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wcdf NEWS


By Alayna Sonnesyn

Julia Kern, Jessie Diggins and Alayna Sonnesyn at recent roller ski race in Lake Placid. (PC: Reese Brown)

After a blissful recovery week back in Stratton, the SMS T2 team was off again for a mini training camp in Lake Placid. Last week, we drove three hours into the Adirondacks to stay in a beautiful mountain lodge (shoutout to the Lehman family for hooking us up). During this camp we prioritized sleep, hangout sessions on the porch hammock, and games of cornhole. Oh, also training!

We left Stratton after a few intensity sessions already completed during the week, so our first day we ran into the mountains for an over distance workout. We could not have asked for better weather and were jumping for joy when we could look out and see the leaves changing colors. The following day, we took it pretty easy before a big weekend of rollerski races that NENSA put on for everyone.

On Saturday, we drove to the new rollerski track at the Lake Placid Olympic Bobsled training site and race in the Keys to the Castle. With heats of four people sending it around some pretty spicy downhill corners, we were all happy to walk away unscathed with a great effort under our belts and a super fun day!

Some roller ski racing action from Lake Placid. (PC: Reese Brown)

The following day, we had an early wake up call to book it over to Jericho, VT for another rollerski race. This time, a 15k skate for both men and women. We were blessed with another gorgeous fall day. I think everyone was pretty tired by the time we made it around the course three times, but everyone I saw had a huge smile on their face as we were stoked to all be there together and racing hard. Thanks NENSA for an awesome weekend of racing and a great excuse to travel around New England with this team!

The SMS T2 Team is an elite cross-country ski team supported by the T2 Fund of World Cup Dreams. Check out the team roster here.

Hello, World Cup Dreamers! I just wrapped up a productive training camp in Saas Fee and Belgium with the women’s World Cup Tech Team. For those of you who don’t know Saas Fee, it’s a picturesque Swiss ski village with great views, hiking trails, volleyball, fondue, and of course - glacier skiing. Reflecting on the camp, I can’t believe how lucky we were. We had unbelievable snow conditions, world class training partners, and so much fun every day. I’m stoked on how my skiing is progressing and more motivated than ever to put in the work for Sölden.

Here are my top 10 highlights from the trip:

#1- Simply being back on snow and doing what I love. Check out this view - it really doesn’t get much better than this!

#2 - Bluebird skies and hard snow! Saas Fee can be be a bit of a gamble as it's notorious for weather closures. Somehow we only took 5 runs (total) in fog over the course of three weeks! That’s a huge win in my book.

#3 - Training GS with world cup winners Zan Kranjec, Filip Zubcic, and Mikaela Shiffrin. I’m a visual learner so it was awesome to see their line and watch how they attack break-overs.

#4 - Narrowly escaping this crash with an Austria technician mid course. Somehow no one was harmed in the making of this video.

#5 - Fondu dinner with the team! This truffle and Prosecco infused cheese was incredible.

#6 - Epic afternoon activities in the sun. We played countless games of spike ball and volleyball every day.

#7 - Dialing in my skiing and equipment set up. I’m currently playing with a few different ski and boot set-ups and trying to see what’s fastest. Shout out to my technician Bart and everyone at Rossignol - I couldn’t do it without you guys!

#8 - Reconnecting with so many friends, teammates, and coaches after the summer. I missed these people. It felt like the entire ski racing world was in Saas Fee.

#9 - 3 days of indoor slalom training at Snowvalley in Belgium. This was hands-down one of the iciest training venues that I’ve ever skied at. Indoor skiing is a great way to get a ton of volume and work on generating speed. My biggest focus was trying to “skate” into the top of each turn. I definitely made progress, but could never quite keep up with AJ Hurt. Watch out- her slalom is dangerous!

#10 - Touring Brussels on the last night of our trip! We roamed the Old City and enjoyed our fair share of Belgian specialties.

We are excited to announce a new partnership with on-demand virtual coaching & connectivity platform Givego, which we will be using to connect our elite team of athletes to the up-and-coming junior team as part of our mentorship initiatives.

One of the hallmarks of our program and mission at World Cup Dreams is giving back. We do this in many ways working both inside and outside the organization. This particular partnership with GiveGo will help us connect our junior team (mainly younger athletes) to our elite team (named national team member with World Cup experience.)

Elite World Cup skiers like Lila Lapanja will be able to connect to up-and-coming athletes through GiveGo's platform.

The vertical integration of Givego’s platform will work like this: each member of the World Cup Dreams senior team, which includes Alice Merryweather, Erik Arvidsson, Nina O’Brien, Lila Lapanja and AJ Ginnis, will be mentors to a team of junior athletes, who they can asynchronously connect with, bringing inspiration, encouragement and experience to the greater team.

“The goal is to create a meaningful connection among the team of athletes we are helping to support and to help bring up the younger athletes. Skiers like Alice Merryweather, who has been competing on the World Cup speed tour for more than five years, has a lot of valuable experience to share with a young up-and-comer trying to win at a lower level,” WCD Director, Tommy Biesemeyer said.

The virtual, easy-to-use platform is ideal for our team which is spread out in different locations all around the world at any given time. During busy training and racing seasons connecting athletes to one another in a meaningful way has been a challenge.

Here's what Erik Arvidsson said about the platform: “Givego gives me the chance to connect with the next generation of aspiring skiers and give them the tips I wish I would have gotten when I was their age. It also allows me to earn a little side income no matter where I am traveling in the world to train and compete,” Arvidsson said.

Through use of the Givego app, it’s now easy to connect with mentors, athletes and experts you look up to.

“Helping World Cup Dreams build camaraderie among their team of athletes has been a dream for us. When you surround yourself with people that push you, who have more experience than you, it’s very likely you’ll rise to the occasion and perform better. By connecting the Gold team with the Junior Team, Givego unlocks this very effect. We could not be more excited to be supporting such an important organization,” Willie Ford, Founder of Givego, said.

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