After several years of going to Chile, the U.S. Moguls Ski Team switched it up this summer, heading down under for a three week camp at Perisher in Australia. Among the U.S. Ski Team campers were 2010 gold medalist Hannah Kearney, 2010 bronze medalist Bryon Wilson, Olympians Heather McPhie and Patrick Deneen.
“We’ve been going to Chile for the last 10 years,” said Head Moguls Coach Scott Rawles. “It’s been great training down there, but we just felt like Perisher was a good change of pace and this was a good year to do it. There will be some other international teams there, so it will be a completely different dynamic then we’ve normally done.”
The athletes and coaches flew to the Southern Hemisphere on August 2. After a few days to adjust to the 18 hour time difference, the Team buckled their boots and clicked into their skis on August 5. During the 13 days of the on-snow section of the block, athletes focused on individual tasks including tricks and regaining feel for the snow and bumps.
“It was the first on-snow training camp since the competitive season ended, so I was working on getting reacquainted with the feel of my skis,” said Kearney. “I also hiked the bottom jump of the course for three days to avoid the lift lines and work on the tricks and form I had been practicing on the water ramps this summer.”
“My main focus at this camp was my jumping,” said McPhie. “I have been throwing D-spins and back fulls, as I plan on competing at least one of them this season.”
With athletes giving it their all and training days jam packed, coaches and athletes went for a different direction on their days-off, occupying their time experiencing what Australia has to offer. For many of the athletes, this was their first trip to Australia.
“The days off have been pretty busy,” said McPhie. “One day we went and fed kangaroos, which was absolutely incredible.”
U.S. Ski Team Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and Australian native Alex Moore joined the gang for the camp. While with the Team, Moore led them through daily workouts and introduced the group to some Australian specialties. Moore will also head a four day conditioning block in Sydney, wrapping up the three weeklong camp.
“It was great to have our Australian strength and conditioning coach Alex with us to serve as our culture and activity guide,” said Kearney. “He made sure we didn’t miss out on the Australian specialties like Milo, meat pies and Tim Tams in the grocery store. He also introduced us to rugby and Australian football rules. We played touch rugby on a field strewn with kangaroo poop five different afternoons.”
The Team will stay in the land-down-under’s capital, Sydney, for conditioning as well as some fun and site seeing until August 22, when they return to the U.S. The next training session is scheduled for the beginning of September in Park City, UT.