Friday, October 5, 2001 - Perspective
The Last Dyrland Camp of the Year

- By: Sara Renner

The big hours of the summer are now officially over. We have just returned from a three week high altitude camp in the posh Deer Valley, Utah. Our team did not win the lottery but we were fortunate enough to become members of the Poduim 2002 Club which is a government subsidy to those teams who they feel have a chance at medals in Salt Lake City. Our 6th place at the World Championship earned us some extra money for Olympic preparation and it was definately put to good use. Our goals for the camp were to familarize ourselves with the trails at Soldier Hollow and to put in some good interval training on the long grinding uphills.

We were not the only team with this idea. The Norwegian Team had been training in Utah ten days prior to our arrival. We celebrated Bente Skari's birthday with a large Mexican feast and many jokes about the missing famous boiled Norwegian potatoes. A full introduction of guacamole, salsa and refried beans was given to ensure that no taste buds were shocked. We joined them for an easy ski striding workout the next day and it was not unlike any workout in Canada except the water stops were few and far between. It was a hot day so I was left with the general impression that Norwegians can retain water like camels. After spending a small amount of time with Bente, I can't help but think that cross country skiing has an excellent World Champion both athletically and as an ambassador. Julia Tchepalova was also training at Soldier Hollow. We saw her training and so did the American boys. She could definitely stop a crowd with her small outfit, which might have only been rivaled by our Nordic Nude calendar. But she sure had a good tan!

A three week camp is always going to be hard but we pulled through very well. Even our coach, Dave Wood, said it was "super good" but our true test will come this winter.

(Sara Renner has been a member of the Canadian National Ski Team for as long as anyone can remember. She was a 1998 Nagano Olympian and a member for the women's relay team that was second in the Soldier Hollow world cup and 6th at the World Championships last winter. We will all be watching Sara at the upcoming Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah!)

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