As most of us slide around on the ice clinging to our frigid city, searching for our new classes and trying to get back into the swing of things, many student-athletes from across Canada have embarked on a trek to Innsbruck, Austria. They will be representing Canada at the 22nd Winter University Games, featuring 47 countries competing for 69 international titles. Competition begins Jan. 12 and runs through Jan. 22.
The Winter Universiade, as it is dubbed, is one of the largest sporting events the world has to offer, placing amongst such world renowned events as the Winter Olympic Games.
Canada has fielded teams for various events within the alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, biathlon and ice hockey disciplines. Sixty-two athletes from universities and colleges around Canada arrived in Austria over the last few days and some begin competition as early as Jan. 13. Team Canada hopes to better its previous result from Tarvisio, Italy in 2003. We won 10 medals that year, our second highest historical total.
The University of Calgary contributes three individuals to the cross-country team. Sarah Daitch of Fort Smith, NWT will be competing in female competitions. In 2004 she was awarded gold in the continuous pursuit at the Alberta Championships as well as placing sixth in the 10-km skate at the Canadian Championships. She will be joined by Michael Argue of Yellowknife, NWT and Cyrus Kangarloo of Calgary on the men's side of the team. Argue was a double medallist at the 2003 Canada Winter Games.
Team Canada men's hockey competition begins Jan. 13 with a game against China. Snowboarding competitions also begin that day. Biathlon and cross-country skiing events begin Jan. 14 and finally alpine skiing events begin Jan. 15. Check www.cisport.ca/innsbruck2005 for up-to-date scores and results.