WHISTLER – The ancient Greek and Roman soothsayers predicted the future by reading the entrails of animals or birds.
Canadian Olympic cross-country skier Sara Renner is partial to mouse droppings.
Like a fortune teller gazing into a crystal ball, Renner sees positive signs from rodent leavings that that were evident in the mess hall when the Canadian team de-camped here for a World Cup pre-Olympic event at Whistler Olympic Park. Between Friday and Sunday, the world’s best cross-country skiers will be in their Whistler workplace to study snow conditions and the track where Olympic medals will be decided in 13 months.
Renner, 32, retired for a year following the 2006 Olympics in Turin where she won a silver medal in the team sprint with teammate Beckie Scott. Chandra Crawford, like Renner a member of the Canmore (Alta.) Nordic Ski Club, sprinted to gold in the same Torino Games, firmly establishing the signs of rodent infestation as a positive aura for Canadian skiers.
“Before we even arrived, the community centre [Black Tusk subdivision] was completely infested with mice,” Renner related Wednesday. “Our support team cleaned up the entire place and had it looking immaculate. But it was an omen. The same thing happened at our lodgings in Torino. We are so lucky.”
Unlike some countries who seek every advantage to give their teams an edge on their home tracks, Canada’s inherent sense of niceness and fair play often works against its Olympic athletes. But the panoramic, wilderness setting of the Callaghan Valley and mercurial weather conditions of the Coast Mountains are not only strange to European eyes, so is the very concept of competing in Canada. This weekend is only the fourth time a World Cup cross-country ski event has come to our hills and dales and only the second time one has been in held in British Columbia.
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Mouse droppings a good omen for Canadian cross-country skiers
Source: The Vancouver Sun – Mike Beamish