Ted Ligety puts in a few warm up laps in Portillo (Jonathan Selkowitz/www.selkophoto.com)
PORTILLO, Chile (Sept. 26) – Hotel Portillo may be closed for the season, but its 9,500 foot slopes are still cranking as Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA), Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) and the men's U.S. Alpine Ski Team wrap up their final week of camp in the Andes. Portillo allows the U.S. Ski Team to live and train at the mountain for an additional week after the resort has closed to the public which provides for a variety of speed and technical training options. It is the final on-snow camp for technical skiers like Ligety and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) before the team moves to their European Training Base in Soelden, Austria for the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener on Oct. 28. The camp also marked the return to snow for Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), who has been off snow with a knee injury since late February.
The men's U.S. Alpine Ski Team is wrapping the final week of a three-week on-snow camp in Portillo, Chile with private slopes following the public close of the resort.
The camp marked the return to snow for Olympic champion Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), who has been recovering from a knee injury since late February. Other top attendees include Audi FIS Alpine World Cup winners Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT).
Both Sullivan and Nyman have been in Chile since a mid August camp in nearby La Parva.
Athletes have been able to train downhill, super G, giant slalom and slalom on a variety of slopes, though the final week has been downhill heavy to utilize the private terrain.
Consistent cold temperatures at the end of the camp have created good training conditions, despite the minimal snow coverage.
It is the final on-snow camp before technical athletes move to the U.S. Ski Team's European Training Base in Soelden, Austria to prep for the Oct. 28 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener.
QUOTES Ted Ligety It will be good to have a few more solid days of training before we race Soelden, but I feel really good. My equipment is running well and physically, I'm feeling like the season could start tomorrow.
It was pretty warm before we got here, so the snow is thin, but it's been surprisingly productive. We have a short downhill track which allows us to work on glide turns, but we've been able to do almost full length giant slalom and slalom.
Marco Sullivan This is week six in Chile for me, but I got a big boost when we moved over to Portillo. It's good to have the full team down here and Portillo does a great job of taking care of us. My back is finally starting to feel solid and I'm really stoked on the progress I've been able to make with Atomic this prep period. I'm sharing a big quiver of skis with Travis [Ganong] and they’ve taken care of everything we've needed to feel comfortable on the new gear.
It's also been cool working with our new downhill coach Andreas [Evers]. He's a true speed coach and has been doing this a long time. He knows what he wants to see and he does a great job of explaining it. We're all getting faster with his help.
Sasha Rearick, Head Coach Bode mainly focused on glide turns and getting his feet back under him while he was here, but it was good to have him training with the group. He was mostly in full jacket and pants, but stripped down for some downhill. He's still pumped on skiing and looking to compete this season.
It's cool to see how this team, including the staff, has come together. It's a great dynamic right now that's produced excellent productivity. We're excited to get to Soelden and then move into the speed season with Lake Louise and Beaver Creek.