This is no day at the beach for U.S. moguls skiers


What might seem like another day in the sun to some is actually an intense week of training for the moguls skiers of the U.S. freestyle team. The team started its off-season strength and conditioning program on the beaches near the Olympic Training Center outside San Diego.
    "We just wanted to get everyone out of the mountain environment and put them in a different situation than what they're usually in," moguls head coach Scott Rawles said.
WHAT MAY seem like another day in the sun to some is actually an intense week of training for the moguls skiers of the U.S. freestyle team. The team started its off-season strength and conditioning program on the beaches near the Olympic Training Center outside San Diego.
    "We just wanted to get everyone out of the mountain environment and put them in a different situation than what they're usually in," moguls head coach Scott Rawles said.
    Olympians Shannon Bahrke, Hannah Kearney and Michelle Roark were joined by many of their teammates, including reigning U.S national champion Emiko Torito.
    "I think it's a good way to start off the training season. It's good for your body to feel the different stresses and it's a nice change from riding the bike and running the track," Dave DiGravio said.
    According to Rawles the athletes have been ocean training, which includes sprinting on the beach, running in the ocean, running with surfboards or other people attached to one's body piggy-back style, and surfing. Rawles believes the training will help athletes to not only build strength, but also to adapt to different environments and conditions when competing.
    "In a lot of ways, what we're doing is similar to skiing as on the hill we deal with timing, balance and vision [looking ahead down the course]. There's a lot of things that cross over," Rawles said. "I think everyone is really enjoying the fact that we're doing something completely different."

Bahrke's back
After missing the 2008 season due to a knee injury, Olympic silver medalist Bahrke was back and gearing up for the 2009 competition season with her teammates.
    "I missed the team. They're such a great group and I feel like they have such great energy and it's really great to be back with everyone," Bahrke said. "It's nice to have a team behind me and everyone working together."
    Bahrke, who has spent a majority of her time rehabbing in the gym, was thankful for the change of pace on the beach.
    "It was hard, but after spending so much time in the gym, it was really nice to get out there and be in the elements again. We all pulled together and had a really good time."

Always a competitor
While the next moguls World Cup contest isn't until winter, there always is a healthy competitive drive within everyone. That's especially so for DiGravio who missed part of the season with an injury. He enjoys being back with his teammates and surfing but the competitive drills are what he enjoys the most. The camaraderie the team has of pushing one another to excel.
    "We get together in teams and compete against each other and I really like the little competition games we do," DiGravio said. "It's good to get together and work on everything together and get better together."
    Freestyle moguls will continue its summer training in Colorado with a mix of water ramping in Steamboat and on-snow drills at Arapahoe Basin the end of May.

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