By: Karl Denney
August 20 – We‘re right around the halfway point of our training camp in Europe and it’s already proving to be exceedingly beneficial for our athletes. In just under two weeks, we’ve skied on 5 different jumps and logged over 15 hours of endurance and interval work. We started the trip in the northwest corner of Slovenia at a world-renowned venue called Planica. This is the site of a very famous ski flying hill (Hill Size 225 meters) as well as some of the finest athletic facilities our athletes have ever encountered. We got plenty of jumping sessions on the Olympic-sized jumps (Hill size 105 and 140m) and even got the opportunity to break the monotony of summer by cross country skiing on snow! Planica is equipped with an indoor ski tunnel with about 900 meters of groomed snow in a refrigerated, 3-level parking garage. It was a surreal experience and a great way to spend our recovery day!
We then hopped over the Austrian boarder to Villach to jump their HS-98 and ski a 5-kilometer time trial on their roller ski trails. The athletes did well despite skiing 3 interval workouts that week! After that, it was off to Germany to jump in the small Bavarian town of Oberstdorf. It’s a beautiful town and we’ve already jumped both the HS-100 and the HS-136. These hills are very different from the ones we’ve been jumping so far, but that’s one of the major benefits of this trip! Variety is immensely important to young jumpers’ training and our athletes are getting plenty of it!! We have one more session on the large hill here in Oberstdorf, then we head farther north to Oberwiesenthal for some intense XC training and more jumping on the HS-100 there.
The athletes are also getting a taste of the local culture through the food and language. We even attended a music festival in Slovenia that featured traditional dancing and music! The athletes found that to be interesting to say the least!! We are all looking forward to the rest of the trip and the improvements it will bring. We are already itching for competition season!
Finally, we all want to extend a huge thanks to the National Nordic Foundation (NNF) for their support of this trip. The help that the NNF community contributed really made this trip possible for our juniors. We can’t stress enough how important these summer training camps are. As the saying goes, “skiers are made in the summer.”