'the imjin' magazine Summer 2019 - Page 9

ARRC NEWS Gold Standard Olympian leads charge at military ski contest in Italian Alps Top skiers from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps have been competing at the Italian army’s winter competition in the Alps – boosted by the presence of our double Olympic and world champion. Major Heather Stanning (pictured below), who twice won Olympic and World titles – for rowing – now serves as a Royal Artillery staff officer within the NATO headquarters. She is a member of the ARRC ski team that attended the ‘CaSTA 2019’ championships held at San Candido in South Tyrol. Speaking to the imjin ahead of her ‘Sci alpino’ (alpine skiing) event, Heather said: “I wasn’t a cross country skier in the past and my background is rowing. But it’s an endurance race really, and I’ll give it a good go.” She was one of three athletes from the ARRC to enter the night-time race, where competitors complete two laps of the mountain course with its 400 metres uphill climb followed by a ‘red run’ downhill slope, while carrying weight and lit only by head torch. Despite a highly credible individual 4th place against some of NATO’s best athletes, she joked: “I certainly won’t be entering the Winter Olympics in this sport.” CHALLENGE The remainder of the week-long competition saw the ARRC’s team enjoy near-perfect racing conditions in the stunning, but unforgiving terrain of the Italian Alps. explained: “Our aim was to come here and be competitive. “We’ve been invited to enter a team here for the past two decades – and this year has been a great success for us.” To watch the video from San Candido visit www.arrc.nato.int They were in competition with their NATO counterparts, including ‘Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum’ and ‘NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy’, for the coveted ‘Trofeo Dell’Amicizia’ (Friendship Trophy). And by the end of the week, our ARRC athletes were only narrowly pushed into second place by the specialists from Slovenia’s ‘Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence’. Lieutenant Colonel Stefano Saccocci, an Italian carabinieri police officer working at HQ ARRC, was pleased with his team’s achievements. He I certainly won’t be entering the Winter Olympics in this sport. @HQARRC Allied Rapid Reaction Corps the imjin SUMMER 2019 9