Posts

Merry Christmas

I just returned to Seattle for the holidays and was greeted by an unusual site in Seattle: a foot of fresh snow.  Training in the snow is one of my favorites parts of the season.  The air is always quite and cool and I feel very relaxed.  But then again, walking around in ice and snow with shoes that have absolutely no traction can get tiresome quickly.  My training has come together a lot in the past few weeks.  The step back I took in November has been translating into continued progress recently.  Coach B told me on Friday that my general strength and fitness level are both great right now, creating collateral improvements in my throw.  Unfortunately, I cannot update you on my training distances since the winter weather in Kamloops and Seattle has kept me throwing inside against a wall (temperatures have consistently been hovering between 0º and -10º Fahrenheit).  I’ll be posting some distances once the snow melts.
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Dinner with the Olympians

Our training group (l-r): Me, Vanessa Wilhelm, Galina Bondarchuk, Deanna Zelinka, Coach Anatoli Bondarhcuk, Megann VanderVliet, Michael Letterlough, Jennifer Joyce, Kibwe Johnson, Crystal Smith, and Justin Rodhe.

Last night I attend the Dinner with the Olympians event hosted by the Kamloops Track and Field Club.  It was a great chance for the community to hear our local Olympians speak about their experiences in Beijing.  We heard from Gary Reed (800 meters), Dylan Armstrong (shot put), Catherine Pendrel (cross-country mountain biking), and Sultana Frizell (hammer throw).  The first three all placed fourth and barely missed bringing home a medal.  Ms. Pendrel’s talk was especially interesting. It is always fun to gain some insight on how elite athletes train in other sports.  She also told one heartwarming story about how her husband sometimes would follow her in his car on her winter training rides so that she could exchange water bottles whenever the water in her water bottle froze over. The dinner was a great success for the club and raised more money for us to purchase equipment, improve our facilities, and pay our great coaching staff.
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News and upcoming events

Adapting to full-time training is still going well. Without school and work, I feel more rested and relaxed than ever and it is having a great impact on my training. There are a few upcoming events people in and around Kamloops might be interested. First, Coach Bondarchuk recently won an award from the British Columbia Coaches association for his success this year. He will be honored in Kamloops Wednesday evening and my training partner and Olympian Sultana Frizell will be the keynote speaker. You can find out more details here. The Kamloops Track and Field Club will be hosting their annual fundraising dinner. This year’s theme will be “Dinner With the Olympians” and will feature speeches by Sultana, as well as Beijing fourth place finishers Dylan Armstrong and Gary Reed. The event take place on October 9 at Thompson Rivers University’s Independent Centre. Call (250) 851-2512 for more information. That’s all for now. I’ll have some more training updates next week. Read more

Arrival in Kamloops

After three seasons of traveling back and forth monthly between Seattle and Kamloops, I have finally moved to Kamloops. Now that I have finished school, I am able to start a new chapter in my life where I can temporarily focus on my athletic goals. As most of you know, the reason I chose to move to Kamloops is because of the world renowned resident coach Anatoli Bondarchuk. With a full-time coach, more time to train, and a better support network, I hope to make some big gains this season. As usual, I will keep you all updated.
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About Coach Bondarchuk

Today, I thought I would introduce everyone to my coach. Since August 2005, I have been training under the guidance of Dr. Anatoli Bondarchuk. Currently, Dr. B works for the Kamloops Track and Field Club in Kamloops, British Columbia. I met Dr. B through my friend and current training partner Dylan Amstrong. I was already familiar with Dr. B as he is universally regarded as the most best and most successful hammer throw coach in the world. Representing the Soviet Union in the hammer throw, Dr. B won the gold medal in 1972 and was also a world record holder. After his athletic career ended, Dr. B served as the national coach for the Soviet Union for nearly twenty years, in the process coaching numerous world record holders and twelve Olympic medalists in the hammer throw. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Dr. B served as a national coach in Portugal and Kuwait. His current position allows him to be close to his daughter and grandchildren currently residing in Calgary.
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