his big day approaches, Dow Travers is more upbeat than when he first arrived
at Whistler two weeks ago.
first Winter Olympian goes in the giant slalom on Tuesday and after a
frustrating first week of not getting much practice on the slopes because of
mild weather, the last few days have been better.
the skiing, Travers, 22, has regular sessions in the gym and is constantly
under the physio for a troublesome ankle. No wonder relaxation time is just
spent sleeping. He manages to check his Facebook and is pleased that the rugby
crowd in Cayman is rooting for him. Some of them even came over to cheer him on
but have to return before he races because his event day was put back two days
due to lack of snow.
is a Cayman national rugby player so there are plenty at the club house in
South Sound monitoring his progress as well as Caymanians generally.
is his first visit to Whistler, Canada’s premiere ski resort, 80 miles north of
Vancouver, where many indoor events are being held. Travers thinks it merits
its claim to be one of the world’s best. “Well just in terms of the amount of
skiing ability of how many acres there are, it’s amazing. There are few places
to compare, but I hear that the weather here is very inconsistent.”
is on a fast learning curve as he is a novice to world class giant slalom
racing. His coach Gene Bridgewater said: “We’re just doing the fine tuning now,
it should be a good race.”
slalom consists of two runs on two separate courses, going around 50-something
‘gates’. It combines the speed of the downhill with the technical side of being
able to turn quickly and negotiate the terrain at over 40 miles an hour. The
first course will be about 70-75 seconds in length and after all 80-odd
competitors come down, a different course will be set. The top 30 finishers
from that first run will be flipped in running order.
Canadian who will be keenly monitoring how well Travers does is Shane Hunter, a
snowboard instructor on the Blackcomb Mountain where Travers trains.
said: “I think it’s amazing that the Cayman Islands has produced an Olympic
skier and I wish Dow all the best.”