Several of the United States’ top up-and-coming ski jumpers are set to return to the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid to vie for U.S. Cup titles and for a spot on the U.S. Junior World Championship Team on Friday and Saturday, December 28th and 29th.
Spectators can watch the high-flying action as ski jumpers launch themselves from the top of the 90-meter ski jump and soar the length of a football. » Continue Reading.
“I really like the sensation of flying through the air,” said Will Rhoads, winner of the Art Devlin Cup. “There is nothing better than having a really good jump and having the feeling you are never going to come down.”
Rhoads was in Lake Placid for the U.S. Ski Jumping Cup, held on the 90 meter at Intervale on Wednesday, February 12 that included a Juniors and Open class. In addition, he an a number of the competitors were in the running for the Art Devlin Cup that combines the results of three meets, the US Cup, the Flaming Leaves, and the July 4th competition. The U.S. Cup was the next to last of nine meets held across the country with the final scheduled for Park City, Utah.
While the twin towers on the 90 and 120 (aka 100 HS and 134 HS) jumps in Placid remain icons of the village and the most dramatic emblem of the 1980 Games, they are sadly out of date and the 120 no longer meets FIS regulations. “Jumps are being designed flatter to make it harder to jump further,” said Blake Hughes, assistant coach for the US Ski Jumping team. “Because of changes in the equipment and the way the sport has progressed jumping here is easier than in Sochi.” » Continue Reading.
USA Luge, the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, and the U.S. Nordic teams will begin to take shape when each of the federations hold their national team and U.S. national championship events beginning this weekend, Oct. 12-13, in Lake Placid.
The events will help each organization select its fall 2013 World Cup team. And for many of these athletes, this will be the first step towards perhaps making the Olympic team that will compete in February’s winter games in Sochi, Russia. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) will present the new documentary Ready to Fly which chronicles the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team’s fight to be recognized as an Olympic sport on Sunday, October 13 at 8:00 PM. Immediately following the film, members of the US Women’s Ski Jumping Team will take questions from the audience.
Ready to Fly follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van (not to be confused with apline skier Lindsey Vonn). Even though Van out-jumped the world’s best men at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic venue, the International Olympic Committee forbade women from competing in ski jumping, the only Winter Olympic discipline to do so. » Continue Reading.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) has issued its winter 2012-13 events. Dates and schedules are subject to change, but here is the basic run-down.
Nov. 5-10 – FIBT World Cup Bobsled and Skeleton. The 2012-’13 World Cup season opens for bobsled and skeleton where last season ended, on the combined bobsled/luge and skeleton track at the Mt. van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex. Last February, the United States bobsled and skeleton team captured a record five medals, including four gold, when the one-mile long track played host to the 2012 FIBT world championships. » Continue Reading.
This winter the Almanack has been reporting the results and standing of our local winter sports athletes. The big news this week is Saranac Lake’s Chris Mazdzer and the the U.S. luge team, which won a silver medal in the FIL World Cup team relay in Winterberg, Germany.
You can find all our winter sports coverage here, and World Cup coverage here. Alpine Skiing
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tommy Beisemeyer (Keene, N.Y.): In Kitzbuehel, Austria, Weibrecht skied to a 42nd place finish in the FIS World Cup downhill. The Super-G was cancelled because of weather. Beismeyer raced in last week’s Europa Cup stop in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and did not finish Wednesday’s, Jan. 18, giant slalom event. The reigning Nor-Am champion also failed to finish Monday’s giant slalom race in Zell a. See, Austria.
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Antholz-Anterselva, Italy hosted last week’s IBU World Cup tour stop. In Sunday’s team relay event, Baily and Burke skied with Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.) and finished 10th. In Friday’s 10 km sprint, Burke was 12th, while Bailey was 36th. Burke also finished 20th in Sunday’s 15 km mass start event, while Bailey was 21st. Cook posted a 74th place result in Thursday’s 7.5 km sprint, before teaming up with Sara Studebacker (Boise, Idaho), Tracy Barnes (Durango, Colo.) and Susan Dunklee (Barton, Vt.) for a 13th place finish in Saturday’s 4×6 km team relay.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.): The FIBT World Cup tour visited St. Moritz, Switzerland. Napier droved his two-man sled to a 16th place result, Saturday, and his four-man sled to a 12th place finish, Sunday.
Chris Mazdzer (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Conn.): Mazdzer helped the U.S. luge team to a silver medal in the FIL World Cup team relay in Winterberg, Germany. The 2010 Olympian was 29th in Saturday’s men’s singles race. Sweeney was 13th in the women’s singles race in Winterberg.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.): Demong did not compete last weekend and this weekend’s event in Zakopane, Poland has been cancelled because of weather. He is scheduled to compete Feb. 3-5 in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): In Sapporo, Japan, Frenette competed in three events, one on the k90 and two others off the k120. The 2010 Olympian dealt with difficult wind conditions to finish 26th in the k90 jump and recorded 26th and 25th place results off the k120.
Photo: Saranac Lake’s Chris Mazdzer, courtesy USA Luge.
The second weekend of the New Year (January 6-9) saw some pretty strong results from area athletes competing internationally.
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tommy Beisemeyer (Keene, N.Y.): Weibrecht spent some time home, in Lake Placid, and returns to the World Cup circuit this weekend. Beisemeyer raced in Saturday’s FIS World Cup giant slalom, held in Adelboden, Switzerland and did not finish. Biathlon
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): The IBU World Cup tour visited Oberhof, Germany over the weekend. In Saturday’s 10 km sprint, Burke was 36th, while Bailey finished the race in 45th position. The two, along with Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.), helped the U.S. squad to an 11th place showing in Thursday’s, Jan. 5, 4×7.5 km relay. The weekend wrapped up with the 15 km race… Bailey was 11th and Burke did not race. Cook did not race.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.): Heavy snow delayed the start of Saturday’s FIBT World Cup two-man bobsled race for two hours and poor visibility forced officials to cancel the race’s second run. Napier finished 17th in the one-heat race. In Sunday’s four-man race, Napier drove his sled to a 16th place result.
Chris Mazdzer (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Conn.): Mazdzer made his FIL World Cup debut Friday in Koenigssee, Germany. The 2010 Olympian finished 21st in the men’s singles race. He helped USA Luge to a fifth place showing in the team relay. Sweeney did not qualify for the women’s singles race after suffering a spill in Nations Cup qualifying.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.): Demong competed in Oberstdorf, Germany where he helped anchor Team USA to a fifth place finish in Saturday’s HS137/4×5 km team competition. In Sunday’s FIS Nordic Combined World Cup individual event, the reigning Olympic champion placed 14th.
Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Frenette did not compete in last weekend’s FIS Continental Cup event in Kranj, Slovenia. That event was canceled.
The holidays are over and it’s back to racing for several Lake Placid – Saranac Lake area athletes. You can find all the Adirondack Almanack‘s winter sports coverage here.
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tommy Beisemeyer (Keene, N.Y.): Weibrecht did race during the holiday period. He participated in the FIS alpine World Cup downhill stop, Dec. 19, in Bormio, Italy, where he finished 49th. Beisemeyer is now back on the Nor-Am tour. Biathlon
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): The IBU World Cup tour is scheduled to resume Friday, Jan. 6, in Forni Avoltri, Italy. Bailey is ranked ninth in the overall Cup chase, while Burke is 37th. Meanwhile, Cook competed in Obertilliach, Austria, Dec. 14-17. She was 60th in the 7.5 km sprint and did not complete the 10 km pursuit. Cook did help anchor the U.S. squad to a 14th place finish in the mixed team relay.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.): The FIBT World Cup bobsled series starts its second half this weekend in Altenberg, Germany. Napier is 15th in the overall two-man rankings and 12th in the chase for the four-man crown.
Chris Mazdzer (Saranac Lake, N.Y.), Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Conn.): The holiday break is over for the International Luge Federation’s World Cup athletes. Racing resumes this weekend in Koenigssee, Germany for Mazdzer and Sweeney, the sister of 18 year old 2010 Olympian Megan Sweeney (they grew up in of Suffield, Connecticut, but their father is from Saranac Lake). Mazdzer, a 2010 Olympian, returns to the tour after spending the first half of the season in Lake Placid testing equipment. Sweeney opened the season winning two junior World Cup crowns before joining the senior squad in Calgary, Canada.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.): Demong and Ryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) teamed up to compete in the FIS World Cup Nordic combined team sprint, Friday, Dec. 16. The two combined to finish sixth in the HS 109/2×7.5 km event. This weekend’s World Cup stop in Schonach, Germany has been canceled. The tour’s next event is the following weekend in Chaux Neuve, France.
Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Frenette made is FIS Continental Cup debut, Dec. 22-28, in Engelberg, Switzerland. He was 69th in Tuesday’s event and 52nd Wednesday. He’s getting ready to jump again, Jan. 7-8, in Kranj, Slovenia.
Photo: Emily Sweeney watches the action after her second run at Calgary. Courtesy USA Luge.
American skiers Hannah Kearney (Norwich, Vt.) and Ashley Caldwell (Hamilton, Va.) will try to defend their World Cup crowns when the FIS Freestyle World Cup returns to Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain, January 19-21. Lake Placid is one of only five U.S. sites selected to host a World Cup event this season.
Action begins Thursday, Jan. 19, at Whiteface, when Kearney begins defense of her moguls’ World Cup crown and France’s Guilbault Colas tries to hold off a deep men’s field and capture his second World Cup win on the mountain’s Wilderness Trail. Competition on 240-meter long course begins at 9:15 a.m. with the women’s qualifications, followed by the men’s qualifications at 11:35 a.m. The women’s semi-finals are scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. and the men’s semis start at 2:20 p.m. The medal rounds start at 2:40 p.m. for the women and eight minutes later men’s finals is slated to begin. Action will move over to the Olympic jumping complex both Friday and Saturday night, for two exciting evenings of aerial competitions. The 18-year-old Caldwell, a 2010 Olympian, will begin defense of her World Cup title, when she and the rest of the international field twist, flip, summersault and soar into the evening skies, some as high as 60-feet. The fun begins both nights 7 p.m.
In addition to the exciting action, there will be bonfires, music, giveaways and plenty of food and drinks provided by Centerplate. Saturday’s jumping will also conclude with a fireworks display.
Tickets to the aerial competitions are $15 for adults and $9 for juniors and seniors. A lift ticket and skis are required to view the mogul events Whiteface.
More information about the FIS Freestyle World Cup can be found online. Photo: Freestyle World Cup Moguls (Courtesy ORDA / Whiteface).
The holidays are almost here and local world-class athletes were trying to pick up more valuable World Cup points, last weekend, Dec. 9-11, before the break.
Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tommy Beisemeyer (Keene, N.Y.): The FIS alpine World Cup series stop in Val d Isere, France was cancelled due to a lack of snow. Weibrecht, Beisemeyer and the rest of the U.S. alpine squad began racing in Val Gardena-Groeden, Italy today, Wednesday, Dec. 14. Biathlon:
Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, N.Y.), Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, N.Y.), Annelies Cook (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Hochfilzen, Austria played host to last weekend’s IBU biathlon World Cup stop. In Friday’s 10 km sprint, Bailey posted a 14th place result, while Burke was 42nd. During Saturday’s pursuit, Bailey was 17th, while Burke was 47th. Bailey is currently ranked seventh in the series standings. The race weekend wrapped up with the team relay, and Bailey and Burke, along with Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska) and Leif Nordgren (Marine, Minn.), finished ninth. Meanwhile, Cook made her international debut this season, competing in the IBU Cup event, held in Ridnaun, Italy. She was 59th in Saturday’s 15 km individual race and 36th in Sunday’s 7.5 km sprint.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.): The FIBT World Cup bobsled series stopped in LaPlagne, France over the weekend. Napier drove his two-man sled to an 11th place finish, Saturday, and a 13th place result during Sunday’s four-man event.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.): The FIS World Cup Nordic combined series was in Ramsau, Austria. Demong posted his best World Cup result, 11th, since the Olympic season. He was 14th after the jump and started eighth in the cross country ski.
Peter Frenette (Saranac Lake, N.Y.): Frenette was scheduled to make his FIS Cup debut in Garmisch P., Germany, but that event was cancelled due to weather.
Photo: Val Gardena-Groeden, Italy (Photo provided).
A number of Adirondack athletes have been competing in World Cup and international events around the globe. Here’s how they fared over the past several days, and the outlook ahead:
In alpine skiing, Lake Placid’s Andrew Weibrecht and Keene’s Tommy Beisemeyer competed in the World Cup series opener in Lake Louise, Canada. Weibrecht, the 2010 Olympic Super G bronze medalist, finished 30th in Saturday’s, men’s Super G event. Beisemeyer did not finish the race, but both are off to Beaver Creek, Colo. for this week’s Audi Birds of Prey World Cup. Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid and Tim Burke of Paul Smiths will headline the American squad at the IBU Biathlon Workd Cup series which opens today, Dec. 1, in Ostersund, Sweden.
Bobsled’s Europa-Cup series visited Koenigssee, Germany over the weekend and Lake Placid’s John Napier, a 2010 Olympian, piloted his two-man sled to a fifth place finish on Saturday. The following day Napier drove to a 13th place result in the four-man event. The World Cup tour begins this weekend, Dec. 2-4, in Igls, Austria.
High winds in Kuusamo, Finland forced officials to cancel Saturday’s nordic combined jump and instead use Friday’s provisional round for seeding. Vermontville’s Billy Demong was 30th in that round and started his ski more than three minutes back. The two-time Olympic medalist was the 11th fastest skier on the course and finished 19th overall. The series moves on to Lillehammer, Norway for a pair of events this weekend.
The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) will soon be re-opening the Olympic venues for the summer and fall seasons.
The Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway in Wilmington, N.Y. kicked-off the openings on May 20th. The highway allows visitors to drive to the top of the fifth-highest peak in the Adirondacks, one of only two whose summit is accessible by car. The highway is an eight-mile drive from Wilmington to the summit, where a castle made of native stone and an in-mountain elevator await. The highway is open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. thru Oct. 10. » Continue Reading.
A new discipline will be on the program in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi; an event that has been struggling for years to be included. Women’s Ski Jumping will finally be allowed in the Winter Olympic Games. On Wednesday, the IOC announced that it would add the event after previously ruling that the discipline had too few elite competitors to justify an Olympic berth. Another concern voiced was whether the physical demand of ski jumping was appropriate for female athletes, despite inclusion of women in traditionally male dominated sports like hockey, boxing, and wrestling. Before last year’s games in Vancouver, an appeal was brought to court on behalf of women ski jumpers against the organizers of the Games, VANOC. They claimed that not allowing women to ski jump in the Olympics was a form of gender discrimination in government activities. While a Canadian judge agreed that it was discriminatory and VANOC was subject to the same laws, it can’t change the events. The IOC is the authority on the events in the Olympics, and isn’t bound by Canadian law. Therefore, women were not allowed to ski jump in Vancouver. But it looks like they will be flying through the air in Sochi.
Still, some concessions were made; women are still unable to participate in team events, on the large hill in Olympic events, or in Nordic Combined. The President of the Women’s Ski Jumping Foundation would like to see those privileges extended to female athletes too. “Now that we can jump, that should be something that should follow,” she said to the New York Times.
As a winter athlete, it is inevitable that even in a town like Lake Placid, which is known for its accessibility to winter sports, there will be an off season. Athletes in all winter sports have an “in season”, where they are competing and training, and an “off season”, when there is less availability to the medium of their sport (snow, ice) and they must train differently.
Athletes approach training differently; however, there are certain methods of off season training which are uniform. Different sports emphasize different qualities; speed, agility, flexibility, or power. Some need more of one quality than others; for example, figure skaters require more flexibility than a speed skater or hockey player, while the focus in the latter sports is on speed and power. Therefore, the training varies from sport to sport. Figure skaters don’t tend to have a break from skating; most train all year round. What differs is the intensity of training. The off season for skaters is often from late spring until early fall, and this time period is spent developing new programs, building up strength and agility, and using other sports to train for the in-season. Many skaters practice dance, weight-lifting, cardio, stretching, and yoga in both on and off season, but the off season is a good time to practice more extracurricular activities. Figure skaters need agility but also flexibility; as such, their training program emphasizes those qualities. While most lift weights, they also practice plyometrics (which develops quickness and agility) and off ice jumps. Stretching is also an important part of their training routine. It is important to note that many skaters do not run or participate too much in activities that pound on their knees, as they already take a beating in figure skating training. Check out this link for more information about off ice training for figure skating.
Speed skaters require totally different training. The emphasis in the off season is on building strength for the upcoming season. Many don’t realize that speed skaters make their greatest strides from off season training, which incorporates “dryland” training, weight-lifting, and cardio. It is common for a speed skater to practice “low walks”, which is walking with the knees bent at a 90 degree angle to simulate the position achieved in speed skating. Watch this video of Sven Kramer, one of theWorld’s best long track speed skaters training in the off-season. For a glimpse of what it takes to train as an Olympic speed skater during the season, watch Apolo Ohno work out in this video.
Hockey requires speed, power, and agility. The training program off-season reflects this, and many hockey players spend their off-season lifting weights, working on cardiovascular fitness and agility. On ice and off ice training is year round, and the player’s training routine depends on what position they play.
Skiing has a few different sub-sports: alpine, freestyle, Nordic, and ski jumping. All have different emphasis and are very different in not only activity, but how training is approached. Ski jumping, the exciting sport in which the ski jumper flies down the ski jump, launches themselves in the air, and lands, requires precision and control. Explosive power is needed for the takeoff, and the legs must be able to support the force of landing. As such, ski jumpers practice plyometrics, lunges, squats, and stair running workouts.
Athletes who compete in alpine skiing usually train on the snow, but when that isn’t available, train dry land. This can take several forms, including sprints, plyometrics, and weights, all tailored to the common movements in alpine skiing.
Freestyle skiing combines several types of skills and a few types of skiing; aerial, moguls, and ski-cross. Aerials combine skiing and acrobatics, so athletes need to be coordinated and agile. Moguls, where the skier maneuvers around mounds of snow with tight turns, requires quickness and agility. Ski-cross is a discipline in which the skiers take off en-masse and navigate a course. They need to be technically proficient, quick off the start line, and able to maneuver around each other and terrain. Athletes can train with several aids such as trampolines, cross country simulation machines, and in Lake Placid, a pool for athletes to practice aerials into during the summer months. Other than that, skiiers train various ways including cycling, weight lifting, roller-skiing (like cross country skis, except with wheels) and plyometrics.
Nordic skiing athletes are more endurance based skiers whose sport consists of skiing various distances. Their training is similar to the other skiers but with more emphasis on endurance. They might also row, cycle, or in-line in the off season.
Biathlon is a sport which combines cross country skiing with target shooting. Biathlon athletes must combine the endurance and fast paced nature of cross country ski racing with the focused accuracy of target shooting. Arguably the most difficult part of biathlon is calming the mind and body after cross country racing to shoot the target. Racers practice the same type of training as cross country skiers, but also have to practice incredible mental focus.
Luge, the sport requiring athletes to slide down a track on a sled, requires a lot of upper body strength. The takeoff for the luge track is started by using the upper body to gain momentum while on the sled. Therefore, the off ice training often focuses on upper body strength. Mental fitness is also very important.
The sliding sports of skeleton and bobsled share similar components; both require the athlete to get a running start on the track before boarding the sled and navigating the track. The sports have a quick agile component as well as precision in steering the sled. Athletes competing in these sports typically train all year round, even without the benefit of ice on the track. Training methods include sprint workouts, cardio, plyometrics and weight lifting.
For more information on winter Olympic athletes, check out teamusa.org
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