August 1st was an important day for the members of the U.S. ski team. It marked the beginning of their on-snow pre-season training.
After having spent the past few months experimenting with various cross-training methods, such as cycling and go-karting, the team finally began their tech training camp on real snow again yesterday at the Snow Farm in New Zealand.
For the alpine skiers on the team, this camp is very important as it starts off the journey to the World Cup Season which begins on October 22. With seventeen full-time World Cup racers, in addition to the full A, B, and C teams, the U.S. Men’s Head Coach, Sasha Rearick, has a particularly difficult job this year of making sure everyone is fit and ready. Luckily for him, the athletes are very motivated. For some racers such as Bode Miller, the New Zealand camp offers the opportunity to test out new equipment. For others, such as Andrew Weibrecht, it provides a fresh start after suffering through an injury-plagued year last season.
This is also an important camp for many of the cross-country skiers. For newcomer, Tad Elliott, the New Zealand camp gives him the chance to see how he competes against his teammates. Additionally it gives him the opportunity to train with the likes of Kris Freeman and Andy Newell.
Speaking of Newell, besides for the training, the New Zealand camp lets him work on his video camera skills as seen below:
Once the team finishes up in New Zealand, they will head to Chile for speed training.