Max Treinen was a US World Junior Team member in 2006. He has traininged with Jan Buron's Alaska Winter Stars program since he was 8 years old, and he will be skiing for the Unoversity of Alaska Anchorage next year.
This fall I decided to spend the 2006-2007 schoolyear in Sweden. Because of visa problems over which I shan’t go into any detail in this piece of writing, I ended up spending but four months.
I lived in JÃ¤rpen, Sweden, a little town on the highway between Ã–stersund and Trondheim. Here I was a student in the ski gymnasium, a program with the Ã…re/JÃ¤rpen school. The ski gymnasium is divided into three groups: Alpine, Freestyle, and Cross-country. The students in the ski program complete the mandatory three-year high school in four years; an arrangement which allows four half-schooldays a week to accommodate training. The first and second year students in the ski gymnasiumâ€”J1sâ€”train together in the afternoons after attending classes in the mornings while the third and fourth yearsâ€”OJsâ€”do the opposite. The first year students lived mostly in the elevhem, a dormitory owned by the ski gymnasium, while the older kids generally had apartments within walking distance of the school. During my stay, I lived in the elevhem.
Right away, I was surprised by their training. I had expected there to be something special, or some secret to their training that separated it from what I was used to. Instead, there was nothing remarkable about their program. In a typical workout during the fall, we would rollerski from JÃ¤rpen out along KallvÃ¤gen, a very flat road to the town of Kall, some twenty kilometers from JÃ¤rpen. After one hour, the coach would have us stop and ski back to the school. I felt in many ways that the training I was used to with AWS was better than the training in Sweden.
I don’t mean to suggest, however, that I didn’t enjoy it. One aspect of their training that I thought was really excellent was the training camps. On the first weekend of school, we had a camp in a nearby village called VÃ¥lÃ¥dalen. In the middle of September, the third and fourth year cross-country skiers drove down through Sweden to Gothenburg, took the ferry to Kiel, Germany, and then drove through Germany to Ramsau, Austria for a ten-day training camp. Between having the entire Russian National Team staying at our hotel and skiing on the Dachstein Glacier each morning, I can’t describe how cool it was. It was also a huge relief to be able to speak English with an American biathlete who was also training there.