U.S. moguls skiers set the stage for their on-snow camp in South America this month with productive, quality drills at Mount Hood.
MOUNT HOOD, Oregon — U.S. moguls skiers set the stage for their on-snow camp in South America this month with productive, quality drills at Mount Hood.
"We had 10 skiers and everyone got some good miles on skis, got some good jumps in … and it was a great preparation for Chile later this month. That's such an important camp and now everyone's looking ready," head coach Scott Rawles said.
Ongoing sessions in the splash pool at Utah Olympic Park, where the moguls skiers learned body awareness in mid-air, served as a perfect lead-in for most of the athletes last month at Hood.
Splash pool drills are good prep for moguls
"We've had a lot of athletes at the park training, often on their own, or coaching each other, or they'll hook-up with whichever coach is there. I was out there in May, Lasse [Fahlen] was there in June and Todd [Schirman], who lives in Park City, has been the main go-to guy," Rawles said. "It's definitely the first year we've offered such an organized, weekly program and it's been well-received by the athletes.
"Todd's done a great job keeping those guys motivated and keeping a lot of stuff going on. This year we will have been on snow every month but September."
The positive approach by everyone helped overtake the loss of on-snow time [due to rough weather at Mt. Hood]. The staff built one jump, which everyone used, and a separate bumps run was created so that athletes could maximize their skiing. "We had some long days, and it mostly was about getting miles under everyone's belt, getting time on snow. They all skied pretty well and we did a bit of jumping over the last couple of days," Rawles said.
"My main focus was to test new equipment. I wanted to get comfortable and feel confident using my new gear," said Shannon Bahrke, the 2002 Olympic silver medalist who also medaled at the '03 and '07 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships.
Intensity contagious among athletes
Jay Bowman-Kirigin, who is coming off a blockbuster season — World Cup Rookie of the Year in moguls, a World Cup podium and two medals at the Junior World Championships — agreed with Bahrke. "We didn't get a lot of time on snow because of some rain, so there was pressure for us to 'bring' our stuff, and I think everyone delivered. It was good. There was some great skiing taking place."
The intensity to make every run, every jump count was contagious, he said. "I was fortunate. I was able to work on my double-fulls [i.e., two twists and a flip on one jump] and my cork-1080 [three rotations during an off-axis jump]. There wasn't a lot of snow, but it held up pretty well.
"I think I got three days of jumping, which I can build on when we get to Chile. I can be skiing hard right from the start down there," Bowman-Kirigin said.
Bowman-Kirigin further boosted his preseason skiing by sticking around for a couple of weeks, joining his club program, Wasatch Freestyle, for more on-snow drills at Mt. Hood.
Rawles and the moguls skiers will be in El Colorado for a seventh preseason during the last two weeks of August.