Season nears for Steamboat skiers
Steamboat Springs — At best, they hope to be on snow Oct. 24 in Loveland, the start of a long season of training and racing for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skiers.
“We can’t wait for ski season,” Club U16 Alpine skiing coach Ben Brown said.
For many, however, it was, with a few short exceptions, never not the season for training, and late last month, a small group of Steamboat Springs skiers took their offseason work to Colorado Springs for a three-day camp at the Olympic Training Center.
The trip included classes on everything from nutrition to concentration and was centered around physical tests. It brought 61 invited athletes from around the state together for the experience.
“It’s amazing down there,” Brown said. “It’s cool just to be side-by-side with different Olympic athletes, eating lunch with them, trying to guess what their sports are and seeing how they live and how they train.”
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The trip included U14 and U16 boys and girls Nicholas Richeda, Cooper Puckett, Jordan Simon, Alden Wade, Sydney O’hare, Riley Adrian and Alexandra Blair.
They were put through a series of drills and attended a speech by Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel, an X Games and Paralympics medalist.
“He gave a great speech,” Brown said. “He is just really well-spoken and inspiring. It was cool to see those athletes, to see that nothing really stops them and that nothing’s too big if you set your mind to it.”
That was just one part of a pre-season regimen that began in earnest in late May, included a trip to Oregon and Mount Hood in June and now, for the older athletes, includes as many as five workouts per week.
They were hard at it Thursday, dozens of athletes working on their speed, strength and agility at the base of Howelsen Hill, all well aware that, while there may be plenty of time before skiing opens for most people in Steamboat, the start of their season is right around the corner.
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Vanessa Avitia is just 13 years old, and she loves living in Steamboat Springs. But her parents have said if they are not able to buy a house in the next few years, they likely…