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Snowboard Update from Coach Mike McFayden

Day 1 is in the books. Our team had a chance to finally get back on the snow after some down time in Seoul. Everyone loved experiencing the culture and history of South Korea, enjoying traditional foods, visiting a folk village, hanging out with students from the Korean International School and putting in some face time with many of our sponsors and supporters. It was however time for everyone to strap in and get to work.

After a few runs, we had a chance to see all the different countries and what we were up against. Let me say that in 2013, the global community is bringing their A game! We are excited to have such great competition and being able to meet all of these athletes is a true honor. We have the greatest opportunity to participate with such amazing talent from all across the globe.

We got a chance to ride with Hannah Teter and her brother Amer today as well. For those of you who don’t know, Hannah is a multiple time Olympic gold medal winning pro snowboarder who has competed on the world stage for a very long time. She has also been a long time supporter of the Special Olympics on her local level in the state of Vermont. Hannah took some time out of her busy schedule to come ride with Team USA and some of the athletes from Germany and Italy. It was fun to see a huge group of people (over 30 we counted at one point!) cascading down the mountain hooting and hollering and smiling. A huge thank you goes out to Hannah and Amer Teter and the GOC for giving us such a special moment.

Team USA snowboarding would like to give a huge shout out to Mervin Manufacturing and K2 for giving us the tools to go fast and take chances. Much love sent Seattle’s way! Competition begins tomorrow. Go Team USA!

Wednesday, January 30 Update

Divisioning and time trials were the name of the game today here in PyeongChang.  Each sport except for snowboarding will have a second day tomorrow of divisioning and time trials to ensure fair competition.  Here is a brief recap of each sport:

Floor Hockey

Today was an exciting day for our two floor hockey teams.  The Unified floor hockey team (Nebraska) had two games and spilt the day with one win and one loss. The team beat Chinese Taipai and lost 2-1 to Gibralter.

The floor hockey team from Southern California won two games and tied one game.  They started off by beating United Arab Emirates and then Singapore.  The team then squared off against Trinidad and Tobago which ended in a 4-4 tie.

Alpine and Snowboard

Alpine skiing started today with their assessment runs to ensure skill level.  Next, they will gear up for timed runs starting tomorrow.

Snowboard will have giant slalom for intermediate and advanced tomorrow (1.31), which all of the Special Olympics Team USA members will compete in.  We will have our first awards for snowboarding tomorrow evening.

Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing

Today and tomorrow will be time trials for both sports.  Medal competition for both sports starts on February 1st.

Figure Skating and Speed Skating

Divisioning and time trials took place at Gangneung Wonju University.  Like many of the other sports, this will happen again tomorrow (1.31). Competition will start on Friday, February 1st.

Training Camp Update

Greetings from training camp!  Today, the athletes were able to get on the floor, snow and ice to get acclimated with their teammates.  Here is a brief run down by sport.

Alpine Skiing
The Alpine Skiers were able to get on snow Tuesday for the first time as a team at Whiteface Mountain. The athletes were given a free day to explore the mountain and to get used to the feel of their new gear. Although Mother Nature did not produce much snow, the snow makers were up and running for most of the day.

Cross Country
The Cross Country skiers were able to get on snow Tuesday for the first time as a team at the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex. Coaches ran numerous drills and helped their athletes to focus on each task at hand to mentally and physically prepare them for competition.

Figure Skating
Coaches helped their athletes prepare for competition by leading them in dry land training and helping them with their routines on the ice.  They were able to train on the Olympic Center 1980 rink here in Lake Placid.

Speed Skating
Coaches helped their athletes prepare for competition by running drills in the ice rink at the Olympic Center.  Two speed skating athletes were also able to skate the torch at the Olympic oval in Lake Placid as part of Opening Ceremonies.

Snowboarding
The Snowboarders were able to get on snow Tuesday for the first time as a team at Whiteface Mountain. The athletes were given a free day to explore the mountain and to get used to the feel of their new gear. Although Mother Nature did not produce much snow, the snow makers were up and running for most of the day.

Snowshoeing
The Snowshoe athletes were able to get on snow Tuesday for the first time as a team at the Lake Placid Olympic Jumping Complex. Coaches ran numerous drills and helped their athletes get used to running in snowshoes again.

Floor Hockey
Teams from both USA and Canada participated in drills and scrimmages on Tuesday at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.

We’re ready for another great day tomorrow.

 
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