Frozen Thunder gives athletes the edge
The Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park is the only facility in North America that stores snow for the summer and that is giving our Canadian Nordic team a huge advantage on the training track.
Athletes are cross country skiing in Canmore on a snow covered track even though the temperatures are in the double digits.
“You can ski in the morning in amazing conditions, shooting just like you would in the winter, and than go downtown in the afternoon and go for a nice run by the river, or mountain bike even, it's beautiful,” said Megan Imrie from the National Biathlon team.
Frozen Thunder is a two kilometre long early season ski trail and this is the 4th year the Canmore Nordic Centre has worked on it.
“We've got the advantage of having the world’s largest snow making system for a Nordic facility, And that gives us a distinct advantage over other facilities who may not have a lot of machine capability for making snow,” said Michael Roycroft from the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Snow making began in January to fill a pit then everything was covered with saw dust to help insulate the snow from the hot summer temperatures.
By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, the pit had only lost about 25 percent of the snow that was original stored.
The Nordic centre uses trucks to move the snow around and athletes have been using the track for the past week.
“It's a really unique opportunity, there are only a few places in the world that can do it, most of them are in Europe, but now fortunately we are here in Canmore and can do it as well, so it's a huge advantage for us,” said Mark Arendz from the National Para Nordic team.
Most of the other Nordic teams in the world are still using roller skis for training.
For more information on Frozen Thunder, visit the Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation website.