CXC Junior Adaptive Athlete Mia Zutter Named to U.S. Paralympic Development Team

CXC is proud to announce, Mia Zutter a CXC Junior Adaptive Program Nordic skier, has been named to the U.S. Paralympic Development Team.

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Mia and guide, Karen Manske, ski at the Telemark Trails in Cable, WI.

“Being named to the U.S. Paralympic Development Team is super exciting news for me and gets me that much closer to my goals as a skier,” said Zutter.

“Entering my third season this winter, I hope to qualify for the World Cup in PyeongChang, Korea because it would be an amazing opportunity to preview the course that will be used in the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games the following year which I hope to qualify for as well.”

“Im excited to up the intensity of my summer training in order to make the gains necessary to accomplish the big goals I have for the upcoming seasons.”

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Mia completing a VO2 Max Test at the CXC Center of Excellence in May.

This past season Mia traveled to Germany with the U.S. Paralympic Team in Finsterau, Germany, which hosted a Paralympic World Cup in February.

During these races, Mia competed in rookie races, was classified internationally as a visually impaired athlete and skied in her first World Cup races. Because of her strong results in the World Cup races, she was considered for the U.S. Paralympic Development Team.

“We are really excited to have Mia a part of the Development Team, said U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Head Coach, John Farra. “She showed a lot of excitement and potential in racing and competing at the World Cup level. We are looking forward to seeing her improve and eventually skiing on the National Team.”

She also attended the Paralympic Team’s spring training camp in Bend, Oregon in May.

Mia began skiing with CXC two years ago and has worked hard to achieve her goals as a visually impaired skier. Mia will be a senior next year and also skis for the MadNorSki East Team coached by Chris Pappathopoulos and Pam Schneider.

Amputee Skier Cnossen Inspires Birkie Participants

Adaptive Nordic Ski and Biathlon Camp, Feb 25-26 | Duluth, MN

This two-day Nordic-ski and Biathlon camp is designed for youth and adults with disabilities. Skiers and instructors from the Midwest will come together to advance participant’s Nordic ski and/or biathlon skills.

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When: February 25-26, 2016
Where: Spirit Mountain, Duluth MN

SCHEDULE AND REGISTRATION

The focus of the camp is for individuals to gain confidence to become an efficient independent Nordic skier. Paralympic Nordic coach Jason Kask, 3 time Paralympian Kelly Underkolfer, and Courage Kenny skiers will provide group instruction for both sit-style and stand-up skiers based on ability.

All participants will work with instructors on personal ski development. Intermediate to advanced level skiers will have the option to work on race techniques. Participants will be filmed by a professional videographer for a thorough movement analysis. Skiers and instructors will analyze the film and discuss their ski style and performance. Biathlon equipment used will be laser rifles with mirrors.

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This Nordic ski camp is held in conjunction with the Great Lake Mono-ski, Nordic, and Alpine Race camp. For more information contact Mark Hanna 218-726-4834 ext. 1.


 

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The Triumph Games; a True Testament to Adapting and Overcoming

On August, 25-26th Central Cross Country Ski Association supported the Triumph Games in New York City. This event brings together wounded veterans who are elite level athletes to participate in multiple athletic events over the course of a month. Events include stock car racing, triathlons, virtual reality games and much more.

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An athlete practicing the shooting portion of the triathlon at the Triumph Games

Under the direction of Chris Diaz Triumph Games Coordinator, and Ernie Butler Paralyzed Veterans Sports Director, CXC helped coordinate the triathlon in New York City for the Triumph Games. This triathlon was not a traditional triathlon, the events included biking, kayaking, and a marksmanship (shooting). The event tested the athlete’s ability to transition from biking, a kayak obstacle course, and a marksmanship (shooting) challenge.

The first day, August 25th, was for athletes to familiarize themselves with the course and practice their marksmanship (shooting) at LeFrak Center Lakeside Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY. Wednesday, August 26th, – was competition day in the park. Athletes varied in ability, and the race was standardized as much as possible to push each of the 12 participant to their limits. The triathlon consisted of a 12 mile bike where athletes used a variety of hand-cycles, recumbent, and upright bicycles. After the bike, they plunged into the water to navigated a speed and agility course in their kayak. Once out of the water, athletes made their way to the firing line where the infrared rifles waited for the marksmanship competition portion. Once the athlete scored 15 hits down range, their race was over.

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Speed, agility and precision were put to the test as athletes were challenged to race and then hit fifteen targets as fast as they could. Not only was I inspired by watching the race, but getting to know each athlete and listening to their stories, from the battlefield to everyday life, was the most inspiring part of attending the Triumph Games.


Martin-Donegan

Martin Donegan, CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Triumph Games, Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

Progress Continues at August Adaptive Camp

August 14-16.  The CXC Adaptive Program held their August Camp, the last camp of the Summer period. We had great weather, a new participant and made awesome progress.

Mia Zutter and Steve Baskis practicing VI biathlon

Mia Zutter and Steve Baskis practicing VI biathlon

Kent Kakugawa, Navy Veteran, was CXC August Adaptive Camp’s newest participate. Kent participates in paratriathlon for Dare2Tri during the summer months, and is now expanding his horizons to stay fit in the winter. During the camp, Kent was fitted for a sit ski and will be testing out his new way to roll!

Adaptive Athletes at the CXC Center of Excellence

Adaptive Athletes at the CXC Center of Excellence

Brenden Ojibway CXC Adaptive Athlete, had more trail time this past camp then previous summer camps. The opportunity for Kent to get out on the trail and sit ski with Brenden and I was a good learning experience for everyone. Brenden and Kent had fun with every ski and worked off each others energy and competitiveness, pushing each other to try new experiences. The three of us sit skied every day after a comprehensive strength and conditioning workout and discussion. Overall, Brenden and Kent were able to put some beneficial miles on their sit skis that will pay off in winter.

Mia Zutter, CXC Adaptive Athlete, focused on practicing her visual impairment (VI) shooting for parabiathlon during the August Camp. Steve Baskis, CXC Adaptive Athlete, who is also visually impaired, was able to work with Mia to become a more efficient shooter. It was beneficial for both Mia and Steve to work together and learn from one another. After an indepth shooting practice provided by U.S Parabiathlon Coach BethAnn Chamberlin, they were able to get out on the trails and rollerski with guide Duncan Bathe, CXC Veterans Program Coordinator.

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Overall, the August Adaptive Camp was a success for all athletes involved. Everyone was focused on their goals and worked hard to get one step closer to reaching their goals for the winter. I am looking forward to seeing the athletes progress during the September Adaptive Camp; September 18-20.


Martin-Donegan

Martin Donegan, CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

Disability Pride at the July Adaptive Camp

CXC’s Adaptive Camps are fun and include a wide variety of people and abilities. This past camp July 24 – 26 was focused on improving performance through sports science. CXC Sports Technologist Duncan Bathe, has perfected the development and use of Power Poles implemented at CXC. Power Poles calculate many variables that are useful to Nordic skiers such as poles per minuet and complex poles force area. With the use of power poles has helped to perfect athlete’s technique through the data power poles display.

CXC Adaptive Athletes Brenden Ojibway and Kendal Gretsch, who use sit skis, rely solely on their double pole for competition. Making their polling technique as efficient as possible can make or break a race.

Duncan Bathe fits Kendall with the Power Poles.

Duncan Bathe fits Kendall with the Power Poles.

Brenden’s results show poles per minute and force applied for polling area.

Brenden’s results show poles per minute and force applied for polling area.

CXC Adaptive Athlete, Mia Zutter, has been working hard with the Visually Impaired Biathlon Rifle. Using drills from U.S. Biathlon Paralympic Development Coach BethAnn Chamberlain, while practicing at the CXC Center of Excellence; and at home, Mia hopes to drop her firing time, and increase hit scores. As a visually impaired athlete, one of the major difficulties is raising the rifle into the firing position to take the first shot on target. The less time an athlete spends searching for the hit area of the first shot, the quicker the set. Once the first hit area is found, there are four consecutive hits after, directly and equally spaced to the right.

Mia goes head to head in competition with her father, using the Visually Impaired (V.I.) Audio Rifle.

Mia goes head to head in competition with her father, using the Visually Impaired (V.I.) Audio Rifle.

Disability Pride Festival at Brittingham Park

The same weekend as the CXC’s Adaptive Camp, CXC showcased possibilities for people with disabilities to participate in Nordic skiing during the Disability Pride Festival at Brittingham Park in Madison, WI. The sun was out, the weather was nice, and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue. We had a SkiErg available for participants to use along with information on how to become an active skier and opened the door for new possibilities for many kids and adults. Kids who were active in wheelchair basketball and other adaptive sports tried the 500-meter challenge on the SkiErg.

Below a wheelchair basketball athletes give it his all to break his teammates time for the 500-meter while friends and family cheer him on.

Below a wheelchair basketball athletes give it his all to break his teammates time for the 500-meter while, friends and family cheer him on.


Martin-Donegan

Martin Donegan, CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

CXC Adaptive Nordic Clinic Visits Badgers ADAPT

Yuiry Gusev helps out at the Biathon station

Yuiry Gusev helps out at the Biathon station

For the third year CXC conducted an Adaptive Nordic Clinic at the the Badger Adaptive Sports Program (Badgers ADAPT) two weeks ago, to introduce Nordic skiing to the 20 young participants. Children with physical disabilities had a chance to experience Nordic skiing by using sit-skis mounted on the mountain board and biathlon by using laser riffles.

The goal of the Badgers ADAPT is to introduce athletes of all abilities to Paralympic sports, events, and activities. The program partners with the University of Wisconsin, Madison Kinesiology Adapted Fitness Program to make these activities possible. Badger ADAPT is a free event open to the campus and community of Madison, WI.

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A Badger ADAPT participant tries out a sit ski!

CXC currently has one junior athlete who is a part of the CXC Adaptive Nordic Program that came from Badgers ADAPT, Branden Ojivway. Branden has started his third year in the CXC Adaptive Nordic Program and was the first Adaptive Skier with spina bifida to compete in the Wisconsin High School Nordic Skiing Championships at Mt. Telemark in Cable, WI. this past February.

Branden Ojivwey, CXC Adaptive Athlete

Branden Ojivway, CXC Junior Adaptive Athlete

The CXC Adaptive Nordic Ski Program is designed for youth, juniors and adults at recreational, competitive and Paralympic levels for both Nordic Skiing and Biathlon.


For more information regarding the CXC Adaptive Nordic Ski Program, contact our Para Nordic Coach Martin Donegan at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org.