Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This Saturday's Race - The Dairy Queen Source for Sports Bunny Hop

Dairy Queen Source for Sports Bunny Hop
5K & 10K

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A 5K run is being added to the Bunny Hop
for those of you
not yet ready to tackle 10K this early in the season!

Date: Saturday, April 3, 2010

Start Time: 9:00 am

Registration: 7:30 am at the Dairy Queen, University Ave (Find it on THE MAP)

Fee: $10 for adults, $5.00 for students

Sponsor: Dairy Queen and Source for Sports

Fundraiser: Kidney Foundation

Contact: Les MacKay 892-9869 or 368-6905 lkmackay@edu.pe.ca

Course Description: Few hills, but quite fast

Course Map

If you are not able to run, please consider volunteering.
Call Les at 892-9869 or 368-6905 lkmackay@edu.pe.ca

Connaughton wins two events at U.S. invitational


Connaughton wins two events at U.S. invitational
The Guardian

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Jared Connaughton of New Haven teamed up with an International 4x100 relay team to win the University of Texas at Arlington Bobby Lane Invitational recently.
Connaughton and teammates Anson Henry of Ontario and Americans Otis McDaniel and Darvis (Doc) Patton won in a time 39.33 seconds.
All teammates were Olympians except McDaniel, who is an all-American.
The time was the third-fastest relay time in the world this year.
Connaughton also won the 200-metre event and ran away from the rest of the competitors in extreme wind conditions in a field of over 70 sprinters.
Connaughton will compete next weekend at the Texas Relays at the University of Texas in Austin.

It is one of the largest track and field meets in the United States and will include over 1,000 athletes, Connaughton will go for his third victory of the early track season.

Mark's Paralympic Adventures

The wait is over

The Guardian

For the past three years I have dreamed of 10 days in March.

For those three years I would go out every day to train or compete with a goal to get better or to have more experience, so I could be the best I could be for those 10 days.

I woke up and every morning for those years I asked myself ‘what do I have to do today to obtain my goals’ during those 10 days.

On the evening before I left for Vancouver I thought 'wow'. The Games had felt so far away for so long and then it hit me, the next time I would wake up I would only be hours from traveling to the 2010 Winter Paralympics.

During the two weeks the Olympics had been on I had watched and followed it very closely. t truly amazed me the power that sport can have on a single person, a team, or a country.

I didn’t just watch only a few sports I found myself watching every sport. Sure I had a greater passion, and could almost recite the entire event schedule for cross country and biathlon, but I was watching other sports.

One night I thought to myself, ‘it’s a Saturday night and I’m at home watching pairs ice dance’. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to watch and cheer on Team Canada.

I stood up and sang O Canada every time it was played. I took a moment of silence with Joannie Rochette at the end of her routine. I yelled at the sweepers on Kevin Martin’s rink. I cheered with the crowd for every shot J.P. LeGuellec hit. My heart was beating as fast as Devon Kershaw’s was in that Sprint finish at the end of the 50-kilometre.

And going back to my heritage I even swore in Dutch alongside Sven Kramer after the 10,000-metre.

I saw friends reach new heights; personal bests come agonizingly close and not close at all. I felt a greater attraction to these Games then I had ever before, whether it was because they were in Canada or because I knew what all those athletes had gone through to get there.

Either way, I saw that Canadians enjoyed themselves and I believe we all became hungry for more.

At 7:10 a.m. on the eighth of March, my Paralympic experience began.

We drove down to the airport in Calgary to catch our flight to Vancouver. As we came off the plane I had my first encounter with the volunteers (or smurfs because of their bright blue jackets and toques and probably because their smiles never faded). They were so friendly you could ask them anything and they would have the answer or would find it for you.

We had our accreditations activated at the airport; during the Paralympics your accreditation has more power than your passport does. The only thing you can do that you do not need your accreditation is sleep.

We headed to the conveyor belt to make sure that the smurfs had collected all of our bags and onto the bus. After a two-hour drive up the Sea-to-Sky highway we turned right at Function Junction just before Whistler and entered the Whistler Paralympic village.

We passed through metal detectors and had all our bags scanned - airport style. We also had to check in our air rifles, and were not allowed to have them in our rooms due to security concerns.

Our next stop was our rooms in the athlete’s village. Awaiting our arrival were the clothing packages from Hbc. We were urged to try on all the clothing to ensure that it fit, my shirts all fit but my pants were gigantic. I could fit into just one pant leg.

After getting the super-sized clothing issue resolved, my next concern was food!

The dining centre was a huge tent, but it had carpeted floors so it was pretty fancy. The first thing you notice is the McDonalds, the athlete’s perfect recovery food. Then there was the market, which contained a salad bar, fresh fruit, desserts, cold cuts, breads, cereals and dairy. Around the central market were the food stations. A pasta stand, pizza (always get the fresh slices), and a made-to-order stir-fry station, and Asian food (rice and stir-fry) the last two stations were a grill and a continental cuisine area.

The food was great, well prepared and there were plenty of choices. The favorites had to be the made-to-order stir fry and continental cuisine but a close second with McDonalds (as recovery or celebration of the race, whatever sounds better to you).

The next few days were a blur. We trained every day, doing some of the last minute tuning to our fitness so that come March 13 we were ready to go. I began testing my skis to narrow the choices down so that on the morning of the race I would only be testing two pairs to decide which I would race on.

Then it came, March 12, 2010. I had an easy work out in the morning, pretty much just to get out and get the blood flowing, some last minute testing on the changing conditions.

Around noon the majority of the team boarded some buses and headed down from Whistler to Vancouver to be in the opening ceremonies. I choose not to attend as I wanted to focus on the biathlon pursuit that was the next day. The best guess at when the athletes from the opening ceremonies could return to the village in Whistler was after midnight. I had to be on the bus up to the race site by 8:30 a.m. the next morning. I watched the ceremonies live from the Canadian athlete’s lounge in the village. It was something else though to see that there was not a seat to be found in BC Place. It was an awesome opening ceremonies (in my opinion better then the Olympic opening, because it involved youth, the future of the Olympic and Paralympic movements. I have nothing against Wayne Gretzky but I thought it had a much greater impact to have a kid light the Paralympic cauldron). I stayed in the moment and was not thinking about what I would accomplish the next day.

At 10:31:30.1 a.m. PST of March 13, I took my first step as a Paralympian.

The first race was the biathlon pursuit. I had very good skis; I was focused on the moment and skiing very well.

I was a little unnerved in the first bout of shooting missing my first two shots. I went out hard trying to make up some of the time that I had just lost with the shooting. I came in the range for the second shooting. I guess I was on the big screen because when I hit my first target there was a sudden uproar from the crowd. I had to take a fraction of a second to absorb that moment.

I continued my shooting hitting the target and getting a huge reaction from the stands. I hit the last shot, hitting all five targets. I thought the crowd had yelled loud before, but when I hit that last target it was thunderous. That pushed me even harder, I gave anything I had left and was brought to the finish line again by a thunderous roar. Beside the two early misses I finished seventh and had qualified to the final that afternoon.

I stuck with the same skis as I had raced on in the morning for the final. My first lap of skiing was awesome, I was on fire. I had a good shooting, missing one target and completed the penalty loop in no time. Back on course I was really going for it and had caught the eventual silver medalist.

The race quickly deteriorated during my second bout of shooting. I missed three shots, which put me out of the running. I skied around that penalty loop as fast as I could and quickly got back on course and managed to pick up two spots before reaching the finish line of my first Paralympic race day. I ended up in seventh, a really strong result considering I missed four shots. I was skiing incredibly well.

I now had a three-day break from competing because I was skipping the 20-kilometre race on Monday. I took Sunday very easy to recover from Saturday’s race.

On Monday I went out onto the recreational trails in the Callaghan Valley. It turned out to be one of the best skis I have ever had.

My grip was incredible, the trail was awesome with rolling terrain, but a few fun and entertaining downhill sections. I was out there for over two hours and I enjoyed every minute of it. That ski gave me an opportunity to get over the emotions of the first race and to physically and mentally prepare for the next race.

The biathlon individual was the same story. My skiing held me in contention with the top spots, but on the range I struggled hitting only 11 of the 20 targets and so adding nine minutes of penalty time to my ski time. I wanted a good result.

Now looking back I probably wanted too much and could not get into my shooting groove. I was still pleased and proud of both biathlon events.

But I was also a little relieved that the remaining races did not involve shooting so I could just rely on what seemed to be in great form and that was my skiing and fitness. To add to my experience, I broke my pole - it would be my first pole I broke while racing.

Well, I didn’t break it, the guy behind me stepped on the end of my pole splitting it into two. The worst of this was that I didn’t have a spare close by. I yelled for a coach to radio ahead to have the pole ready but he mis-communicated where I was. I was forced to climb the steepest hill on the course without a pole in my last lap of five. That hurt so much, but most of that pain was me because even with breaking the pole I refused to allow the guy behind me (the one that broke the pole) to pass. The other coach with my spare had run up a hill and just slipped through a break in the fence and handed it to me as I skied by.


Fun, poles and heroes

The Guardian

In order to race well you have to have some time where you just relax, have some fun and take your mind away from the skiing or the snow. Team Canada had an opportunity to do just that by hanging out with Rick Mercer, as he was filming for his March 23 episode.

In the morning he had gone out skiing with Brian and Robin McKeever. He tried to guide Brian but that didn’t work so well. So they took another approach and had Brian (who is the blind one) guide Rick along some trails in the Callaghan Valley.

He then joined the para-nordic team back at the athlete’s village for lunch in the food tent, sharing stories and laughs. To wrap up his day he spent some time interviewing members of the team in the athlete’s lounge as we watched some fellow Canadians compete in the para-alpine events that afternoon. This was a great stress reliever and a chance to allow our clothes to dry out a little.

In good B.C. fashion, the morning’s training had been highlighted by the fact that I would have stayed drier had I simply jumped into a swimming pool. No joke! It was raining so hard that anything you did didn’t help you stay dry. I had a very good rain resistant suit on along with a plastic poncho over top, but still I got soaked. It took me almost a full day to dry my gloves and still in the morning threw them into the dryer for an extra 20 minutes. Our coaches were holding umbrellas in the range, but I don’t think it helped with anything.

My third race was the 10-kilometre cross-country race. In Vancouver this race was classic. The conditions were challenging. Freezing temperatures along with the heavy down pour from the previous two days meant the race course had been transformed into a Crashed Ice event (the slightly crazy Quebec event were they cover a hill with ice and obstacles and a bunch of guys in hockey gear tumble down, with the fastest winning).

Even with the 10 a.m. start the snow (or I should say ice) held firm and made keeping and edge for turning very difficult. It was fun though. The race came down to who had the fastest first lap, without burning up on the climbs and had the most grip wax left for the second lap.

I may have been a little cautious on my first lap, trying to conserve my grip wax for the second lap.

I was about to finish the first lap when the unthinkable happened. I broke my pole again. In eight years of racing I had never broken a pole now I had had broken two in two races. A Korean coach handed me a spare (shorter then I usually use) within a few metres of me breaking my pole. I used this one for the remaining 500 metres before going through the stadium and picking up my proper spare from a wax tech.

I was now forced to turn up the heat and really fight to make up for both the slow first lap and breaking the pole. One of the heavy favorites caught me with four-kilometres left. I stayed with him; he never got further then 10 metres ahead of me.

To my extreme surprise I was catching and passing him on the flats, which he is one of the strongest at. He had a bad pair of boards and mine were only getting better. We came into the last climb, I caught up again and I’m not sure how or why, kept going right by him, and left him for dead.

He still finished higher than I did, but I had the satisfaction of beating him to the line. Next step, I’ll beat him to the finish line and in the final results.

I was very happy with that race. I skied very well and executed my race plan quite well. For me there is nothing I regret about that race.

That evening the team went to the Whistler Awards Plaza to cheer for our two medal winners from the day: Brian and Robin McKeever (gold) and Colette Bourgonje (bronze).

I was always surprised at the size of the crowds at every one of the award ceremonies. The crowd cheered on athletes from every country, but they saved a little extra every time there was a Canadian on the podium.

To look up and see two teammates up on the podium, it inspired me. I wanted to be up there and I will. But this young grasshopper must have patience.

I came to these Games to gain experience. I wanted to learn how I reacted to the whole Games experience, to know what to expect. To deliver the performance on demand that is required at a Games. If a result would have been there that would be incredible, but not what I came to do. I saw the work that both of those medal winners had put in over the past four years. Though at the same time it was not only the past four years that brought them to that podium.

In Colette’s case, this was her sixth (yes sixth) Winter Paralympics (plus three Summer Games). Her journey has been ongoing for some time. The stories and experiences that she has had over the years, I can only dream of right now.

One day I’ll look back and I can only hope that I can pass on the inspiration she gave to me onto someone else.

Thanks Colette!


The Best Ever

The Guardian

The next day was the last day without a race. Saturday would be the first of the last two days of racing and of the 2010 Paralympics.

The training for the day was an easy hour with a focus on three things: one, to recover from yesterday’s race; second, to learn and study the course that was to be my course for tomorrow’s relay: lastly to practice the 180 degree corner that would be used in the Sprint race on Sunday.

For me to relax the best medicine is to have some fun, so that is what I did that morning. Tried a few tricks, but of course making sure I didn’t get hurt.

The final stretch was upon us. We had two races in two days and at the end of that these Games would come to a close.

For the first time I can remember the Canadian men would field a relay team. Because of the way a men’s relay works, our lead was Sebastien Fortier (a new sit-skier from Quebec, and my roommate), Tyler Mosher (a LW3 from right here in Whistler) and I was the anchor.

The relay is the only race where we have a true mass start. When the gun went off all eight sit-skiers took off. This is something to watch, it is the only chance the spectators get to see the differences between the classes of sit-skiers.

I started in eighth position almost two minutes back from seventh place. wasn’t even thinking of catching the guy ahead or realized how far he was ahead.

As I started my leg, my goal was to get the fastest time of my leg. I got right into it and was really hammering out of the stadium. I almost reached the top of the first climb and saw the leaders going back down the hill into the stadium finishing their first lap. Sure I would have loved to be right there fighting for the medals, but I was focused on what I wanted to do.

I was skiing really well. I was on fire. I skied smooth and relaxed and at the same time I was powerful. I felt agile and controlled even though I was taking the corners hard and faster then I had ever done.

I skied into the stadium and saw the seventh place skier still quite a bit ahead. This is where I started thinking I could close the gap and take in a spot. I was dead last, there was really no reason to cheer, but as I skied around the corner and right in front of the stands, an incredible roar began. This pushed me even faster.

I climbed that first hill as hard as I could muster. At the bottom a coach yelled I was 45 seconds back. After pushing over that hill and beginning the next climb, the next coach yelled I was only 30 seconds back. I had him in my sights and I was hungry! The next climb was where I made my move. I was right on his tail at the top of the second last climb. I got into the lowest tuck I could and caught right up to him, passed and jump right in front of him so that I got the line I wanted in the upcoming s-turn.

I had never gone into this corner has fast as I did that time. Came out of the corner hard and was right into putting some more ground between me and the now last place. He tried to come back charging hard but had nothing left. Everything I had left I used to climb the remaining hill and it was into the stadium. The crowd again brought me home in an incredible fashion.

As I crossed the line, I knew that was my best race. I was ecstatic, I was so proud of that race and I even got to move the team up a spot.

I later learned it was the best ever finish for a Canadian men’s relay team. The only downside of putting everything out on the line was that I was now one hurting puppy. I did a 10-minute cool down on my skis, and then quickly hopped onto a bus to head back to the athlete’s village.

Once I was back in the village I got into the hot-cold tubs right away. Two minutes in the cold tub (the water was about 6 degrees Celsius) followed by a minute in the hot tub (the water was about 104 degree Fahrenhiet). This cycle was repeated another three times. The cold water is a shock to the system, but it works because afterwards I felt pretty good. A short but effective massage that evening and I was ready to go tomorrow.

The final day of competition was to be the cross-country sprint, which was also classic this year. I knew it was going to be a difficult day.

The first challenge was to qualify. My category had 33 athletes on the list to start that morning with only the top-eight moving on to the semis.

I would start second, which is a good and bad thing. Good, because the race plan was simple; go as hard as I could, balls to the wall, and stay upright and set the time to beat.

The not so good thing was that the next few guys behind me were red group skiers and my time would be knocked down quickly.

But that is something I can’t control. All I had to do was focus on going as hard as I could up the two climbs and along the flatter sections near the end of the course.

And that was what I did. I was extremely pleased with that race. I did everything I could it was now up to the rest of the field to determine where I finished.

I set the time to beat by over 20 seconds when I crossed the finish line. I only held the lead until the next skier came in. This repeated several times and I was now in eighth (the bubble spot as we call it). If there was a chance that I qualified, I had to be ready (I held onto the eighth spot for quite a while).

I went to cool down and prepare for the next round of sprinting. When I came back though, it wasn’t to be.

One of the last skiers to go had slipped into the top-eight and pushed me into ninth. I was the first not to qualify.

Even though I had not moved on I was so happy with that race. I had finally put together two great races, but, of course, in the last two days here in the Callaghan Valley (and hadn’t broken a pole in the last two races either).

My Paralympics were over. Wait, let me rephrase that: my 2010 Paralympics were over.

There still remained a few things to be done before everything could come to a close. My skis and poles had to be packed up, the wax cabins had to be cleaned up, all the gear had to be organized into where it was heading, I had to get cleaned up and dressed for the closing ceremony and, of course, food had to be eaten.

We did take a pause during our clean up to open a bottle of champagne and had a toast to a very successful Paralympics. I got back to the athlete’s village with enough time to change, shower and eat an eight-minute “lunch” before I had to board the bus to go to the closing ceremony.

The closing ceremony was awesome. Beside the downpour while all the athletes were waiting to parade in, everything went smooth and it was an enjoyable experience.

I must say that the sand artist during the Sochi 2014 presentation was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. As I watched the Paralympic flame fade out there was a sense of closure on these Games. And then it was all over.

The 2010 Paralympics have been an incredible 10 days (“the best ever” according to Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee).

There are no words that can completely describe everything I experienced there. The stories, the triumphs, the crashes and heartbreaks and the broken poles these are all part of the Games.

For me now, I will analyze all aspects of my performances and experiences and figure out what worked and what didn’t. I will begin to plan out the next four years.

What will be my goals, what do I need to work towards and hundreds of other things need to be either answered or planned out over the next little while, as I begin my journey to Sochi 2014.

I would like to take a moment to THANK everyone that supported me over the past few years. I could not be where I am right now without the support I received from each and every one of you.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Documentary on paralympian Arendz wins Gold Award

Arendz misses gold in BC but finds gold in New York
War Amps film featuring PEI Champ wins communications award

The Journal Pioneer

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A War Amps documentary, which features the inspiring story of Mark Arendz of Prince Edward Island, has won a Gold Award at the 2010 International Mercury Awards in New York City.
“Mark, an Island Champ”, a 30-minute-long documentary, tells the story of how Arendz, now 20, lost his left arm at the age of seven in a farm accident. Soon after, he enrolled in The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program and attended an Atlantic CHAMP Seminar, which was a positive turning point for both him and his family.
For Mark, it was a chance to meet and be inspired by other amputees. For his parents, it meant being embraced by the Champ “family” and the reassurance that there would be no limits to what their son could achieve.
Mark adopted Champ’s Winner’s Circle philosophy, and is now a role model for the younger Champs and a volunteer Safety Ambassador.
Arendz just returned from competing at the Paralympic Games in Whistler, B.C. A member of the Canadian Para-Nordic team, Arendz put in several strong skiing performances at Whistler Paralympic Park, including a final leg in the cross-country relay where Canada finished seventh.
Arendz also competed in the one-kilometre sprint but did not move past the qualifiers. He was seventh in the three-kilometre biathlon pursuit and set a personal best in the 10-kilometre cross-country race.
The 2010 International Mercury Awards, which honour excellence in professional communication, were chosen from nearly 1,000 entries from more than 20 countries.


Mark was on the season finale of The Rick Mercer Report last night where Rick ribbed him a bit about

his photo in Chatelaine Magazine's "Our nation’s best...undressed". Quite the exposure Mark....

Photographs by KC Armstrong and Colin Way

Monday, March 22, 2010

Young Paralympian has perfect mentor in McKeever

Young Paralympian has perfect mentor in McKeever

By Marc Weber , Canwest Paralympic TeamMarch 20, 2010

Mark Arendz of Canada competes in the Men's 12.5km Standing Biathlon event during the 2010 Paralympic Games at Whistler Paralympic Park in Whistler, Canada.

Mark Arendz of Canada competes in the Men's 12.5km Standing Biathlon event during the 2010 Paralympic Games at Whistler Paralympic Park in Whistler, Canada.
Photograph by:
Hannah Johnston, Getty Images

WHISTLER, B.C. — Canadian Para-Nordic staff called it a coincidence that Mark Arendz and Brian McKeever are sharing an apartment at these Games, but they couldn’t have planned it any better.

McKeever, who has nine career Paralympic medals — six of them gold — and could add a 10th in Sunday’s one-kilometre sprint, is the undisputed champion in his sport.

Arendz, at the age of 20 is at his first Games and, with the Nordic team’s average age creeping up on 38, he’s a crucial part of its future.

“Those are the footsteps I want to follow,” said Arendz, who had his left arm amputated above the elbow at the age of seven after a grain auger accident. “Brian’s dedication to the sport, what he’s done for the sport, that’s something I want to do for sure.

"There’ll be one day that he’ll stop, and I hope I’m still around to keep it going.”

Much of what Arendz has learned at these Games has been outside the start and finish lines. After early disappointments in the biathlon, Arendz said he wanted it too much.

His coaches — Kaspar Wirz and McKeever’s brother and guide, Robin — said the Paralympic scene had Arendz over-excited and that he’d put too much pressure on himself.

“This is a learning experience for him,” Wirz said, “and I think he’s had quite a few good experiences to learn what not to do.”

Arendz has put in several strong skiing performances at Whistler Paralympic Park, including a final leg Saturday as Canada finished seventh in the cross-country relay.

Technically and speed-wise, Robin McKeever called Arendz’s skiing “amazing.” But Arendz struggled in the biathlon range and has also been unlucky to twice break poles.

“This is an eye-opener for him, but that’s good,” said McKeever, who won gold in both the 10-kilometre and 20-kilometre visually impaired cross-country races.

“We’ve all been there and he’ll be stronger for it. He’s young and full of potential and it’s fun to watch kids like that progress.”

Arendz will also compete in the one-kilometre sprint on Sunday. He was seventh in the three-kilometre biathlon pursuit and set a personal best in the 10-kilometre cross-country race.

Following his amputation, Arendz joined the War Amps’ CHAMP program and has since counselled other young amputees and promoted the PLAYSAFE message in schools.

The native of Charlottetown, P.E.I., wants to one day qualify for an Olympics, just like McKeever, who made history this year despite not getting to compete.

Given his disability, Arendz is fully aware that his dream might sound fanciful. He experimented briefly with a prosthetic for able-bodied races but found it was more of a hindrance. The technology is not there yet, he said.

“Brian has all four limbs, so it’s a little easier for him (to qualify for the Olympics),” said Arendz, who studies engineering at the University of Calgary. “But it’s something that has always been in the back of my head and now that Brian’s done it, it’s more real for me. I’ll just keep going, and if I don’t reach it, whatever. It’s a goal.

“The biggest thing I want to do is inspire the future generation. Whether it’s in cross-country or biathlon, or any other sport, or even outside of sport. Just that kids get out there and have fun and be active, even with an amputation.”

Vancouver Province


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Luck Mark !!

Good Luck Mark !!

Mark Arendz

A native of Springton, P.E.I., and graduate of Bluefield High School, Mark Arendz
is preparing to com
pete for Canada in the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games
March 12-21 in Vancouver, B.C.

March 13 - Biathlon Pursuit

March 17 - Biathlon Individual

March 18 - Cross Country 10km- classic

March 20 - Team Relay

March 21 - Cross Country Sprint- classic

You can join us in sending your best wishes to Mark
and showing your support by emailing
During the Paralympic Games, send your support & best wishes
to Mark and/or the Ski Team at RGear@cccski.com

March 11 - Proud parents of Island paralympian

Island Morning's Mitch Cormier speaks with Johan and Janny Arendz of Springton, PEI. They are en route to Whistler, BC, to watch their 20-year-old son Mark Arendz compete in five events in the Paralympic Games. Mark will compete in biathlon and cross country skiing.He lost his left arm above the elbow in a farm accident as a child.

Right click to Download March 11 - Proud parents of Island paralympian
[mp3 file: runs 6:12]

Mark Arendz's blogs:

Mark Arendz's past blogs:

March 2010February 2010January 2010December 2009November 2009October 2009
September 2009August 2009July 2009June 2009


Mark Arendz is a 19-year-old student from the province of Prince Edward Island and a member of the Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team. Being competitive by nature, he took a liking to sports at a very young age. At the age of seven, he was involved in a farm accident, which resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. While this accident was a life altering experience, it did not affect his love of sport or deter him from any future aspirations.

He began skiing in the back yard when he was about five years old. He began his competitive career in 2003 with the use of a ski prosthetic and racing in able-bodied competitions only. His interest turned towards biathlon after watching the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and he decided to give it a try. The following winter he began shooting and soon was on the local cadet biathlon team. Mark had great success with that team, setting record results at Nationals and becoming the first island team to medal.

His focus for this year is the upcoming 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Vancouver. His goals in Vancouver are a medal in both Biathlon competitions, a top-8 finish in the 10km and to reach the semi-finals in the Sprint race. Mark is also applying the mental skills and dedication involved with being a high- performance athlete to studying Engineering at the University of Calgary.

Notable Results:
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Mount Washington, BC, Canada, biathlon individual- 4
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, biathlon pursuit- 4
2009- IPC World Championships, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, biathlon pursuit- 6
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, 10km classic- 15
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Mount Washington, BC, Canada, 10km free- 14
2008- NorAm, Para stand, Sovereign Lake, BC, Canada, 15km mass free- 1
2008 - IPC World Cup Ranking: biathlon- 9
2008 - IPC World Cup Ranking: cross country- 17
2008 - Haywood Ski Nationals: Aggregate- 1
2008-09 Results:
2009- Canadian Championships, Youth Men, Valcartier, QC, Canada, biathlon relay- 6
2009- Canadian Championships, Youth Men, Valcartier, QC, Canada, biathlon sprint- 16
2009- Canadian Championships, Youth Men, Valcartier, QC, Canada, biathlon individual- 16
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Mount Washington, BC, Canada, 10km free- 14
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Mount Washington, BC, Canada, biathlon individual- 4
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Mount Washington, BC, Canada, biathlon sprint- 9
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, biathlon individual- 11
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, Sprint classic- 22
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, 10km classic- 15
2009- IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Whistler, BC, Canada, biathlon pursuit- 4
2009- Canadian Birkebeiner, overall, Edmonton, AB, Canada, 31km classic- 24
2009- IPC World Championships, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, sprint classic- 18
2009- IPC World Championships, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, 10km free- 20
2009- IPC World Championships, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, biathlon individual- 13
2009- IPC World Championships, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, biathlon pursuit- 6
2008- NorAm #1, Para stand, Sovereign Lake, BC, Canada, Sprint free- 1
2008- NorAm #1, Para stand, Sovereign Lake, BC, Canada, 10km free- 1
2008- NorAm #2, Para stand, Sovereign Lake, BC, Canada, 15km mass free- 1
2008- NorAm #2, Para stand, Sovereign Lake, BC, Canada, 10km classic- 1
2008- NorAm/Calforex #1, Youth Men, Canmore, AB, Canada, Individual- 2
2008- NorAm/Calforex #1, Youth Men, Canmore, AB, Canada, Sprint- 2
2008- Merino Muster, overall, Wanaka, NZ, 21km free- 3
2007-08 Results:
2008 - IPC World Cup Finals, Nes, Norway: biathlon pursuit- 15
2008 - IPC World Cup Finals, Nes, Norway: classic sprint- 11
2008 - IPC World Cup Finals, Nes, Norway: biathlon short- 10
2008 - IPC World Cup Finals, Nes, Norway: classic short- 18
2008 - IPC World Cup, Vuokatti Finland: biathlon pursuit- 7
2008 - IPC World Cup, Vuokatti Finland: biathlon long- 8
2008 - IPC World Cup, Vuokatti Finland: 10km classic- 14
2008 - IPC World Cup, Vuokatti Finland: 20km free- 19
2008 - IPC World Cup, Isny, Germany: 1.2km free- 21
2008 - IPC World Cup, Isny, Germany: 10km classic- 20
2008 - IPC World Cup, Isny, Germany: 20km classic- 16
2008 - IPC World Cup, Isny, Germany: 10km free- 14
2008 - Haywood Ski Nationals, Callaghan Valley, BC: 15km classic- 1
2008 - Haywood Ski Nationals, Callaghan Valley, BC: Sprint free- 1
2008 - Haywood Ski Nationals, Callaghan Valley, BC: 7.5km free- 1
2008 - Haywood Ski Nationals, Callaghan Valley, BC: 5km classic- 1
2006-07 Results (Para-Nordic):
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Isny, Germany, sprint free – 15
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Isny, Germany, 18.7km free – 17
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Isny, Germany, 5.1km classic – 16
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Isny, Germany, 8.5km free – 21
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Isny, Germany, sprint classic – 15
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, 20km classic - 14
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, 10km free – 18
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, biathlon 12.5km – 8
2007 – IPC World Cup, LW 2-9, Vuokatti, Finland, biathlon 7.5km – 9
2006 – NorAm Canada Cup, Stand, Canmore, Alta., mass 10km free – 1
2006 – NorAm Canada Cup, Stand, Canmore, Alta., sprint free – 1
2006 – NorAm Canada Cup, Stand, Silver Star, B.C., mass 10 km classic – 3
2006 – NorAm Canada Cup, Stand, Silver Star, B.C., sprint classic – 3
2006-07 Results (Able bodied):
2007 – Cadet National Championships, Whitehorse, YK, biathlon Patrol - 3
2007 – Cadet National Championships, Whitehorse, YK, biathlon Relay – 4
2007 – Cadet National Championships, Whitehorse, YK, biathlon Pursuit – 16
2007 – Cadet National Championships, Whitehorse, YK, biathlon Sprint – 19
2007 – Cadet Provincials, Brookvale, P.E.I., biathlon Relay – 1
2007 – Cadet Provincials, Brookvale, P.E.I., biathlon Ind. – 1
2007 – Eastern Championships, La Patrie, Que., biathlon Sprint – 11
2007 – Eastern Championships, La Patrie, Que., biathlon Ind. – 8

Pursuit of Excellence

Fast skis and excellent coaching combined are the greatest race preparation. All that is left involves the mind.

How do you move a mountain... one stone at a time.

Kaspar Wirz

Saturday, March 6, 2010

PEI RoadRunners AGM and Awards Banquet

The 2009 PEI Roadrunner Awards banquet was at the Charlottetown Armories.
107 people attended. I had good food and a good time.

Jamie Whynacht was the guest speaker.
He talk about a new plan for healthy active living on PEI.

I made the slideshow.

PEI RoadRunners Club 2009 Slideshow from jypsy norman-bain on Vimeo.

Congratulations to all the award winners.

Award Winners

Most Improved Runner: Mike Murrins ~ Rookie of the Year: Rebecca Pike

Female RoadRunner of the Year: Jen Nicholson ~ Male RoadRunner of the Year: Ivan Gallant

Inspirational Runner Award: Kent Mill ~ Volunteer of the Year: Michael Irvine

ADL/Sport PEI Achievement Award Winners
Hashems Variety Points Champions

Billy Van Ekris, Sandra Gregory, Rebecca Pike, Steven Baglole
with Barry MacWilliams from ADL

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Paralympic Torch Relay has begun

The 10-day, 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will give many Canadians, young and old, a chance to discover the unique and inspiring stories of Paralympians and other Canadians who defy the odds.

The 2010 Winter Games are Canada’s Games and the Paralympic Torch Relay is an important event to connect Canadians to the Games.

Through public celebrations, school programs and online, the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will engage Canadians, and hopefully the world, by demonstrating the fire inside each individual and how it inspires others. It will shine a light on their achievements and celebrate their passion for sports. http://www.vancouver2010.com/paralympic-games/more-2010-information/paralympic-torch-relay/

The 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay in brief:

  • Lighting of the Paralympic Flame during a ceremony in Ottawa involves torchbearers who represent each province and territory.
  • This relay is distinct from typical relays as it will happen in and around the Celebration Communities.

The 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will begin in Ottawa on March 3, 2010 and conclude at the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver signalling the start of the Paralympic Winter Games on March 12, 2010 where Paralympians from all over the world will unite to celebrate the possible.

Daily Highlights ~ Photos ~ Videos

The Lighting Ceremony

Unlike the Olympic Flame, the Paralympic Flame has no ancestral home, so the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay will include the local First Nations communities of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg to light the Paralympic Flame on their territory in a Lighting Ceremony in Ottawa on March 3, 2010.

During the Lighting Ceremony, elders from the two First Nations will create and light the Paralympic Flame. The flame will then be brought to Parliament Hill for an event from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Dignitaries and guests will attend the ceremony, which will also feature entertainment. A total of 16 torchbearers, including 13 selected ambassadors from each Canadian province and territory, will run the first legs of the 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay.

The flame will be extinguished at the conclusion of the relay. During the 10-day relay, local First Nations will create a new Paralympic Flame for each celebration community. Ashes from the 10 community Paralympic Torch Relay fires will form the foundation for the final fire to be lit by a Musqueam First Nation fire keeper. The final Paralympic Flame will be lit from this fire and will be used to light the Paralympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games at BC Place.

Flame attendant Martie Wyse transfers a flame from a fire started by Algonquin elders into a portable lantern during, the start of the Paralympic torch relay
on Victoria Island in Ottawa, on Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Remember him? He was by Alex's side (and the side of many others)
during the Olympic Torch Run....

The first 16 Torch Bearers

A representative from each province and territory as well as special Paralympic Torchbearers selected by VANOC, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and a representative from the Aboriginal community have been selected as the first Canadian Paralympic Torchbearers to participate in the first-ever Paralympic Torch Relay Celebration in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, watches as marathon runner Rick Ball of Orillia, Ont., uses his Paralympic torch to light a ceremonial cauldron on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. Ball, 44, hopes to compete in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, watches as marathon runner Rick Ball of Orillia, Ont., uses his Paralympic torch to light a ceremonial cauldron on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. Ball, 44, hopes to compete in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.Photograph by: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Citizen

Olympic fever spilled onto Parliament Hill on Wednesday as dozens of schoolchildren, politicians and the public cheered on Canadian Paralympic torchbearers who carried the Olympic flame in a relay after it was ignited earlier on Victoria Island by Aboriginal firekeepers of the Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi Algonquin bands.

More than 600 torchbearers will carry the flame leading up to the start of the Paralympic Games in Vancouver on March 12, and Ottawa was the first stop. The flame will travel to Quebec City today and Toronto on Friday before visiting several British Columbia communities before the Paralympic Cauldron is lit at B.C. Place in Vancouver.

The relay celebrations precede the start of the first Paralympic Winter Games held in Canada. About 1,000 athletes and officials from more than 40 countries will participate in five sports during the games, which run from March 12 to 21 in Vancouver and Whistler.

Arnold Boldt of Moose Jaw, Sask., was the first Paralympic torchbearer to carry the flame from the steps of Parliament Hill down to the Centennial Flame.

Onstage with him were Prime Minister Stephen Harper, James Moore, minister of Canadian Heritage, Gary Lunn, minister of state (sport), Mary McNeil, minister of state for the Olympics and ActNow BC, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed and John Furlong, chief executive officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee.

Boldt handed the flame to the next in a series of 15 other torchbearers at the ceremony, including Eganville's Justine Belair, who was selected as a representative of Canada's Aboriginal communities. The final torchbearer on Parliament Hill was marathon runner Rick Ball, a 2012 Paralympic Summer Games hopeful from Orillia, Ont. He was selected by the Vancouver Olympic committee.

"It's quite the honour, and I'm very humbled that my athletic compatriots would want me to represent them," Boldt, 52, who has participated in five Paralympics, said after he carried the torch past dozens of schoolchildren and circled the Centennial Flame.

"The kids were tremendous and were very pumped for this. Everyone is enthusiastic about it, and it's great that Canada can host the Winter Paralympics.

"It will be tremendous for the Paralympic movement and for Canadians to see this up close. There has been a lot of media in the last number of months about this, and people are excited about things like sledge hockey and hockey."

Boldt said he expected the same Olympic spirit that Canadians exhibited during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver would carry over when the Paralympics Games begin next week.

CBC Television host Rick Mercer was also one of the 16 Paralympic torchbearers on Parliament Hill on Wednesday. He said he was chosen by British Columbia to represent the province at the ceremony.

"It was suggested that they ask me because I had so many Paralympians and Olympic athletes on my TV show over the years, so I was flattered to be asked," Mercer said.

Furlong said Canada came together as a nation during the Olympics in a way that nobody could have imagined.

"What we've seen over the past days has been astonishing; there are few words left to describe all of what we have seen and felt," Furlong said.

"But we're at the halfway point of this great adventure and now we're about to start phase two," he said, adding that excitement about the Winter Paralympics was building. "The Paralympic movement in this country is very large and grand and Paralympic sport plays right to the human spirit."

Furlong said Vancouver and Whistler were ready to welcome the athletes who will be participating in the games.

The flame was lit on Victoria Island and blessed by Algonquin elders before being brought in a lantern to Parliament Hill, where it was passed to three youth representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapirit Kanatami and Metis National Council.

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Paralympic Games

Watch a video report of Wednesday's flame ceremony

Find results, video, photos and much more on our dedicated site