Andrew Weibrecht, shown here racing in Val Gardena, Italy, returned to snow in La Parva after successful ankle surgery last spring (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)
LA PARVA, Chile (Aug. 22) – The U.S. Ski Team's men's speed program, including Olympic bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), Audi FIS Alpine World Cup winners Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) and Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) along with Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA) opened their first on-snow training block this week in La Parva, Chile. Normally the men's speed program trains in New Zealand this time of year, but opted for two training blocks in Chile instead. Weibrecht is returning to snow from a successful spring ankle surgery and it is the first time back in gates for Nyman since tearing his Achilles last fall. Newly named Head Coach Andreas Evers reported outstanding early progress as the athletes move from gliding drills to giant slalom and super G training.
New snow just prior to the camp start provided for excellent training conditions at La Parva.
Attending athletes include Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT), Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, CA).
Weibrecht, who had ankle surgery last spring, arrived four days in advance to begin his return to snow. Nyman and Sullivan will stay in La Parva a week longer to continue training.
Absent from the camp were Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID) and Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO). Both were injured late last winter and will return to snow later this fall
It was the first opportunity for Weibrecht to work with the new men's coaching staff, including Head Coach Andreas Evers.
The athletes opened with gliding drills and will move to giant slalom and super G training.
The team will return to Chile in mid September for a second on snow camp in Portillo.
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup speed season opens Nov. 24 in Lake Louise, Canada prior to the Nov. 30-Dec. 3 Audi Birds of Prey race week in Beaver Creek, CO.
QUOTES Andrew Weibrecht I'm working with the new coaches and working on a few things that are not really my strengths. In a short time, I've made progress. I'm pretty psyched about it.
It's awesome being back on snow. I've been here a few days, and I'm trying to get my feet back underneath me.
Everything feels great with my ankle. There are no issues skiing. I don't even think about it anymore. Last year was rough because it was something that was always there. I'm just happy to be past it.
The focus on this camp is mostly gliding, which isn't too intense. It'll be easy on my body and I'll be able to get a lot done.
Andreas Evers, Head Coach The surface has been great for training. Two days before the team arrived, La Parva received just over a foot of snow and that has packed down nicely.
Andrew [Weibrecht] has shown incredible improvement just in one week and Steven [Nyman] is also improving every day. Marco [Sullivan] has had some issues with his back in the past, but that seems to be behind him and we're moving forward. Travis [Ganong] is in great shape and skiing very well.
So far, the team is looking really good, our coaches are working well together and I think we will see continued improvement throughout the camp. It's a new group of athletes for me, but it's a great group to be working with.