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George Grey - Cross Country

George Grey recently placed 17th in the 15km Skate World Cup race in Canmore. He is based in Rossland, B.C.

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George Grey had his Olympic debut in Torino in 2006 (Photo Courtesy Cross Country Canada)

My name is George Grey. I am twenty-eight years old and I was raised in the small but delightful town of Rossland, B.C. from the age of three. My parents moved our family over from England to give my brother and I and outdoor upbringing. Rossland is truly one of Canada’s little jewels.

As a youngster I took full advantage Red Mountain…our local ski hill. But Rossland offers so many outdoor activities that downhill skiing and snowboarding were just two of the cards in my ‘stacked’ hand. There was also track and field, mountain biking, rugby, waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing, and cross country skiing among others competing for my time.

The majority of my competing life was soon to be dedicated to the sport of cross-country skiing.

Mountain biking was a very close second and it came down to a simple decision of one or the other at the age of sixteen. I was similarly talented in both. My choice was to be cross-country skiing because there was not the mechanical breakdown factor.

My biggest frustration with mountain bike racing came when I was leading a NOR-AM race in at Grouse Mountain and my bike gave up working because it was caked in mud and then my chain snapped. With nothing to repair the damage I was forced to quit what could have been a great day. Cross-country skiing was to be my sport of choice and I love it to this day!

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George Grey during the 15km Skate World Cup race in Canmore, AB Jan 24, 2008 where he placed 17th(Photo Courtesy Morten Byskov)

Cross-country skiing is not a glamorous sport in Canada but it gets the hype and attention in many overseas countries that hockey, football, and baseball get in North America. So for me, following the World Cup circuit, I am a star in some people’s eyes! Currently I am in Lahti, Finland preparing for a fifteen kilometer classic race.

But something very big has just happened in today’s competition. Today was a skate sprint which a one point two kilometer course in which you do a qualify run and the top thirty then move forward into head to head heats of six people. The top two move on and eventually end up in a final heat to determine the winner. I must add that I am a distance athlete and do not compete in the sprint event. So what happened right? Chandra Crawford of Canada advanced through each round and won the gold. That is a huge result and is well celebrated over here.

I look forward to sharing more of my racing and training life with you but now it is time for me to go and limber up my body and toughen up my mind for the World Cup tomorrow.

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