Eleven American Juniors, and three coaches from the US, just returned from three weeks of dry-land and on-snow training in Sweden and Norway. The trip was organized by Burke Mountain Academy’s Pete Phillips and this was the sixth year it has taken US juniors to the Solleftea Ski Gymnasium’s summer ski school to train with Swedish athletes and coaches, and to put the training to use on the snow fields in Sognefjell in Norway.
This year was a complete success, with great training, a fun bunch of kids in Solleftea, fabulous conditions in Sognefjell, and topped off by nearly perfect weather.
The first rain was hard but short lived and punctuated our first night sleeping in the twilight forest at an old hunting cottage in Sweden. After that it was largely shorts and tee shirts. We opened with two days hiking the beach and mountains of the Skuleskogen National Park on Sweden’s Baltic Coast. The Summer Ski School started on the 15th and our gang divided up to room with the Swedish athletes. The initial language exchange was typical and largely unprintable. After that necessity was taken care of, more substantial learning and sharing took place. The coaching staff this year was exceptional again and included Robin Bryntesson ( Gold U-23 2007), Charlotte Kalla (Gold WJrs 2007) Emil Jonsson ( Bronze overall WC Sprint 2007), and Britta Nordgren in addition to Swedish National Team Head Coach Bengt Stattin, and the coaches of the ski Gymnasium, Tony Gustafsson, P.O. Andersson, and Tobias Ljungberg. The staff of the camp is always up to date, and delivers new and helpful technique work every year. The roller ski loop is perfect for watching the top athletes go through the gears on transitions and then to work at it on your own under helpful and encouraging eyes.
After the week in Solleftea we drove to Sognfjell in Norway’s â€œJotunheimenâ€ , a mountainous area near the fjord country of the west. The first day was misty and foggy, and after that simply perfect. Skating in the morning, Classic in the afternoon a trip to the Sognefjord for a little soccer and a jump in the glacial blue river, and a 10 K time trial on roller skis from the bottom of the valley to the top spiced things up. A lot of good training and a lot of good laughs thanks to everyone that helped it happen, and especially to the gang in Solleftea, our hosts at the Sognefjell Hytte, Jenny Hamilton, Paul Stone, and Swedish guest coaches Erik Nilsson, and Mickan Sundbaum.