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Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race 2016

Bear Mountain Canada Cup Event LogosGet ready for a weekend of rad riding at Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race!

WHENWHERE: The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria – View Map

The Canada Cup series is designed to provide competitive opportunities to the next generation of cyclists, transitioning from provincial race series to international competitions. The 12 km Canada Cup Trail is not for the faint of heart. Developed in partnership with The Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society (NTS), the Canada Cup Trail is designed as a single track trail for advanced mountain bike skills.

Anyone can compete with categories ranging from Elite Men and Women to Masters 50+ Men and Women. Registration closes on Friday march 4th at 5pm. Register here. Come Ride the Bear or just come watch and cheer on the national team athletes as they compete for a spot on their Road to Rio!

The Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race Course

The course will be open for designated training times as follows:

Thursday March 3rd: 12pm – 7pm
Friday March 4th: 9am – 7pm
Saturday March 5th: 7am – 8:15am

Bear Mountain 2016 Canada Cup Race Course Map

The 2016 Canada Cup XC Race on Bear Mountain racing schedule and fees are as follows. Online registration has ended but you can still register on site until Friday March 4th at 5pm.

2016 Bear Mountain Canada Cup XC Race Categories

For more information about the race, download Cycling Canada’s Canada Cup Technical Guide.

Road to Rio Fundraiser at bear Mountain Resort“Road to Rio” Fundraising Gala

After the race, put on your party shoes and join us for the “Road to Rio” Gala. Bear Mountain Resort will be hosting the gala to raise funds for the national team’s trip to the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio, Brazil this summer. The inaugural “Road to Rio” fundraising event will feature a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions and exclusive opportunities to engage and interact with Canada’s national team and development level mountain bike athletes.

WHAT: Cycling Canada “Road to Rio” Fundraising Gala
WHERE: The Westin Bear Mountain Resort, Victoria, BC
WHEN: Saturday, March 5th — 6:00pm to 10:00pm
WHO: Canada’s National Mountain Bike Team
TICKETS: $250 per ticket or $1,800 per table (tax receipts available for allowable portion)

I’m excited to be attending the gala for the 2016 Olympic Spirit Project, I hope to see you there in support of our Olympic Mountain Biking Team!

Buy “Road to Rio” Gala Tickets

 

Mountain Biking at Bear Mountain Resort

Bear Mountain Bike Park - logoCanada’s top mountain bike riders, including Rio-bound Catharine Pendrel, have been training regularly at Bear Mountain Resort this fall and winter. The Resort, which uniquely offers year-round training opportunities on Canadian soil, is playing a key part in Cycling Canada’s long-term athlete development plans.

As an outdoor adventure destination for the entire region, the Bear Mountain Trail System offers people of all ages and abilities access to nature and the marvelous recreational opportunities it has to offer. The resort is host to an expanding trail network, jump park, national team training centre and the annual BearTrax competition. The resort also offers bike rentals, coaching and guided rides through the Hub.

For more information about mountain biking at Bear Mountain Resort, visit the website.

Ride the Bear!

Olympic Spirit Project Shortlisted for IOC 2014 Trophy in Sport and Art

Last November I responded to the call for submissions for the IOC 2014 Trophy in Sport and Art by submitting the Olympic Spirit Project for consideration. I was so excited this past weekend when I received notification that I’ve been shortlisted for the award!

Olympic Spirit Project Book Promo

“The annual International Olympic Committee (IOC) Trophy was established in 1985 in order to promote the teaching of Olympism in various areas. For 2014 the IOC intends to reward artistic expression. With the Canadian trophy, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) wishes to recognise artists and creators who, through their talent, have promoted Olympism and left a legacy through art.” ~ Olympic.ca

Olympism is defined by the IOC as follows:

“Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”

About the Olympic Spirit Project:

Photography in the ‘Olympic Spirit Project’ is created through a love of sport and the examination of human emotion. Mariska Richters creates a dramatic collection of work that captures the diverse expression of national pride and Olympic spirit.

Mariska’s work tells a powerful story through captured moments in time where lives are changed and memories are made for a lifetime. In this collection, Mariska gives us an intimate glimpse into Olympic spirit that makes the Olympic experience so memorable.

What happens next?

The next step is to send a copy of the Olympic Spirit Project to the Canadian Olympic Committee. They will be making their selection during their April 2015 Session meeting.

To view other submissions for the IOC 2014 Trophy in Sport and Art, click here.

Fingers crossed!!!

Don’t have your copy of the Olympic Spirit Project yet? Buy the eBook here!

 

Vancouver 2010 and the Birth of My Olympic Passion

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the beginning of my Olympic passion. Thanks to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, I have now attended three Olympic Games (Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and Sochi 2014), have met some incredible international friends, and have captured some of the most inspiring moments of my photographic career.

Sending out a huge than you to everyone who made Vancouver 2010 and beyond such an incredible experience for me. Four years ago this week marks the one-year anniversary of Sochi 2014 and the birth of Olympics Spirit Project. I’m still so very grateful to all my Kickstarter project backers, friends and family who made that adventure possible.

Check out the complete Vancouver 2010 opening ceremony. What memories does it bring back for you? Share in the comments below.

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the Vancouver Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza will be relit today (February 12, 2015) for four hours from 8:50am to 12:50pm. Will you be there? What memories does Vancouver 2010 bring back for you?

GREAT NEWS from the Olympic Spirit Project!

By now my Kickstarter project backers should have received their Olympic Spirit Project – Sochi 2014 rewards – postcards, prints, books, eBooks. If you have not received yours and you haven’t heard from me to let you know it’s on its way, it’s most likely because I’m still waiting on your mailing address. If this is the case, please shoot me a message with your mailing address and I will send it off to you.

The Olympic Spirit Project Book – Print, ePub & PDF!

Last week I announced that the Olympic Spirit Project – Sochi 2014 eBook was ready for download, YAY!! At the time, the eBook was only available in ePub format, so today I’m happy to announce that I’ve released a PDF version for those who do not have access to an ePub reader.

 

Olympic Spirit Project Book - ePub Olympic Spirit Project Book - PDF Olympic Spirit Project Book - Print

  Buy now as ePub        Buy now as PDF        Buy now in Print

Early Reviews For The Olympic Spirit Project Book:

“For someone who really wanted to be there but couldn’t, this book is the next best thing! It’s obvious once you look at it, how much love went into producing this book. The pictures tell a great story about the spirit of the Sochi Olympic Games. Thank you Mariska for taking all those awesome pics and sharing your passion.”     ~ Reese Richards

“This book really captures the spirit of the Olympics games and the inspirational message they carry. Plus, it has beautiful photos! A perfect gift or coffee table book for any athlete or Olympics fan.”   ~ Toffler N.

“The Olympic Spirit Project is a wonderful book that gives you an inside look at what it was really like to attend the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. If you are an Olympics fan, this book is for you!” ~ Hilary Curry

A sneak peek inside The Olympic Spirit Project Book…

Epic Canadian fans at the Men’s Gold Medal Hockey Game:

If you were glued to the television watching as Canada competed in Sochi, this book is an up close and personal encounter of being on the sidelines cheering with your fellow Canadians!

 

Olympic Spirit Project - Sample Page

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Cauldron and Olympic venues:

If you were at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, this is the perfect souvenir to keep those memories and Olympic Spirit fresh!

Olympic Spirit Project Book Sample

Get your Christmas shopping done early!

This book is the perfect gift for any athlete or Olympics fan on your list!

 

  Buy now as ePub        Buy now as PDF         Buy now in Print

 

Olympic Spirit Project Book is HERE!!

A year ago today I made a life choice to leave the shackles of the corporate office world behind and to pursue my dreams a digital nomad.

The year that I’ve had has been incredible!

  • I launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising nearly $7500 for the Olympic Spirit Project Book
  • I traveled to Russia for 12 unforgettable days at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games
  • blogged about the whole experience – sharing the good, the bad and the photos from the Olympic Spirit Project
  • I built an online store and am selling postcards and enlarged prints and the Olympic Spirit Project Book
  • I learned all about creating and self-publishing a photo book!!!

And now I’m excited to announce that…

The 2014 Olympic Spirit Project Book is available in print and eBook format!

OSP Book Cover

Book Preview

About the Olympic Spirit Project Book

This 40-page book of photography from the ‘Olympic Spirit Project’ is created through a love of sport and the examination of human emotion. Mariska Richters creates a dramatic collection of work that captures the diverse expression of national pride and Olympic spirit from around the world.

Mariska’s work tells a powerful story through captured moments in time where lives are changed and memories of a lifetime are made. In this collection, Mariska gives us an intimate glimpse into Olympic Spirit that makes the Olympic experience so memorable.

About the Olympic Spirit Project eBook

The eBook is available through both Blurb and iBooks.  The eBook book is rich with links leading you to more detailed articles Sochi Olympic experience.

eBook Preview

About the Photographer

Mariska Richters is a freelance photographer whose collection of works can be found at mariskarichters.com and across various online social networks. Raised in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, Canada, Mariska’s passion for capturing the human experience through images and words was born from her experience at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She has attended three Olympics to date, and aspires to continue the Olympic Spirit Project in future. Proceeds from the Olympic Spirit Project will be put toward continuing this project in 2016 and beyond.

Postcard: The Sochi 2014 Olympic CauldronGratitude!

I’d like to, once again, send out a HUGE thank you to my Kickstarter project backers who made the Olympic Spirit Project book – with special thanks to my corporate sponsor, Brandy’s Whistler – without all of you this book would never have been possible. You will all find your names on the contributors page of the book, as promised.

I’m flooded with gratitude for the kindness and generosity from all of my family, friends and people I’ve never even met who helped make my Olympic dream a reality! Thank You all for this unforgettable experience!

Special Thanks To…

I’d like to send a special thanks out to a few people who were especially helpful to me on the ground in Sochi – Shauna, Greg, and Jordan – You guys are SUPERHEROES!!

Shauna was at my side on almost a daily basis and was an adventurous partner in crime and the exact Olympic Spirit poster girl I was hoping for when I began this project! Thank You Shauna!

Greg helped me out with Canadian Olympic Spirit swag when my luggage didn’t arrive and he provided me with much needed cold and flu medication when the Sochi Flu knocked me down. To top that off, he was my Olympic Spirit poster boy with his epic custom made Canada suit. Thank you Greg! You’re awesome, as always!

Jordan helped me when I first landed in Russia and got me into the Canada Olympic House open house where I saw President Putin. He also helped me find the giant stack of postcards that I sent off to all my Kickstarter backers. Thank you!

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be sending the eBook out to my Kickstarter backers as promised. You should be receiving it in your inbox soon. If you did not back the project, please visit the web shop to order your very own copy, or click the button below.

Buy eBook!          Buy Printed Book!

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Olympic Spirit Project Postcards Are Here!

I’m so excited to announce that the Olympic Spirit Project postcards are now available in the online store! YAY!!! 

BUY NOW!

Why Are Olympic Spirit Project Postcards Awesome?

  • They are an original tangible souvenir from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, not a commercialized or virtual product that everyone else has.
  • People LOVE getting personalized mail! All most of us get these days is bills. Send an Olympic Spirit Project postcard to let someone know you’re thinking about them while supporting this inspiring ongoing project!
  • All photos were taken by yours truly in Sochi, Russia during the 2014 Olympic Games
  • They help keep Olympic Spirit alive between Olympic Games
  • Proceeds from postcard sales will go toward continuing the Olympic Spirit Project in Rio, Brazil in 2016 and beyond!

Cards Included in the Olympic Spirit Project Postcard Pack:

The 5-pack of postcards is available for only $17.95 while they last.

If you’re interested in purchasing individual cards or multiple copies of a single card, please contact me for pricing. Quantity discounts available.

BUY POSTCARDS

What’s Next?

The Olympic Spirit Project book is very close to being completed and sent off for publishing! I can’t wait to see the images in print and to share the final book and eBook with you! Stay tuned for updates!

Oh, and if your wondering where I get the cards printed, it’s through the super awesome MOO SHOP. <— Click this link for 10% off your very own MOO order!

 

Please Share the Olympic Spirit With a Tweet!

 

 

The Molson Canadian Passport Fridge

One of THE coolest things at the Sochi 2014 Olympics had to be the Molson Canadian Passport Fridge at Canada Olympic House. It’s like a vending machine, only instead of feeding it money, it only opens by scanning a Canadian passport.


Molson Passport Fridge

The fridge was turned on each day of the Games during Victory Hour, between 5pm and 6pm. I was still feeling under the weather and wasn’t sure I would make it to Victory Hour, so I connected with the lovely @MolsonTonia who was kind enough to give me a special viewing. She plugged it in for me when I stopped by Canada House one afternoon. I only had one *little* problem… Not only did I not have my passport on me, I don’t actually HAVE a Canadian passport!

Olympic Spirit Project Postcards are now available!

View Postcards

My Canadian Passport Problem

My family immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands when I was very young and I’m still a landed immigrant and permanent resident. The Dutch government didn’t allow dual citizenship for years and we didn’t want to give up our EU passports and with them our access to work in Europe. The only difference in Canada is that I can’t vote.

A few years ago the rules changed and dual citizenship is now available for those who were too young to make their own choice to leave the Netherlands. This means that my siblings and I are now able to apply for Canadian citizenship without losing our Dutch citizenship. (Yay!) So last year, after I bought my Olympics tickets I sent in my application with the idea that I would have it in time for the Sochi Olympics to access Canada Olympic House. It is now 13 months later, the Olympics are over, and it is STILL being processed. It takes 23 months for a citizenship application to go through the system. Ridiculous, in my opinion, but there’s not much I can do about it. At least I’ll have it in time for Rio 2016! But I digress…

Let’s Open the Fridge!

So after explaining my passport problem to the Molson girls, I embarrassingly asked to borrow one of theirs to open the fridge. And let me tell you, it was nothing short of AWESOME!

Molson Passport Fridge Molson Passport Fridge Molson Passport Fridge

Molson Passport Fridge

I was still feeling under the weather, but was super happy about the beer fridge!

What Was Inside the Fridge?

The fridge contained only victory bottles. Russian customs blocked Molson’s beer shipment from entering the country so the victory bottles were display bottles only and were empty. Because of this, Molson served Heineken and Miller Genuine Draft at Canada Olympic House. Sad, but true.

What made it all ok? I’m Dutch and Molson is the Heineken distributor in Canada, so I was still drinking beer from my homeland, it was just the “other” homeland!

Travels of the Beer Fridge

This wasn’t the Molson Passport Fridge’s first appearance though. Molson has been spreading Canadian spirit all over the world! Check this video out:

Have you opened the Molson Canadian Passport Fridge? Where?

Olympic Spirit Project postcards are now available! 

BUY NOW!

 

What happens to Olympic cities after the Games have gone?

The Olympic Spirit Project is all about the human spirit behind the Olympic Games in both the athletes and the fans. But what happens to Olympic cities after the Games have been and gone?

One of the inspirations for my Olympic Spirit Project Kickstarter campaign was the Olympic City Project by New York photographers Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit. After seeing the success of their crowd-funded project I knew that I, too, could create a successful campaign!

Olympic City Project on Kickstarter

These photographers created a successful Kickstarter project (raising over $66,000 from 1,503 backers) investigating the legacy that the Olympic Games leaves behind in host cities around the world, including the effects the Olympics has had on the people that live there.

“In The Olympic City, we’re documenting the successes and failures, the forgotten remnants and ghosts of the Olympic spectacle. Some former Olympic sites are retrofitted and used in ways that belie their grand beginnings; turned into prisons, housing, malls, gyms, churches. Others sit unused for decades and become tragic time capsules, examples of misguided planning and broken promises of the benefits that the Games would bring. We’re interested in these disparate ideas — decay and rebirth — and how each site seems to have gone one way or the other, either by choice or circumstance. We’re equally interested in the lives of the people whose neighborhoods have been transformed by Olympic development.”
[Source: www.olympiccityproject.com]

Cities Jon and Gary have visited so far include Athens, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Helsinki, Mexico City, Moscow, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, Lake Placid, Rome, and Sarajevo. Images from the project are featured in their first book, which is available in hardcover, deluxe hardcover, and ePub format. And for those of you who like to share the Olympic spirit, they also have a set of 10 postcards available for purchase as well.

The Olympic City Project is an ongoing project and the photographers aim to visit more Olympic cities in future. They mention visiting Vancouver and Sochi in this CTV interview.

For more information about the project, to view some of their photos, or to purchase the book, please head over to the Olympic City Project website.

Olympic City Project deluxe edition book

[Image source: http://olympiccityproject.com/shop/]

Olympic Spirit Project Update

The Olympic Spirit Project is coming along nicely. I’ve finished the image editing and am now researching publishing options before building the book. Stay tuned to the blog for more posts and images from the adventure. I have plenty more to share!

 

Epic Canadian Olympic Fans

The Olympic Park was all but deserted on the final day of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. There were only two events scheduled that day: Men’s Gold Medal Hockey and the Closing Ceremony. Only those with tickets to at least one of these events were permitted to enter the park.

With Canada playing for GOLD there was a large Canadian presence. I went in early in search of epic Canadian Olympic fans and I found my first group at the first open concession cart buying beer (because a Canadian watching hockey without beer is just wrong!).

Day10-2

Olympic Spirit Project Books and Postcards now available!

Learn More!

Free Beer Guy & Other More Fans

Next I made my way to Canada Olympic House to see who had collected there to prep for the game and this guy walked up with a tray full of beers and started handing them out to fellow Canadians. Did I mention how much I love Canadians?

(Thank you, Free Beer Guy!)

Canadian Free Beer Guy

Next, Shauna and I strolled toward the Bolshoy Arena and came across these Russian guys who unexpectedly swept me off my feet, and then we found more Canadians with flags and a crazy collection of signatures.

Russians and Canadians

Signed Canadian Flag

Signed Canadian Flag

Then there was a couple who almost didn’t make it to Sochi due to a leg injury, but they pushed through and made it, wheelchair and all! Well done guys! Talk about dedicated fans! YAY!

Canadian Fans

The Olympic Party Boy

But the hands-down BEST had to be the “Olympic Party Boy!”

I first met this OPB at the London 2012 Olympics where I got my first introduction to Olympic Party Boy awesomeness. Back in Vancouver, he had mentioned that he was having a custom Canada suit designed by Ash Turner of Mechanic Organic for the Sochi 2014, so I was excited to include it in the Olympic Spirit Project!

He showed up for the Gold Medal Game wearing tailored white pants, a white suit jacket with red arms, “Canada” embroidered on the breast pocket and a giant maple leaf sewn on the back. (You did an phenomenal job Ash Turner!) He topped that off with a red t-shirt, red and white Adidas sneakers and a maple leaf pin on the lapel.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone else looked awesome too with their jerseys, face paint, helmets and flags, but what made this so epic was the originality and the fact that this super classy suit is one of a kind. It just doesn’t get cooler than that! Complete AWESOMENESS!

(Thanks for the photoshoot OPB! Yay!)

Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg Olympic Party Boy - Greg

How did you show your Olympic Spirit during the Games?

 

Olympic Spirit Project BOOKS are now available in Print, ePub and PDF! 

BUY NOW!

Postcards From Russia, With Love!

Writing Postcards in Russia

As part of my Kickstarter rewards for the Olympic Spirit Project, I had promised to send postcards to my project backers. So on my last couple of days in Russia, after I had somewhat recovered from the flu, and the Games were over I found a nice little patio on the boardwalk along the Black Sea in Adler, ordered a Coke and sat down to deliver on my promise.

I don’t think I’ve ever sent that many postcards all at once! There were 70 cards in total! I can’t even tell you when the last time was that I hand wrote so much all at one time. It was a bit of a reality check as to how much we rely on computers for everything these days, yet refreshing to do something so very analog.

I took a few breaks to relieve the writer’s cramp, but after a couple of hours, two Cokes, and a salad for lunch, I was done! I attached the stamps and went in search of a mailbox.

Sochi 2014 Olympic Postage Stamps

A couple of weeks ago I started getting tweets and messages that the cards were arriving. (Note to self: Postcards from Russia take an entire month to get to their destination!) I asked my backers to send me fun creative photos of their postcards when they received them and here are the pics I’ve received so far. 

Thank you all again for your support on the project! It was an incredible adventure and you all helped make it possible! I will be forever grateful for your support and generosity!

With gratitude,
xo Mariska

PS. If you still have a photo to send me, please do! I will add them to this post when I receive it.

Olympic Spirit Project postcards are now available! 

BUY NOW!