Rigorous Chile camp tests mogul skiers' fitness


U.S. moguls skiers continued to build on a strong foundation from earlier camps in Colorado and Oregon by piling on training runs and technique work in Chile.
    "We've gone from one camp to the next," moguls head coach Scott Rawles said, "and this was an excellent finish. Chile's had the best winter in something like 40 years and we really took advantage of it. I'm really pleased with the progress they've made."
    "We had the most ideal conditions," echoed Shelley Robertson, the reigning U.S. dual moguls champion.
EL COLORADO, Chile — U.S. moguls skiers continued to build on a strong foundation from earlier camps in Colorado and Oregon by piling on training runs and technique work in Chile.
    "We've gone from one camp to the next," moguls head coach Scott Rawles said, "and this was an excellent finish. Chile's had the best winter in something like 40 years and we really took advantage of it. I'm really pleased with the progress they've made."
    "We had the most ideal conditions," echoed Shelley Robertson, the reigning U.S. dual moguls champion. "It was sunny every day but maybe one and the snow was perfect. It was awesome."

Robertson spins, studies … and spins some more
"I was testing new equipment, so that took up a couple of days, but we got so much training in; I was really tired at the end," Robertson laughed, noting she was headed back to her final semester of classes at the University of Nevada in Reno. She plans to be a teacher after retiring from skiing.
    "I was working my D-spin [off-axis, 720-degree revolution]. It's a hard one to get," she said, "but it went pretty well. I'll still use my 360 [full rotation] and back flip-X [with her skis pulled up under her as she flips], but I want to get the D-spin a couple of time this year. I want to be using it before the Olympics, so I'm comfortable with it."
    Like Robertson, Jay Bowman-Kirigin, the men's 2007 Rookie of the Year on the World Cup tour, was enthusiastic about the terrific conditions. "I learned a bunch of new things, and this was a nice progression for everybody from Mt. Hood," where the team trained in July. They also had June camps that focused on skiing drills at two Colorado venues; Steamboat Springs and Arapahoe Basin.
    "I got to ski more than I ever have, so I got to break things down and work more on my technical stuff, just the core technique. It was a great opportunity," he said. "I'll be confident heading into the season."
    Like Robertson, Bowman-Kirigin mixed his summer training with college class work. He attends Westminster College in Salt Lake City under the U.S. Ski Team's unique scholarship program with the college.

"Private gig" spawns outstanding training
The lack of crowds at El Colorado helped increase the quality of training making it seem like a "private gig" according to Rawles. "The coaches had high expectations going in and this definitely was a demanding camp. We had a 250-meter moguls course and two tabletops after it. The first two days it was about 270 [meters] with just moguls, no jumps. It was a really good challenge … and it was easy to tell who was prepared for the camp."
    With all 18 athletes getting extended skiing, the coaches were pleased with the continued progression of jumps. "We had four or five athletes doing a double full [two twists and a somersault], a couple throwing 1080s [three off-axis spins]. Four of the girls were throwing off-axis 720s [double revolutions] or a back full [black flip with a twist]. I think Shannon [Bahrke, the 2007 World Cup runner-up] threw over 50 D-spins. It was impressive."
    The team's next camp will come in November, its traditional on-snow camp in Colorado. The World Cup schedule opens Dec. 12-13 in Tignes, France, with two moguls competitions.

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