 of 18

I don't get it. Why can't they just continue her on the team at least for this year? Even if you don't have specific coaches etc for the speed category. Can't the men's speed coach be used? This makes little sense.

Is there some sort of requirement form FIS or the Olympics that a National Team has to meet?

post #7 of 18

After listening to that Interview, I wouldn't be suprised if she ended up skiing for GB.

 

Doesn't she share her training coach with Chemmy Alcott and share costs?

 

Small Nation, both skiers coming back from injury, and GB would definately need the money, as all their Senior Racers are self funded.

 

Barking up the wrong tree?

post #8 of 18

FIS rules state that if you change nationalities, you cannot compete in any international FIS competitions for 12 months.

 

So sure, maybe she'll switch nations, but it's a huge risk and would completely rule out Sochi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spudski View Post

After listening to that Interview, I wouldn't be suprised if she ended up skiing for GB.

 

Doesn't she share her training coach with Chemmy Alcott and share costs?

 

Small Nation, both skiers coming back from injury, and GB would definately need the money, as all their Senior Racers are self funded.

 

Barking up the wrong tree?

post #9 of 18

Wasn't there a lot of controversy over Canada dropping DH for younger skiers in the pipeline? Is this a pattern? Is it a symptom of an attitude toward the speed events? Their men's team is excellent.

post #10 of 18

DH racing is too dangerous for women, just like ski jumping  rolleyes.gif (in case you don't get it, that's sarcasm).

 

Who ever is running the programs needs to get his head tuned up, and I don't mean that in a nice way.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

It is almost certainly $$ and a change in attitude. Alpine Canada has turned down the emphasis on speed skiing by not allowing anyone athlete under 18 to participate in DH training or racing in order to prevent injuries, especially head, to younger athletes. Makes it hard to have a speed program when you aren't developing younger athletes. The last of Canada's "speed queens" (Kelly Vanderbeek) retired after an unsuccessful attempt ot return from injury, leaving the recovering from injury as well, Larisa Yurkiw as the lone Canadian Woman speed specialist and no one in the pipe behind her. Very difficult to build a successful team on a single, recovering athlete.

 

It's a shame on many fronts. Canada has a pretty good history of both men and women speed success and Alpine Canada has dropped the ball by not being able to maintain the program, but it on a personal level, they screwed Larisa big time, leaving her virtually no options and no chance to compete in probably her last Olympics. Canada is pathetic in general about supporting its athletes who represent it.

post #12 of 18

It's sad because Larisa Yurkiw was impressing commentators with the job she was doing with her come-back. I think I read something that she was going to pursue a free-skiing career. Any truth to that? The Canadian situation is weird given some of the most important female speed events are in Canada. What's going to happen to the men's team? How can they have a men's team but no women?

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

It's unfortunate that she apparently wasn't impressing the dolts who run Alpine Canada.

post #14 of 18
What was that program to develop athletes called in the runup to 2010 Vancouver?
Is youth hockey also withering? What about concussions and injuries there?? Or is Canada using hockey to promote Dentistry schools?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

It was called "Own the Podium". No legacy, it went away very quickly after Van 2010. It wasn't about developing future athletes, it was about giving current elite athletes a chance at medals. The problem is that there is little enough government money going in, but also very little corporate money, unless of course it is hockey (like they need it) or soccer.  Everything else in Canada is "fringe", even our original national sport - lacrosse, which was watered down to national "summer" sport to make way for hockey to be our official "winter" sport. I am sure if most had their way it would just be hockey as it is now played 12 months a year.

 

Yup, hockey is as strong as ever. There's always grumbling about this or that in youth hockey. The latest is that some provincial hockey governing bodies are now banning body checking up to bantam (12-13 I think).

post #16 of 18

Canada has decided to start a developmental team. One of the girls on the developmental team, Stephanie Gartner, happens to be the daughter of Alpine Canada's Max Gartner. It can't be a coincidence that a developmental team was started because an Alpine Canada official's daughter is a top-level junior racer. 

 

http://www.alpinecanada.org/news/2013/alpine-canada-launches-development-team

 

It is a shame that the athlete who most exemplifies courage and determination on the Canadian team was dropped. The younger girls on the development team could learn a few things from Larisa Yurkiw: what it is really like to compete on the World Cup, coming back to world class level from a severe injury. Now the lesson that the young Canadian skiers are learning is don't get injured or we will drop you like a rock. 

 

When the news first came out about Larisa being dropped from the Canadian team, the Boston Blickbild did one of its parody interviews with Max Gartner. 

 

http://bostonblickbild.blogspot.de/2013/04/larisa-yurkiw-dumped-by-ski-canada.html

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spezi3 View Post

Canada has decided to start a developmental team. One of the girls on the developmental team, Stephanie Gartner, happens to be the daughter of Alpine Canada's Max Gartner. It can't be a coincidence that a developmental team was started because an Alpine Canada official's daughter is a top-level junior racer. 

 

http://www.alpinecanada.org/news/2013/alpine-canada-launches-development-team

 

It is a shame that the athlete who most exemplifies courage and determination on the Canadian team was dropped. The younger girls on the development team could learn a few things from Larisa Yurkiw: what it is really like to compete on the World Cup, coming back to world class level from a severe injury. Now the lesson that the young Canadian skiers are learning is don't get injured or we will drop you like a rock. 

 

When the news first came out about Larisa being dropped from the Canadian team, the Boston Blickbild did one of its parody interviews with Max Gartner. 

 

http://bostonblickbild.blogspot.de/2013/04/larisa-yurkiw-dumped-by-ski-canada.html

 

 

 

I wonder if Max Gartner will step aside in the same manner as Ken Read did when Erik Read made the team so not to be in a conflict of interest position.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post

 

 

 

I wonder if Max Gartner will step aside in the same manner as Ken Read did when Erik Read made the team so not to be in a conflict of interest position.


And he has.

 

http://skiracing.com/?q=node/21924

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