Eastern Alpine Region News Update - October 2020
Wow! It feels like it’s been a very long time since I’ve reached out to all of you like this! I want to take a moment to say that I hope you are doing well and most importantly, I hope you and your families are staying healthy and safe. I would like to think that someday soon I won’t have to preface all of my poats with that sentiment, and instead I will be able to stand in front of all of you and tell you how excited I am for the season ahead. Unfortunately, my in-person enthusiasm will have to wait a while longer, but I will do my very best to express my excitement via this post!
I don’t know if anyone could’ve set a more positive tone for the season to come better than Paula Moltzan and Nina O’Brien, two U.S. Ski Teamers hailing from the Eastern Region, each one of them finishing in the top fifteen at the Soelden World Cup opener earlier this month. In case you missed the live broadcast, U.S. Ski & Snowboard published a quick writeup following the race, where Paula largely credited her best-ever FIS World Cup finish to time spent in the gym during the extended prep period: “Starting April 1 until September when we came to Europe, I just worked out every day twice a day for a long time with not a lot of breaks [...] I think that really played into how my skiing has improved.” The snow has definitely started to fly around in the mountains here in the East, but there is still plenty of time to devote to fitness before the competition season begins. I encourage all of you to take advantage of these next few weeks and train like you mean it. There are tons of useful videos and workouts available on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard SkillsQuest Fitness page, in case you need a little direction.
It’s almost November so you know what that means… Yup! U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s early bird membership registration deadline is quickly approaching! If you haven’t done so already, get your membership squared away before November 1 before prices go up! Once you’re done with that, take a moment to review the COVID Guidance Document published by U.S. Ski & Snowboard, as well as the results of the Eastern Region’s COVID Planning Survey. A few weeks back, we sent out a survey to program directors in the East and asked about their upcoming plans for a season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The different approaches to this season are worth knowing and understanding; I encourage all of you to take a moment to look over the results and read these folks’ answers and opinions.
By now, it’s old news to tell you that this year is going to be different from the rest, but that’s the cold, hard, icy-Eastern-ski-surface truth. We will have to make continual adjustments to our plans throughout the year in order to remain successful and safe. But, just because this year will be different, does not mean it will be any less worthwhile. I want to assure you that we have exciting opportunities and fun, challenging events planned (and being planned) for all age groups across the region. If you haven’t seen it already, here is a link to the most up-to-date FIS calendar (tab “PLAN B2 w/Divisions [current]”). As mentioned in a previous email, this is still a work in progress, though every day we are getting closer and closer to a final product. We will be sending out a more finalized version of the calendar as soon as it’s available, which we hope to have for you in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, this gives a clearer picture of the direction in which we are headed.
I think we all share a common goal for this upcoming season, and that is to keep ourselves, our athletes, our families, and our friends safe. This seems easier said than done, I know, but I think we are very, very lucky to be a part of Team East. We have so many intelligent and innovative people throughout our region who are committed to creating and maintaining safe environments for our athletes, without compromising the integrity and performance of their clubs and programs. So many of you have been working diligently to come up with ideas and ways to help our athletes prosper and succeed this season. I’m continually impressed by the high level of skill within our region. The will, grit, and determination of the East give me the confidence to take on the season ahead and reassures me that we can handle whatever is to come. This winter will have its challenges, no doubt, but our team is well equipped and ready to go full-send. I am really excited about this season, and I hope you are too.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to check-in before the season really gets rolling, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The temps are starting to drop at my house here in New Hampshire, and snow has already hit the ground… a few times! Winter is coming. I can’t wait.
See you on the hill,
Eastern Region Manager
U.S. Ski & Snowboard
P: (435) 714-1281