Chamonix athletes are going for goldLocal Alpinists win international recognition
It's been a great season for two sporting Chamoniards this winter, Nina Cook Silitch and Blaise Giezendanner.
First up is Nina, who recently won the World Cup Ski Mountaineering Sprint in Tromso, Norway on the 14th April. It is a double whammy for Nina from New England in the USA, as not only is it the first time that Chamonix has brought home a gold medal in this event but it is also the first time that a North American has won any World Ski Cup mountaineering event.
The sprint race starts off with competitors on touring skis, kicking and gliding as fast as they can. They must then whip off the skis and bootpack up an ascent with their skis strapped to their backpacks before skiing the descent, which is made all the harder by having to navigate the tight turns and obstacles that are placed in their way. The race then culminates in a high-speed skate to the finish line – all to be completed in a dizzying 2:30-3:30 minutes!
Nina's next event is the Patrouille des glaciers on the 27th April – a 52km ski mountaineering race that is organised by the Swiss Army! You can follow Nina's exploits on her blog and she is also the vice-president of the Club de Ski Alpinisme Chamonix.
Hot on Nina's heels in the competitive world of Alpine Sports is young Chamoniard Blaise Giezendanner. 20 year old Blaise has been picked to join the French Alpine ski team and will be competing on the European cup circuit next winter in the downhill, Super G and giant slalom events. He is the 8th local athlete to be picked for the team since 2000 – GO CHAMONIX!!!