Valle Nevado, Chile – The Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team (CPAST) is back on snow in Chile, spending time focusing on both technical and speed events in preparation for the IPC World Cup season and the 2011 IPC World Alpine Championships in Sestriere, Italy.nKarolina Wisniewska of Ottawa, Ontario, two-time bronze medalist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, is one of the nine athletes attending the two-week training camp in Valle Nevado.
“After my success at the Paralympics, I want to get back to basics a bit this season: focus on technique again and just really have fun skiing,” said Wisniewska. “That said, this is also a World Championship season and they’ll be taking place in Sestriere, which happens to be one of my favorite tracks. So I am really looking forward to the World Championships and hoping to peak there in January.”
Wisniewska, the first Canadian Olympic or Paralympic athlete to win four medals at a single Games at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games is looking forward to working with some of the new coaches.
“I find it is always like that the season after the Paralympics, there are always a lot of changes. But I think it’s great. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in Chile and seeing how this “new” team works together,” added Wisniewska.
Brianne Law, CPAST Athletic Director said that the camp in Valle Nevado is like many other first-of-the-season camps, as the team hasn’t skied together since the season ended last March after the TELUS Para-Alpine Ski Championships at Mount Washington in British Columbia.
“After some well deserved down time following our biggest season ever, the athletes have all been training close to home during the summer, so it will be good to get everyone back together again. In talking with all the athletes and staff, it is encouraging for me to see that everyone is so excited to get back on snow after the break and hard work in the gym over the summer months,” said Law.
Two members of last year’s IPC World Cup coaching staff Sven Pouliot (Québec City, Quebec) and Sébastien Michel (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) are back with the team this year. Two new members were added to the team as last year’s development coach Lasse Ericsson (Kimberley, British Columbia) and newcomer Jocelyn Huot (Sainte Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson, Quebec) will join the staff team for the 2010-11 season.
“This camp officially marks the start of the new Paralympic cycle, so it is exciting to have everyone training together in the same location. We will be introducing new coaches and staff to the athletes, and as well this will be the first on-snow camp that Chris Williamson and his guide Robin will ski together. It will be interesting to see how their on-snow relationship builds,” added Law.
This camp marks the first time that some Para-Alpine Development Team athletes are attending as well.
“In our attempt to increase the amount of energy and resources identifying the next wave of talent that will be potential future Paralympian Champions, we’ve brought the development team closer to the World Cup team and have them training together in some preseason training. This is the first time our team has done this, and I am excited to see how those athletes will respond to the camp,” described Law.
The 2011 season will be highlighted by IPC Para-Alpine World Championships beginning January 12th in Sestriere, the site of the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games. The TELUS Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Championships are scheduled to take place in Kimberley, British Columbia, in March.