Sport Shorts: Skiers Train on the Ice

Alpine Skiers Lace Up: This week in Sherbrooke, Que., the men’s alpine team is training not on the slopes but at the rink. Alpine speed coach Serge Dugas envisioned the idea of hockey as a way not only to have fun and boost team camaraderie but also to improve fitness and strength while working on skills that will translate back to the mountain. In both ice hockey and alpine, athletes need to generate similar pressure and momentum for quick bursts of speed, with turns that require the same muscle groups.

It gives the 2010 Olympic hopefuls a breather from nearby « dryland training », mainly cardio and weights. The men’s training team is composed of Michael Janyk (Whistler), John Kucera (Calgary), Manuel Osborne-Paradis (Vancouver), Erik Guay (Mont-Tremblant, Que.), Robbie Dixon (Whistler), Ryan Semple (Montreal), Louis-Pierre Hélie (Berthierville, Que.), Trevor White (Calgary), Brad Spence (Calgary), Patrick Biggs (Ottawa) and Julien Cousineau (Lachute, Que.). Alpine skiers leave for New Zealand next week for on-snow training.

Wozniak Takes Down French Open Champ: Svetlana Kuznetsova is the fifth-ranked women’s tennis player in the world and just won the French Open. But 10 days later on June 16, she ran into Aleksandra Wozniak (Blainville, Que.) at the Aegon International tournament in Eastbourne, England. Wozniak blasted Kuznetsova 6-0, 6-3 in picking up her third career win over a top-10 opponent. Wozniak is ranked No. 23. Meanwhile, Niagara Falls’ Frank Dancevic defeated the tournament’s top seed, Igor Andreev of Russia, 7-6, 6-2.

Montreal Medley: Canada’s top swimmers will take to the waters of Montreal’s Olympic Park Pool this weekend for a Canada Cup Grand Prix event. Joining them will be international athletes that include U.S. star Michael Phelps. At the event, many of Montreal’s home-grown swimmers will be in town, including Matheiu Bois, Victoria Poon, Geneviève Saumur, Audrey Lacroix and Stephanie Horner. This is the second of three Canada Cups held this year in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

Also Upcoming: Munich is set to host a World Cup rowing event starting June 19. A suburb of London, Wimbledon, is getting set to host the world’s best tennis players from June 22 to July 5. The prestigious Grand Slam tournament is now 132 years old. And the BMX cycling national championships run June 20 to 21 in Kingston, Ont. The best riders will represent Canada for the World Championships July 23 to 26 in Adelaide, Australia.