Whistler’s Tyler Mosher is closing in on the kind of results that would assure him a spot on the national team for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, wrapping up a month-long tour of Europe where he held his own against the top Para-Nordic athletes in the world.
Mosher left Canada on Jan. 4, and headed to Switzerland for training in the Goms Valley with the national Para-Nordic team before heading to the World Cup races in Germany.
Warmer weather prompted a change of venues, and Mosher found himself in Oberstdorf, Germany for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) races.
In the 10 km free technique race, Mosher placed 22 nd — pretty solid considering that most athletes in his category compete on skate skis, while Mosher raced using classic skis and technique. In the 10 km classic race, Mosher placed 18 th , then followed up with a 13 th place finish in the 20 km classic.
“This is great, because the 20 km classic is an event in 2010 that I hope to place well in, along with classic sprint,” wrote Mosher.
The next stop on the tour was in Finland for a free technique sprint, a 20 km free technique event and a 10 km classic race. Mosher placed 24 th in the sprint, once again racing skate skiers, and placed 18 th in the 10 km event. Fighting a cold, he passed on the 20 km race.
Mosher spent the next few days improving his skate skiing, which is challenging with his disability, and preparing for a biathlon pursuit race this weekend.
“It’s been great, a great learning experience, and it’s nice to know that I can be competitive as I work to reach 2010,” he said. “It’s interesting as we get closer to 2010, and with Russia in 2014, to see how much support athletes are getting and what they’re doing to enable the athletes — from the best wax technicians and technical coaches, to dieticians and sports psychologists and physiotherapists. The Para-Nordic world has come a long, long way in a short time and it’s great to be involved with it.”
Following the biathlon, Mosher will return to Whistler to train for Canada’s first Para-Snowboard race and prepare for the cross country nationals at Whistler Olympic Park. He also could head back to Norway to compete in the World Cup finals if he makes the cut.
Following the cross-country nationals, Mosher will head to Colorado for the U.S.A. Snowboard Association nationals at Copper Mountain, which have Para-Snowboarding categories.