Atomic’s Nordic Director, Rick Halling, caught up with Chris Cook right after the US Ski Team training camp in Lake Placid. Chris is a USSA National Champion, NCAA National Champion and 2006 Olympian. The boy from Rhinelander, Wisconsin is known for being equally competitive in skate and classic events.
RH: Man, you just plain whupped the field in the sprints at last year’s Nationals. What did you have for wax that day?
CC: I can’t really recall what I had on the boards. Chris Grover and Rick Kapala did a lot of testing that morning and just handed me the fastest pair. I’m not sure what was on them.
A COMBINATION OF EURO COACHES AND ATOMIC WAX TECHNICIANS AT A CONFERENCE IN FINLAND. IT WAS HERE THAT WE FIRST LEARNED OF THE NICKNAME â€œMONGOOSE.â€
RH: You took the National title in the sprints last year which means you are America’s number one sprinter. You are also strong in duathlon and distance events. How do you train to be competitive in all events?
CC: I try to keep a balance between distance training and sprint training. This year I have done more speed training and I increased the distances in my interval workout. It is all about keeping a good balance.
RH: Will you be competing in the Dusseldorf sprints at the end of October?
CC: I will. I am really looking forward to this one. Dusseldorf has been a goal of mine and I think it should provide some valuable experience.
RH: Atomic teammates Martin Koukal and Tobias Angerer are expected to have top results in Dusseldorf. Do the three of you work well together in the sprints?
CC: For sure. Angerer is one of these guys who is strong in every heat and Koukal is so consistent. I’m looking forward to racing with those guys.
RH: How do you like the new Atomics?
CC: Outstanding. I liked last year’s skis, but the new profiles are a definite improvement. Both the new skate and classic feel great. I like the way I can use the same ski for such a broad range of conditions.
RH: Dusseldorf has a pretty wild night life. Is it easy to get distracted when you are there?
CC: It can be, but I’m going over there for results. I’m going to be pretty focused on just the racing.
RH: Speaking of distractions, what exactly went on between you and the Italian actress Monica Bellucci at the Torino Olympics? I guess it got some coverage in the Italian gossip columns.
CC: The Olympics creates a very colorful and interesting atmosphere. I can see how a lot of stories get exaggerated during those games.