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Let it snow, the Canadian winter-games in Götzis 2013 (0)

Chris Vlamynck
May 31, 2013
Damian Warner, the decathlete who surprised the World by coming from nowhere to finish 5th at the London Olympics (2012).

Oh the weather outside is frightfulDamian Warner. Photo by Olavi Kaljunen -
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow! let it snow! let it snow!

Christmas songs were sung by Richard Hunter sitting  next to me in Götzis. I started with “Let it snow”, he ended with “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. In fact although you always can see snow in the higher regions, the mountains directly surrounding the Mösle stadium are about 800/900 meters of height and it’s the first time since I’ve been here in the year 2000 that there was lying snow on them in the multi events weekend. Friends sleeping in the surroundings said they had to step true the snow in the morning. I’ve seen decathlons in the rain and in windy circumstances but I have never seen it in rain wind and such a cold as last weekend. In athletics a difference is made between performances on altitude and on sea level as well as a difference between indoor and outdoor performances.

Obviously there’s also a difference between same results if one is made wind assisted and the other isn’t, but what’s needed one day is a scientific (say futuristic) scoring system to upgrade a multi event in bad circumstances, however we estimate that we should add at least a 100 points on the total for the woman and a 150 for the man (as they have three more events) although it would be probably more reasonable to add respectively almost 200/300 points to compare the event to sunny ideal conditions. Weather was the most important opponent. Even “TNT” from AC/DC and Led zeppelin’s “Kashmir” couldn’t warm us up. The average ten best decathlon-score was the lowest in more than 25 years. It was a real survival of the fittest, not only in terms of best physical shape but apparently also in the original meaning to be better adapted for local environment! Fifteen of the more than thirty invited men “survived”. For what Ashton concerns. As Ashton Eaton couldn’t come to get a “gold medal”, he just waited for his Canadian girlfriend Brianne Theisen to take one home. Trials and an answer are coming! However here are a few questions to the other Canadian winner Damian Warner and his coach Gar Leyshon.

You looked sharp Damian and we haven’t heard of you this winter, you don’t do heptathlons? Damian: In fact we are planning a heptathlon for the next winter season. In Canada the indoor-pentathlon is more popular in the winter, they almost don’t do heptathlons. After the winter season I trained together with Ashton Eaton for a month, great experience was that.

Gar: Damian looks sharp but if referring to power training, you must know that weightlifting is not a purpose on itself, it is only functional to the decathlon. The training in the weightlifting room is to keep fit not to exaggerate with weights.

Is the national record (Mike Smith 8626) in your head? Damian:  I have been thinking about it, but if it comes it comes. It’s not my goal, I won’t lay awake of that score.

Gar: I think he’s even ready for more. Damian threw 14.20 in the shot (that’s a pr) this year and he ran close to his record in the hurdles, performed close to his best long jump and you saw his 100m here! If the weather was better he would’ve had a much higher score!

What event is the biggest challenge? Damian: Probably the pole vault. At the moment this one is the hardest. Secondly the 1500m but I improved 15 seconds last year. (Pole vault from 450 to 480). It’s my aim to improve to 47 in the discus and getting a better result in the 400 and the 1500. My favorites are 100, 110 and long jump.

Do you have time for hobby’s? Damian: I like bowling, playing basketball, playing videogames.

Gar: he’s also an artist, he really makes beautiful drawings.

Next stop? Damian: the Canadian Games.

Temperatures according to the local newspaper Voralberger Nachrichten on 24 may:

2001:  23.4 °

2003:  27.6°

2004:  17.1°

2007:  25.8°

2009:  31.7°

2011:  26.9°

2013:   9.2°

Götzis can only be better next year!

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