Focusing on nutrition as one of the keys to athletic success, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has named Adam Korzun as sports dietician, according to High Performance Director Troy Flanagan. Korzun has worked with the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding for the past two years through the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and joined the USSA full-time earlier this summer.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Adam’s experience, caliber and skill set. Combining his background as a chef and a sports dietitian makes him perfect for taking our dietetics program to a new level,” said Flanagan. “His work with the Vancouver chef program at the Olympics was a difference maker for our athletes and I am sure he can give us a competitive edge in Sochi 2014.”
“We found that the Vancouver program and all the work we did last year incorporating nutrition into training including the mobile kitchen and the Vancouver chef program was a great success during the World Cup season,” said Korzun, who worked in and drove the mobile kitchen that was provided by USSA’s partner Paganella. “It was a natural fit to extend something that has had such a great impact on the entire season to dry land training and conditioning over the summer. This way we’re consistently giving them the proper fuel to train not only during competition, but also during the prep phase and training.”
Korzun will work closely with all U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding members, focusing on the periodization of competition recovery and overall health of athletes. He will also be in charge of running the education kitchen program in the USSA Center of Excellence, which teaches athletes to cook and prepare food in the most fuel effective way.
According to Flanagan, nutrition is an important element of high performance athletic programs. Korzun will be responsible for developing educational programs for athletes, as well as overseeing food in the USSA Center of Excellence and for athletes on the road at events and training camps.
Korzun makes regular trips to local grocery stores and farmer’s markets to have fresh food available at all times. The availability of the food provides the athletes with unlimited access to the essential needs of an effective recovery process.
“Every day we consistently have recovery food available, such as smoothies, milk, cold cuts, string cheese, fresh fruit and peanut butter,” said Korzun. “We are really encouraging the timing of their eating so they’re getting the right nutrients as soon as possible so they are recovering properly and getting enough fuel for the next training session.”
Although the constant recovery plan is not new to the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding, Korzun’s presence makes it available and accessible. Korzun’s goal and long term plan as the USSA’s dietician is to evolve the program, hopefully working with the development and feeder groups of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding.
“My goal is to see this program evolve into more of a complete program, not only working with all the national A, B and C teams, but also providing education and support to the development groups and carrying that education to our USSA clubs,” said Korzun. “Getting them on the right page and thinking that way earlier will help when they reach this level to make a pretty easy transition to focus timing.”
The nutrition education program plans to extend their services beyond the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding. Part of the plan is to move and circulate the information through the USSA website’s nutrition page as well as the Center of Excellence TV. Some of the content on the Center of Excellence TV and nutrition page will provide short clips of cooking, nutrition tips and recipes. With these outlets, the program hopes to instill the same knowledge to both U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes and clubs and programs across the country.