U.S. Ski Team speed athletes out of Portillo and into Park City

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 8, 2009 12:42 pm

The Portillo resort in Chile closed their ski season with international aplomb as the mountain hosted the U.S. Team men’s speed skiers for a final on-snow ‘p

re-season’ training camp. “Portillo is such an awesome place for us to work on speed,” said Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety. “It’s been a while since I’ve spent some time with my long (downhill) boards, but everything feels perfect. I feel like I’m going 100 percent.”

According to U.S. Ski Team coach Chris Brigham, the two-week Super-G and Downhill camp was a success—in large part due to the amazing snow. “These are hands down the best conditions we’ve ever had in Portillo,” said Brigham. “It was super cold at night which made for incredible training for all the guys.”

In attendance were Marco Sullivan, Scott Macartney, Erik Fisher, Andrew Weibrecht, Jeremy Transue and Tommy Ford. Ligety and ‘tech-skier’ Jake Zamansky attended the first half of the camp before heading home to rest before their glacier training at Saas Fee, Switzerland. Downhill star TJ Lanning also played halfsies, but made it out for the second half of camp. Lanning is recovering from double knee surgery (meaning, both knees), yet the athlete felt strong and is looking ahead to a successful World Cup and Olympic season. “It’s just like riding a bike,” said Lanning of being back on snow. “I wasn’t going full speed by any means and was only skiing on giant slalom and slalom skis with pants and a jacket on, but it felt good. I’m hoping to be ready to rip when the speed season opens in Lake Louise.”

Next up? For a lot of the U.S. Ski Team athletes, a dryland training camp in Park City. The skiers will make use of the Center of Excellence, and give one last strength-building push before heading back to the slopes. A team-spirit-building mountain-bike trip to Moab is also in the works before several of the athletes head to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Ski and Snowboard Ball in the Bay area, on October 17. 

photo: 08/09 USSA