SUN VALLEY, ID (Sept. 30) – Amidst the 2010-11 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team announcement, the cross country athletes were working hard during a two-week roller-ski camp in Sun Valley. Attending campers included Olympians Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT) and Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT).
"It was a pretty high intensity camp," said Stephen. 'We did a lot of team time trials and intervals. "Everyone was training really hard and it was going well. Everyone is feeling pretty fit so it was great."
Athletes push up the hill in Sun Valley. (USSA/ Peter Vordenberg)
Among the Newell and Stephen were fellow Olympians Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO) and Morgan Arritola (Fairfield, ID) as well as Team members Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) were the Sun Valley Olympic Development Team and the National Group Training Team, providing a more diverse group for the Team to train with while in Sun Valley. Team members gave it their all, setting the tone and pace for the camp and guest a cross country skiers.
"It's really beneficial for us to have other teams and coaches that are training and coaching at high level around," said Stephen.
While in Idaho, Team athletes focused on technique, mental strength and team bonding. Roller-skiing efforts and intensity was high across the board. Along with grueling workouts, the athletes would then shift to video analysis and sports psychology. During the sports psychology sessions athletes and coaches would participate in both team and individual blocks.
"At camps we are definitely technique focused, because the coaches are all there and we have other athletes, video sessions and speed session to learn from," said Stephen. "We also sports psych for a couple days. We had some team individual sessions, even the coaches had an individual sessions. We're all working really hard on trying to make our team as tight as we can possibly be going into the season and beyond."
Taking a break from training, the Team took a different approach on one of the camp days spending time with local athletes. Adding an element of fun to their intense and grueling sessions, the Team signed autographs and played games, The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, a huge feeder to the U.S. Ski Team, and other clubs across the country are the fuel for the next generation and level of skiers.
The Cross Country Ski Team will take a short break before heading to Lake Placid, NY for another camp in early October.