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.

Busy Month for Adaptive Program!

On May 30th, the 35th Annual Hines Games at Edward Hines Jr. V.A. Hospital was a great opportunity to reach Veterans who are active and looking to increase their fitness through different modes of exercise. CXC, with the help of hard working volunteers from Hines, set up a Biathlon range in an auditorium. The range consisted of a skier ergometer and a five-rifle laser targeting system.

Participants ran through a similar modified testing simulation to that of the Paralympic Sport Club,  simulating either 200m or 500m on the skierg to raise the heart rate and body temperature to levels consistent with competitive Nordic skiing. Then they immediately went to the firing line to practice shooting with an elevated heart rate and breathing. We had over 25 participants who have never tried Biathlon or Nordic skiing before, all tried their best and were challenged in ways they never had before.

Adaptive Camp at the CXC Center of Excellence

Adaptive Camp at the CXC Center of Excellence

On the 12th of June CXC held our monthly Adaptive Camp at the Center of Excellence. Athletes in attendance worked on technique and endurance on the roller ski treadmill, and focused on conditioning workouts that can be performed throughout the year. Re-familiarizing with the roller skis and treadmill is physically exhausting, but gives a reference point to alter training protocols to encompass more balance exercises.

Treadmill work and resistance training is physically demanding, but critical for a well seasoned athlete as well as those pursuing biathlon. Practicing everything from the approach, to body placement on the mat making will make these techniques feel second nature in a race. Taking the first shot down range can make or break a race. Having a well rounded cycle of training is not only beneficial mentally and physically,  it’s actually fun.


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 Center of Excellence Training Update

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VO2 Max testing during the Jr. Devo Camp in Madison (WI)

Training is picking up at the CXC Center of Excellence and for our adaptive athletes! On May 9th and 10th, I assisted Head Coach Andy Keller in testing our Junior Athletes on a wide range of endurance, strength, and balance tests to start a baseline to track their training progress. We had 9 athletes participate in a VO2Max test, which was a dynamic learning experience for me, keeping them moving with little to no down time. Once we got them working on the treadmill Coach Keller had a good idea where his athletes were starting at, and where they need to improve.

Witnessing how the Jr. Development Camp was organized, I am starting to make  plans for the upcoming Adaptive Camp. Since our Adaptive program is small but growing, we will have more one on one time with the athletes resulting in some fine tuned and personalized testing and training. Our Adaptive athletes are coming from a wide range of abilities and backgrounds, but they will all improve with dedication and precise exercise.

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Biathlon clinic at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA, Chicago (IL)

We’ve been making our rounds to the V.A. Hospitals, where I’ve had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of Veterans, from Veterans my age to those who are older. Regardless of age or ability, they all want to have fun and enjoy themselves when it comes to friendly competition, which is where I come in. I’ve been bringing our Biathlon Training Rifles allowing  them to practice and sharpen their marksmanship skills. Then I throw in the X factor, where they use a specialized piece of equipment (the Ski Ergometer) to simulate the physical demands of Biathlon, and have them target practice with an elevated heart rate to closely simulate the stress of Biathlon.