Attendance may have been small at last weekend’s camp, but the coaching was of gold-medal caliber. Seven master skiers, all women, braved the heat Friday through Sunday, learning from and training with Olympian Nina Gavrilyuk at Lakewoods Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.
Skiing for the Soviet Union (until 1991) and Russia, Gavrilyuk won four Olympic gold medals and one bronze over the course of a long and highly decorated competitive career. She also earned 11 World Championship medals and 37 World Cup podiums.
The group began each morning with a session of stretching, strength, and yoga before breakfast. The remainder of the day was occupied by two training sessions, mostly on rollerskis.
The focus of each workout was on technique and drills as the women took advantage of the excellent coach-to-athlete ratio to improve their skiing. “These women practice a lot by themselves, they’re in good shape,” said Gavrilyuk in an interview with FasterSkier. “The main point was to give them basic drills, the kind of simple stuff they can focus on with their technique.”
In addition to the opportunity to work with a woman with as much elite skiing experience as anyone in the world, the camp afforded a chance to train with a group of motivated, hard-working women. It’s important to provide all-female camps and workouts, Gavrilyuk believes, because some women feel more comfortable in talking to each other and learning from each other.
“It gives them more of a chance to see other women that also train and to grow their own technique. It really gives them a push,” said the coach.
Maddy is on the Nordic ski team at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where her majors are psychology, political science, skiing, and being an awesome JA.