Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard that phrase before. The U.S. Ski Team has to practice before the upcoming Olympics. But it’s summer. So how do the athletes train without snow?
The U.S. Ski Team did quite well at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. 12 medals, five gold. It hopes to make another “splash” four years later.
Mac Bohonnon said, “In the end of the summer here we’re doing the exact jumps that we’ll be doing hopefully for a gold medal jump at the Olympics.”
In other words, no snow? No problem. Not in Park City, Utah, anyway. In summer, the athletes use water instead.
Ashley Caldwell said, “We still work on our landings here and looking at the ground and making sure you’re prepping for that landing…This facility is huge for us. It’s the best offseason training you can get.”
Jon Lillis said, “There are a few very similar ones. One in Canada, one in Switzerland, a few hidden in China, places like that. But at this level, definitely not.”
Part of Utah Olympic Park, it was built in the early 1990’s and used during the 2002 Olympics hosted by salt lake city. The biggest question is what’s it like to land in water?
“Some people kind of forget that water really isn’t that soft…especially when you’re coming down from 60 feet in the air,” said Bohonnon.
Caldwell said, “The bubbles definitely help aerate the pool and soften that landing for you. But at the end of the day I definitely get sore. Your ankles and your back. But no pain no gain, right?”
Utah Olympic Park is hosting the U.S. Olympic team trials for ski jumping and Nordic combined. In December. With snow on the ground.