Thursday, December 22, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
The World Cup has officially begun again and we have just finished our second weekend of racing with the second annual Ruka Triple, otherwise known as the Kuusamo mini tour. It is a stage race, three races in three days, all accumulative on one another. The first day this year was a classic sprint, the second, a 5K skate race, and yesterday, the final day, a 10K classic. The last day is a pursuit start, meaning they start the person leading the race from the previous two days first and the send the rest of the field respectively, based on how far back they are to the leader. So, for example, I started 48th, 2 minutes and 18 seconds behind Marit Bjorgen, the leader from the previous two days. It makes the whole race really exciting, not matter where you start, as if you start first you have the whole field chasing you and if you start last, you have the whole field to chase! It is like the best game of tag that I can imagine, so, as I had some chasing to do, I thought of myself as the “IT” person and went to work. At the end of the day I ended up 35th, just out of the points (top 30) and with the 36th best classic leg of the day, which is my best classic result on the World Cup ever, so I was satisfied and really proud of my teammates who all had great races at some point over the weekend.
Last weekend we opened the World Cup season with two races in Sjuesen, Norway. The first was a 10K skate race, in which I tied my best ever World Cup result with an 18th, and then we had an awesome relay the next day finishing in a pack of 5 teams, but ending up 9th. It is really fun to be able to see some real improvements as a country and team on the World Cup, and the stoke is high, momentum is building and we’re fired up for the rest of the season.
As for the rest of my life besides racing, I am doing really well. I am traveling with a great group of people and I am stoked to be in Europe for the whole season this year. It has been really fun getting to see all of our Swedish friends from this summer, especially Anna Haag and Charlotte Kalla. We have actually been going on team jogs with our two girls teams! I cooled down with some of the Italians after the race yesterday as well and am really enjoying getting to know people on other teams, which I hadn’t taken advantage of in past years on the World Cup. So, that’s been a highlight of the season so far.
Today we leave Kuusamo to go to Davos, Switzerland, probably the most relaxing and one of the most beautiful stops on the World Cup. This year, however, we will be leaving a 5K manmade loop here for a 1.4K manmade loop in Davos! Hopefully it will snow next week so I can ski some of my favorite trails! Mary, Chris and Maia Stone will be at the World Cup that will be held there in 2 weeks, so I will get to see some really good friends and am really hoping to be able to take them on a long ski up one of the pretty valley’s here! SNOW DANCE!!!
Below are a few pictures from our travels, but there are not as many as I was envisioning! Guess I need to actually get the camera out a bit more often instead of just taking mental images! More soon.
I got to sit in the leaders chair for a while in the first race of the year, as I had an early bib number, so that was really fun. I can see why people want to win, they hook you up with furs and a comfy chair to sit in, it's pretty awesome!
A photo Max Cobb (USA Biathlon) sent me from the Sjuesen weekend.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Held in partnership with the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and open to girls ages 9 to 19 practicing all sports, the event will feature an afternoon of fun and non-competitive dryland training followed by a motivational presentation. The activity will conclude with a yoga segment and an autograph signing session.
The highlight of the Fast and Female Park City event will be the presence of the following 25 world-class female athletes representing the sports of Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboard, and Speed Skating:
- Shannon Bahrke (Moguls)
- Erin Bartlett (Short Track Skating)
- Sadie Bjornsen (XC Skiing)
- Brittany Bowe (Long Track Skating)
- Holly Brooks (XC Skiing)
- Sarah Chen (Short Track Skating)
- Callan Chythlook-Sifsof (Snowboardcross)
- Annelies Cook (USA Biathlete)
- Emily Cook (Aerials)
- Alexa Devereaux (Aerials)
- Jessie Diggins (XC Skiing)
- Alyson Dudek (Short Track Skating)
- Kaitlyn Farrington (Halfpipe)
- Faye Gulini (Snowboardcross)
- Morgan Izykowski (Short Track Skating)
- Zina Kocher (Canadian Biathlete)
- Jana Lindsey (Aerials)
- Chelsea Marshall (Alpine)
- Andrea Mayo (Biathlete)
- Netanya Mintz (Long Track Skating)
- Kikkan Randall (XC Skiing)
- Melanie Shultz (Canadian Biathlete)
- Jessica Smith (Short Track Skating)
- Kathryn Stone (Biathlete)
- Liz Stephen (XC Skiing)
On this special occasion, more than 150 aspiring female athletes will get first-hand experience from this select group of athletes - all of which are active World Cup/Europa Cup competitors and the majority of which are Olympians.
"Sports have taught me so many important life lessons and have made me the person I am today," said Shannon Bahrke silver medalist in moguls at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, bronze medalist at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and 2003 World Cup Champion.
"Setting lofty goals, working hard to achieve them, and never giving up when things get hard are just a few of those lessons that I want to instill in young female athletes. I know they can do anything because girl athletes are awesome and we rule," concluded Bahrke who became the first US women's freestyle skier to win multiple Olympic medals with her bronze medal in 2010.
The key objective for the afternoon will be to motivate girls to stick to sports by exposing them to inspiring and positive female role models. It is said that girls are six times more likely to drop out of sports than boys.
"I chose to be a part of 'Fast and Female' because I know the difference it has made for me to live a fun and active lifestyle," said Emily Cook, a two-time Olympian with five career World Cup podiums. "I am really excited to help pass on the lessons that I have learned through sport like teamwork, leadership, being confident and having fun to young women in our community and to have some time to play and sweat with these amazing ladies," she added.
As a non-profit and North-America-wide program started in 2005 by Chandra Crawford - Canada's 2006 Olympic gold medalist in cross country - Fast and Female is intensely focused on delivering effective programming to keep girls in sports. So far in 2011, Fast and Female has hosted a total of 10 events, reaching 1,030 girls. The Park City event marks the fourth event held on U.S. soil this year and also the first U.S. event ever held with ambassadors from sports other than cross country skiing. Past Fast and Female events held in the U.S. in 2011 took place in Maine, Alaska, and Sun Valley - all on snow.
"It's been a fun journey bringing Fast and Female to the US in cross-country," said Kikkan Randall, lead Fast and Female ambassador in the US and double World Cup winner on the Cross-country circuit in 2011. "I'm really excited for the opportunity to expand into more disciplines with this Park City event," added the full-time athlete who has held three Fast and Female events in her hometown of Anchorage since 2009.
To complement the youth programming, parents and coaches are invited to join the "Amazing Tips Seminar". While the girls will be taking part in the dryland stations, adults will have the opportunity to attend three insightful presentations on Sport Psychology/Mental Toughness with Dr. Lauren Loberg, NCC, CC-AASP (Director of Athlete Career and Education), on Nutrition/Fueling the Fast Female with Adam Korzun (High Performance Dietician) and on Injury Prevention and Body Maintenance with Jess Tidswell, PT. DPT, ATC (Medical Resident Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer). All three guest speakers are experts in their respective fields and employees of USSA.
The registration fee for the youth segment is $20 per participant and includes a Fast and Female t-shirt, a Buff, a snack, an autograph poster. Parents and coaches can also secure a seat by purchasing a ticket for $20 which includes access to the seminar and a Fast and Female t-shirt valued at $20.
All registrations are compiled online at http://ffparkcityoct2011.eventbrite.com/. Please note that financial assistance is available for participants in need. Please contact email@example.com to inquire.
The deadline to register online is October 6, 2011. On-site registrations will be at a rate of $25 per participant.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Hello everyone! Been a while since I touched base, eh? My travels have been continuous, but in the best way, as I have been in all my favorite places in the last 6 weeks. I spent a good 3 weeks in Park City after returning from Alaska and then hit the road to Lake Placid, New York for our annual camp there. This year was the first year it has been in September instead of October, and we benefited from incredibly nice weather, both warmer and dryer than in past years. Lake Placid serves as one of our first real intensity blocks of the summer, doing 2 speed sessions and 2 hard interval sessions and 3 time trials in 12 days, so needless to say, I needed a bit of a break all after the camp. So, I headed to my favorite place in the world to do a little R and R; home to Vermont! My parents took great care of me, though we were all disappointed that my brother, who had planned to come home as well was unable to make it at the last minute, so it was a bit quieter than we had all hoped, but nice all the same. For someone who spends so much of the time on the road, being able to spend a few weeks a year in the house and community you grew up in is really special. I can’t emphasize enough how incredible it is to be supported by the Central Vermont community. It’s remarkable how much people care in this community. Businesses are interested in doing whatever they can to support me athletically and I can’t walk down the street without seeing someone who knows me and asks how skiing is going. It’s something that’s impossible to take for granted, as it is made so obvious by so many. So, I just want to say thank you to everyone who supports me and what I’m trying to accomplish, but also how much the community does for one another too. It is the strongest community I have ever been a part of and I feel extremely lucky, so thank you.
I am now on a plane on my way back to Park City after spending the afternoon in the North End of Boston yesterday with my parents. I am pretty sure if I lived anywhere near there I would have to work out twice as much just to be able to eat twice as much. What incredible food everywhere you go. Coffee shops, pastry shops, bread shops, tea shops, Italian restaurants on ever side street, gelato, specialty food shops, it’s amazing and delicious and I can’t wait to go back. I am firing myself up to do an off-road half marathon at Snowbasin tomorrow, so that should be fun, mostly because I get to see Morgan Arritola, who I haven’t seen all summer. Then I will have a week in Utah before our camp starts on October 1st. I have been busy for the last 6 weeks setting up a Fast and Female event (for those of you who don’t know what this organization is, check it out at www.Fastandfemale.com) on October 8th, for hopefully 150 girls ages 9-19. They will get a chance to meet over 20 Female National Team members and Olympians from 7 different sports and will be playing all afternoon with these women. It should be an amazing day, so I am really looking forward to the event.
I will be home again on October 29th and staying until November 6th, when I will leave for the entire winter in Europe! For people who may be interested in coming to a dinner to support an organization called the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), Gus Kaeding and his family will be hosting a dinner on October 30th, where all proceeds will go to NNF. For more information see the poster below. Until next time….
Olympians Andy Newell and Liz Stephen plus NNF Director Dave Knoop
in support of the
National Nordic Foundation
Oct 30, 2011 4 P.M.
Meet, listen to, and share a gourmet meal with
Andy, Liz and Dave as they share their life enriching lessons of the trail.
“For the Lessons of the Trail Are the Lessons of Life”
The Kaeding Household
55 Kaeding Road
Suggested Minimum Donation
Dinner Limited to 30 Lucky Guests
RSVP to 802-249-8345 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Tomorrow’s Stars Today
The National Nordic Foundation exists to help America’s young, dedicated, and driven Nordic talent realize their, and America’s, long term potential in sport and in life. The biggest hurdle facing American Nordic racers is gaining consistent access to international quality coaching, training, and racing experiences from ages 15 through 25. Providing future generations of U.S. Nordic athletes earned access to a progression of international quality competitive experiences, and there life enriching lessons, represents this nation’s greatest Nordic development opportunity and funding need. The National Nordic Foundation exists to fulfill this need. Please donate to the National Nordic Foundation and support tomorrow’s stars today as their quest for athletic accomplishment on the trails prepares them to achieve their potential in life while inspiring others to do the same.