Monday, November 10, 2008

Volunteering at Vancouver 2010 Olympics

A couple weeks ago I was invited to the in-person interview and training sessions for volunteering at the 2010 Olympics. The interview, sessions, etc lasted about 5 hours. It was a neat experience listening and talking with other people to hear their stories about why they were there and why they wanted to volunteer.

If I recall correctly, there were about 50,000 applications from people all over the World wanting to volunteer at the Winter Games in 2010. Of those, they will pick around 25,000 people.

Thanks to my initial phone screen a month ago, they determined I'd be a good fit for the technical / media areas of the Games. I'm hoping I'll get a chance to help out at other events leading up to the Games too. I need to get officially picked though I guess. ;)

I'll find out more soon and will continue to write posts about this journey.

On a side note, practice is going well. It's good to be back at the range training again. My next competition will likely be in Calgary or Toronto in early 2009.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That was longer than expected!

After several months of not being able to practice and going to physiotherapy and trying to get my shoulder rehabilitated I'm finally back.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at practice... I've taken only a single shot since my injury in July. I'll be easing back into it to avoid stressing the shoulder muscles and tendons again. 10 shots tomorrow... and I'll add 10 more every few days while continuing physiotherapy until I'm able to shoot full competition matches again. Still a long way to go, but I'm back in the gym this week able to push around some light weights again, and ramping up the cardio again.

Unfortunately, I'll be skipping the big shooting match held in Richmond, BC in a couple weeks so I won't have another competition to shoot at until February 2009.

Many Thanks go out to friends, family, clients, coworkers, the fine folks at Sport and Spinal for supporting me and helping me get to this point. This has been a long, tedious, and relatively painful experience but ultimately I think it's made me stronger. We'll find out in the new year anyway. ;)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Out for several weeks

For about 4 weeks now I've been dealing with shoulder pain and going to physio to help get my shoulder better. Problems started the week of Nationals and got worse up until 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, I have to cancel going to the Western Canadian Airgun Championships next month and am unable to practice at all for at least another 3 weeks.

I contemplated getting a left handed grip and start shooting left handed but it would be difficult to be competition ready by September.

For now... I take a break and will build up my shoulder strength and get all the tendons and everything working correctly again before competing in November.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Zorb! ...but Calgary Zoo today!

Well yesterday I finished Finals and ended up in 7th place, not to bad considering that was my first time making Finals at Nationals since returning to the sport.

Al Harding shooting a 10
me (on the right) shooting a 10 on thursday's 2nd relay.
phillipe tousignant is to my left.

I also found out at the Awards BBQ that our BC Airgun Team consisting of myself, Edmond Lee, and Tyler Johnson got the gold medal beating the Saskatchewan team.

My camera's SD card seems to be corrupted so I'm unable to get any photos off of my camera. The Z-Trip zorb adventure was cancelled as there was a massive thunder storm all day. We drove out to Canada Olympic Park and checked out the Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum and Ice House there to watch the National Development Bobsleigh Team practicing. We also drove past the Zorb area which looked like a long ditch which was almost flat -- apparently they moved it there. It does not look fun, maybe it was the rainy day, but I expected it would be a steeper hill... scratch that... I expected it to be on a hill... any hill!

Today, I went and checked out the Calgary Zoo and was impressed! I sure hope I can get my photos off my camera.

Back to Vancouver tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2008 Canadian National Finals Tomorrow 8am - Currently Tied For 5th

Today I shot a 560 / 600, one point shy of making the cut to possibly qualify for Canada's National Development Team. The score, combined with yesterday, puts me in a 3-way tie for 5th going into the Finals tomorrow morning. It also makes me the top 10m pistol shooter from BC.

1Prakash NanjappaON1145
2Stan WillsAB1132
3Wayne SalhanyON1131
4Yuri MovshovichON1128
5Sylvain OuellettePQ1119
6Josh Riker-FoxAB1119
7Allan HardingBC1119
8Mikhail OussovitchON1118

Finals will take place at the Calgary Rifle and Pistol Club. Everything is setup and ready to go for the Top 8 shooters. I am currently in a 3-way tie and with the count back I will likely be shooting in Position 8 (photo below) as positions 1 and 10 probably won't be used.

Al Harding makes the Top 8 at the 2008 Canadian Nationals
i'm currently in a 3-way tie for 5th

Gotta rest up tonight to fight for every point tomorrow!

Once the competition is over a bunch of are going over to the Canada Olympic Park to Zorb next to the 1998 Olympic Ski Jump.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Competition Day #4 - My shooting glasses take a tumble

Well my first day of shooting at the event got off to a slow start. The range didn't have a scale to measure how much CO2 gas was left in my air gun, so I was cautious with how many sighter shots I used before starting my first competition shot. During the equipment check on the line my shooting glasses were accidentally pushed off the table and hit the cement floor. I was afraid to look, especially when I felt something hit my leg! With the kind of impact it made, you expect to see shrapnel and debris everywhere. Luckily, everything was fine. The plastic case made a loud noise when it dove into the cement and there was no lens in the frames to get injured. No lens in my glasses?? Yes. I took it out on Sunday and have been using them without a lens since. They still have the adjustable iris in place (not shown in the photo below).

Kids... Don't try this at home.
what not to do!

After about a dozen sighter shots I began and it took some time to get into a flow. The competition consists of 60 shots; 1 shot at 1 target. Of the 1h 45m to shoot I used all but 3 minutes. Normally, I would be finished earlier but getting off to a slow start with double checking that my glasses were aligned and functioning properly. Despite a few equipment hiccups and making a last minute change this week to opt out of using a lens in my shooting glasses (the lens helps keep the gun sights clear and in focus) I'm happy with my score of 559 / 600. I know I can do better than this and will continue to fine-tune my self, equipment, and approach to shoot better.

I have yet to see where I currently stand against other shooters from across Canada. I'll look tomorrow after I shoot again.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Arrived in Calgary!

I landed in Calgary this afternoon to find Vancouver-like weather with a mix of rain and sun. Mostly grey skies and rain, not like the great day yesterday back home in Vancouver:

_THIS_ is sooooo not Calgary
the view yesterday, aboard a ferry cruising back to Vancouver

After getting settled in, I went out to the two ranges hosting the 2008 Canadian National Pistol Championships and got signed in and my equipment checked. I put some practice time in at the range to get my gun sighted in and get an overall feel for the range. I competed at the Calgary Rifle and Pistol Club last September for the Western Canadian Airgun Championships so I was familiar with how everything was setup.

The Dark Knight movie opens this week... must see!

Focus Al :)

My first relay of the competition begins tomorrow morning at 10am.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

2008 Canadian National Pistol Championships start tomorrow!

The 2008 Canadian National Pistol Championships start on Sunday July 13th in Calgary, Alberta. I fly out of Vancouver on Tuesday morning and will arrive with time to register and get in some practice time before my first relay of the event starts on Wednesday.

June was a really busy month and it seems like it's been almost non-stop between life, work, and trying to find enough time to practice. I'm looking forward to this week off to unplug a bit.

I'm going to be posting progress from the competition daily (well... maybe almost daily) and will put up photos of some of the non-competition adventures I'll embark on... like tumbling down a hill side in a giant plastic bubble! ;)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Travel details sorted for 2008 Canadian Nationals in Calgary

There are 6 weeks left until the 2008 Canadian National Pistol Championships in Calgary. I just got my flight and accommodations sorted out and am very much looking forward to this trip. I found a seat sale at West Jet which made a big difference from some of the deals Expedia found for me online.

I quickly put together a Google Map of the two shooting ranges that will be used for the event as well a couple of attractions I might check out. Last September when I was in Calgary I was thinking of checking out the Zoo so I'm probably going to do that and I'm also going to spend more time at Canada Olympic Park (COP).

I only spent a few hours last time at COP but I'm going to spend at least a day there this Summer and plan to try Zorbing! Rolling down a hill inside a giant plastic ball... Sold!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Delivered a rushed performance at 2008 BC ISSF Championships

The great thing about going out of town for a competition is I tend to leave 'stuff' behind once that airplane takes off or I've driven out of town. 'Stuff' like work schedules, meetings, errands etc. With the competition being a local one yesterday and my schedule the way it was I didn't leave 'stuff' behind, it was another hectic business day and not a competition day.

I got to the competition in the late afternoon and there was enough time to shoot before the BBQ. Without really thinking about it for too long it seemed like a good idea. Unfortunately this wasn't a good idea and broke a lot of my regular competition habits.

It's a good idea to get a practice session the day before (if possible) to get a feel for the range. Knowing the conditions of the range helps with preparations.

Unfortunately for me, I rushed there, I rushed in, I rushed to start my match, and I rushed through all my shots (549/600) -- what I should have done is practiced that day and gone early to shoot the next morning. I would have known that the 10M range was outdoor, that the lighting changes, how the target system worked, and what the temperature was like. I think the last time I shot at that range was in the mid 90s.

Knowing the conditions and environment helps with packing the right tools and equipment (ie: a jacket if it's cold) and preparing mentally. I think this actually applies to almost anything in life.

This competition has reinforced that for me and I intend to make sure I get a practice session in the day before at Nationals in Calgary next month.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Registered for 2008 Canadian National Championships

This week I received confirmation of my registration for the 2008 Canadian National Pistol Championships. Registration can be done online at

registration for 2008 nationals
is available at

There was also a change this week regarding the venue and the available practice times. If you're planning to attend it would be a good idea to get registered early:



    1910 – 39 AVE. N.E. – CALGARY, T2E 7Y9


Less than 2 weeks until the 2008 BC Handgun Championships -- I'm currently scheduled to shoot 10M and 50M pistol events.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Registered for the 2008 BC ISSF Pistol Championships

I'll be attending the 2008 BC ISSF Pistol Championships at the end of May. I'm waiting to see if my PAL (Possession and Acquisition Licence) gets sent to me in time so I can compete in the 50M Pistol and Standard Pistol events, both events are shot using .22 calibre pistols. Over the next few weeks I'll be making updates about my training for this competition as well as for Nationals in July.

Registration forms for the 2008 BC ISSF Pistol Championships are online now at the BC Target Sports Association website. The event will be held in North Vancouver at Pacific Shooters.