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Although he’s not a man to be effusive with his emotions, Pollock seems genuinely excited to be back working with the Canadian women. “This is a really good time to be part of this team,” says the newly-appointed slalom/GS head coach. “We have a really strong group of coaches on both the speed and technical sides. And a lot of talent among the athletes. But more importantly, we all understand what kind of effort it takes to get results.”
He points to the current camp as an example. “Look — we’re all here working together. Coaches, athletes, techs, all disciplines — and we’re all learning from each other. I think that’s another thing that Patrick brings to this team — cohesiveness. And that means everyone is a lot more open in the way they do things…”
Pollock’s expertise — backstopped by the equally-seasoned Mark Sharpe of Invermere — should come in handy for a Canadian technical team that struggled mightily last year. True, the two GS stars — Forsythe and Simard — were out with injuries (and are slated for return this season), but the rest of the squad could barely muster past mediocre for most of the season.
Results only say so much, cautions Pollock. “There are some really strong young skiers coming up in that group,” says the coach who’ll be mostly responsible for honing the up-and-comers’ skills. “I think we’re going to see some good things from them this winter.”
The last word comes from Boyd. “Things are definitely looking up,” he says. “There’s a feeling on the team right now — maybe the best I’ve experienced in four years.” He smiles. “You know, we’ll be spending a lot of time training in Whistler over the next few months. So to everyone out there: if you see the girls at the grocery store or in the village or jogging in the park, don’t hesitate to say ‘Hi!’ Remember, we want them to really feel like they’re at home here…”