Which Olympic sport would you compete in?

Which winter Olympic sport you would compete in, if you had the chance?

There’s so many options: would you dare to take flight in the aerial, slopestyle or ski jumping events?  Enter the adrenalin-pumping ski or snowboard-cross? Slide down a bobsled track? Or rise to the occasion with the possibility of a history-making overtime goal in hockey?

I love all those options – but to be honest, I’ve always been impressed by the great athleticism of biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Imagine, giving it your all on a ski course, your heart pounding in your chest, then stopping, dropping, stabilizing your breath and decreasing your heart rate, and calmly shooting at five targets, 50 metres away. Then up, back on the course, driving your heart rate right back up again. It’s an amazing combination of athleticism, focus, concentration and strength.  The images of cross-country skiers giving every last bit of energy as they cross the finish line is enough to inspire any winter athlete.

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(Photo by Jeff Dolinsky, Golden Nordic Ski Club Society)

Targets or not, cross-country skiing is a great sport to add to your winter repertoire, and some of the nordic centres across Alberta and BC offer excellent trails and terrain to suit all levels. 

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(Photo by Jeff Dolinsky, Golden Nordic Ski Club Society)

Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre quietly sits near the exciting steeps of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, BC, and it’s a gem. It offers 33km of dedicated cross-country trails, a new day chalet, ski and snowshoe rentals on-site and an incredible variety of terrain for beginner through advanced skiers.

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The trails are purpose-built, meaning every curve, ascent and descent were designed with the skier in mind – some took years to design.

Offering day  rates of $10 provides  visitors the chance to explore the well-maintained trails with minimal investment. The looping trails that climb up and down the slope side can keep even the strongest skiers challenged and entertained for hours.

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(Photo (upper) by Jeff Dolinsky)

A point that could be debated at length over a hot chocolate by the fire: some enthusiasts (who shall remain unnamed) claim that cross-country skiing is at the top of the skiing evolutionary scale. I’m not sure about that, but this heart-healthy sport is a great one to discover in our mountain backyard.

Learn more about skiing in Golden here.

This post also appeared at http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2014/02/18/which-olympic-sport-would-you-compete-in/.

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