August 12/08 10:37 am - Beijing Olympics: Interview with Dan Proulx, Cycling Team Manager
Posted by Editoress on 08/12/08
"Everything takes 30 minutes longer."
Dan Proulx, Canadian Cycling Team Manager, made this comment from the road while driving back to the Olympic Village after attending a Manager's Meeting for tomorrow's Time Trial.
"We had to stop and get gas, and then found out that they didn't take Visa, so two employees went with me while I went to find a bank."
Despite that minor frustration, Proulx says that so far the team's experiences have been very positive.
"Everyone is extremely helpful, but the extra protocols that the Olympics have adds to the slowdown. For example, Erinne [Willock] wanted soy milk to drink before the race, so our mission two days before the race became to find a source for soy milk. It is very organized [Ed. Note - Much more so than Athens], but there are always issues and running around."
"What we read in the media before the Games, doesn't match up on the ground; everything is better than we anticipated."
For Proulx, the position of Team Manager came late - two months before the Games - when Sean O'Donnell left the Canadian Cycling association to take a position with Sport Canada.
"It's pretty exciting, and a great honour. I had done the Pan Ams [as team manager], so this was a natural progression, and I was already planning to be here to support Catharine [Pendrel] and Alex [Wrubleski - both of whom he coaches], so it was a pretty easy step."
"My job is a mixture of everything from straight logistics - like organizing vehicles - to coordinating staff, to helping the national team coaches. It's a job that starts at 7 am and finishes at midnight; you are in constant motion."
Proulx also had a chance to fill us in on Time Trial plans, and how Wrubleski is doing after her heavy crash in the road race on Sunday.
"It's pretty much standard operating procedure for the time trial. The women will go in one wave and the men in three waves. The weather at the Wall is much better right now; we saw the mountains clearly for the first time."
"Alex is doing well, she's on the bike and training as normal. She has a bruised right hip and whiplash to her neck, but she will be fine for racing the time trial. The doctor has seen her twice and everything is okay. She is optimistic, although disappointed at crashing, and fortunate to have a second chance to race. Alex is a 24/7 athlete, bound and determined to give her best. Every bit of experience she can gain here can help at the next Games."