Please join us December 15th for the TD Bank Eastern Cup/NEARS Opener at Craftsbury, VT! It’s a great event and Craftsbury has been doing a great job getting the trails in shape. Just go to the NENSA Calendar to register. Adaptive races start at 12:00 and include Female and Male Sit-Ski and Stand-Up categories (4.8K Females/6.2 K Males) Please note you have to be a NENSA Adaptive member (it’s FREE!) to register. Please contact the Adaptive Program Manager, Patrik Viljanen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 777 – 0340 for questions. Hope to see you there!
Interested in trying out biathlon? Check out this great clinic in Utica, New York at Sitrin Health Care Center on September 15th. Equipment and instruction by US Paralympic coach Rob Rosser provided. More details about the clinic and how to sign up here:
We are well into the swing of things here on day 3 of the Paralympic Nordic Team’s training camp just outside of San Diego, CA. Athletes and coaches from the Northeast and around the country have gathered at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, typically a mecca for summer sports athletes. The campus boasts facilities for beach volleyball, archery, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and triathlon.
The facilities here have also proved to be a great location for a summer ski camp, and the sunny, warm (but not too hot!) weather doesn’t hurt either. We have been rollerskiing and rollerboarding on a 2km paved loop that was created as a crit course for cyclists, but with the cyclists off campus, we have the loop to ourselves. The loop has great terrain, making it a challenging experience for both the standing and sit skiers. We have set up a makeshift 6-point range on the backstop of the softball field, right on the roller loop, making it optimal for biathlon training.
The athletes here range from developing skiers to national team members, giving the newer skiers an opportunity to train side by side with the likes of Andy Soule, bronze medalist in the Vancouver Paralympics. The 13 athlete group is supported by 5 coaches, a mix of national and club team coaches. Skiers from the Northeast include Kristy Vaughn and Augusto “Goose” Perez.
Wildlife abounds on the OTC grounds. We have seen hundreds of rabbits, had nightly visits by a family of raccoons, caught a tarantula (thanks to Goose) and heard many rumors of rattlesnakes (although thankfully no sighting,…yet!)
Keep checking in for more updates and become friends with us on Facebook and check out the album from the camp for more images of our day to day life here.
Check out this great interview with long-time US Paralympic Nordic Team member Sean Halsted for more of the nitty gritty of what it takes to be a world class Paralympic athlete and sit skier. Sean is not only an exceptional athlete, but also a great leader of the team. Take some notes, all you aspiring Paralympians and Olympians, Sean has a lot of wisdom and experience that we can all learn from!
What’s the next best thing to being in London to witness the 2012 Paralympic Games? Participating, of course. OK, so next best thing? 780 hours of live streaming available to you thanks to the folks at the International Paralympic Committee. Check out more details about this cool new feature on the IPC website. Of course, we here at NENSA are more excited for when this is available for the winter Paralympics, so don’t give up your dryland training to watch all 780 hours. We want to see YOU in Sochi!
Five wounded veterans are currently climbing Mt. McKinley, planning to make a summit bit on Thursday June 28th. Read more about their climb at the Anchorage Daily News website. Thanks for sending the article, Anne!
The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) Adaptive Program is pleased to announce that Cathy Thompson is the 2012 recipient of the NENSA Adaptive Achievement Award. The annual award recognizes the individual, group, or club that make exceptional contributions to the advancement of adaptive Nordic skiing in New England.
If you’ve been to any adaptive Nordic races in New England, chances are you have witnessed the Northeast Passage coach in action. A dedicated, upbeat, and ever-present force in the adaptive world, Thompson coaches the most comprehensive and high-quality adaptive Nordic team in the East. In this role she has developed the region’s top athletes, three of them qualifying to compete in the International Paralympic Committee’s World Cup series in the Midwest last January.
In addition to being an exceptional coach, Thompson drives the development of the sport in the region. Long before NENSA’s Adaptive Program existed, Thompson worked with race organizers to integrate adaptive skiers into their competitions. In this way she provided much of the framework and momentum to create the Northeast Adaptive Race Series, the nation’s first adaptive Nordic competition series.
Behind the impressive credentials, Cathy Thompson is a constant source of support and encouragement for her athletes. Northeast Passage skier Julie Smith appreciates that Thompson’s expectations for her are not lowered because she has MS, “she has raised the bar for my athletic goals even beyond those I thought possible,” said Smith, “ It is uplifting, life affirming, and physically and mentally demanding (in the best sense possible) to be on one of her teams. “
The Kelly Brush Foundation recently announced their 7th annual century ride to take place on September 8 in Middlebury, VT. The ride is to benefit the Foundation which provides grants to improve safety in ski racing, financial assistance for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) to purchase athletic equipment, and supports research of SCI. This year’s ride will include a 25 mile option in addition to the 100 mile century ride. Check out more about the event and this great organization by clicking on the link above.
Despite a few setbacks, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius is still on his way to making Olympic history. The sprinter has double leg amputations and if he makes the qualifying standard to represent his country in London, he would be the first Olympic track and field athlete to compete in the Games with the impairment. Check out more about his quest, including some photos of him in action here.