Van Loan moves from athlete to coaching
2005 World Ski Championships Team member and 2006 Olympian Carl Van Loan announced his retirement with the U.S. Nordic Combined Team following the 2010 season.
"I will miss the Team, especially with Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane, they are two of my best friends," said Van Loan. "Training and being with them every day has been an amazing experience."
Van Loan, a product of the Andover Outing Club in New Hampshire, made a mark in 2005 at the World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany when the U.S. team narrowly missed a medal. His top result came in Berchtesgaden, Germany in the Summer Grand Prix in August 2005, when he broke into the top 15.
"World Championships in 2005, was by far the highlight of my career," said Van Loan. "We almost medaled in the Team event and I had my best performance."
Moving up to the World Cup B circuit in 2006, Van Loan launched into the top-10 in Lake Placid, NY with a seventh place finish. Matching his best result to date, he helped his Team to seventh at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino.
"I felt like an intricate part of the Team, everything came together," explained Van Loan. "It was just a great feeling, peaking at the right time and skiing to the best of my ability."
After a three-year break from international competition, Van Loan returned to the line competing in the Continental Cup for the 2009-10 winter season. Posting four solid results, with a top-15 in Lake Placid, he proved he was still a threat. His hard work at camps paid off and created lasting memories.
"We were all close," said Van Loan. "I have very fond memories of training in Norway with all the boys and the camaraderie was unparalleled."
Van Loan is working as a personal trainer and online coach for his own company - Van Loan Training Systems - where he coaches athletes for specific events via email and telephone. For more information about Van Loan Training Systems, go to www.vanloantraining.com.
"These guys are more than just teammates and friends. They're more like family," said Van Loan. "The friendships and the bonds that we created over the years will be with me for a lifetime." - Elizabeth Karam
Van Loan photo by GEPA