Though Gord McArthur has known for months, the official word came in on Wednesday.
The Cranbrook climber has officially been announced as the athlete who will represent Canada in the demonstration sport of ice climbing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia.
The announcement came via Pavel Shabalin, president of the Ice Climbing Commission of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, commonly known by it’s French acronym as UIAA.
“So, you are number one from Canada to be invited to Sochi. My congratulations!” wrote Shabalin in an email to McArthur.
McArthur sees the announcement as validation for all the work he’s put in over the years, which includes competing on the World Cup of Climbing circuit.
“Everything is now official, so it’s good to get that confirmation,” said McArthur.
He’s got seven months to sharpen up as much as possible before the world descends on Sochi for the Winter Games next February.
“Training everyday. Just hard, focused,” said McArthur. “Preparation starts now, officially, so it’s going to be a long seven months, it’s going to be a lot of dedicated and focused time, but man, I’m so ready for it now. “
He has a number of local training options, where he can get out and ply his trade, or he can get into his van and head over to Canmore in Alberta, where he gets together with fellow climbers to hit up challenging routes.
There are also some other places on the international stage that can help with his training, he added.
“I’ll be going into Russia and Korea for sure, and then a lot into the Canmore area,” McArthur said. “Definitely going to go to Russia and Korea and train with them, just because they are the best of the best and if you want to be the best, you have to train with the best.”