EL COLORADO, Chile
- U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls skiers experienced flawless slope conditions during a two week camp in Chile where, according to Moguls Head Coach Scott Rawles, the athletes all made improvements on their skills.
"This has probably been one of the best camps for us," Rawles said. "It's been great. We had a big storm - about 17 inches of snow in one day - and then it's been sunny and blue skies ever since."
The camp, held in El Colorado outside Santiago, gave the athletes an opportunity to focus on specific sections of their run on the moguls course.
"In the past we've maybe focused on top to bottom training a bit more, but at this camp, we broke things down and were more specific on skills," Rawles said. "Most of what we wanted to do for this camp was to continue to work on the skills we've been developing. They are back on real winter snow on a challenging 250 meter course."
World Cup winner David Babic (Washington, VT) said that the course combined with being in a remote location helped him and his teammates to improve.
"The big part is just having the opportunity to get out there and train every day. Being able to have a consistent course with consistent jumps is great," Babic said. "We've been really blessed with great weather and the coaching staff has been working hard to keep the course in good condition.
"This is probably the best prepared course we've had since I've been down here. I think it gives everyone an opportunity to push their skills and spend more time on task. It's been amazing training for us."
According to Rawles, the perfection of the course and the environment in Chile allowed athletes to buckle down with no outside distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.
"It's a really good place for our athletes to get great focus and train. I can't think of anyone who has come to this camp and hasn't improved or accomplished something," Rawles said. "When we started coming here, there were hardly any teams training at this mountain. Now, it's packed with a lot of ski racers. The word is out that this is a great place to train."
The moguls camp wrapped up last month, after which several members of the team headed to Zermatt, Switzerland for more training.