Ski Racers Off to Austria for Pre-Season Camp

For the first time in two years, the Northwood Ski Team will be traveling to Europe. Seventeen Northwood ski racers will join other athletes from NYSEF for an early season camp on the Hintertux Glacier.  

The team flew out of Newark on Monday morning and landed in Munich Germany, then took a bus to Finkenburg, Austria. For two weeks they will train in the Zillertaler Alps.  

Because the delta variant has caused a spike in COVID cases across the Europe and the US, staff attending this trip have been examining COVID protocols for months. NYSEF/Northwood head U16 coach Patrick Purcell said “COVID wise, we have researched all the necessary guardrails, restrictions, and guidelines that are required for travel. We have met all the requirements. It’s been exhaustive. We have put every safety precaution for our athletes and staff possible, but there’s always that risk. We feel confident that we’ve taken every precaution to continue our athletic training.”  

The skiers are excited to resume training, “I am very excited to go to Austria, to get back on snow, and to see how much I can improve from last year,” said Lincoln Norfolk ‘24.  Senior Hillary Larsen said, “I’m really excited to be returning to Europe. I missed the early season training that’s pretty rare in the US.” 

A ski camp in September may seem excessively early to those unfamiliar with ski racing, but the pre-season training is crucial to have a successful ski season. “We can’t sit back and wait for the snow to fly. By doing competitive athletic training camps like this, we’re expanding on what we do year round. Our sport is on the snow and we need to travel,” said Purcell.  

Coach Jeremy “Worm” Transue added that “The trip to Hintertux will provide the athletes with the opportunity to strengthen their fundamental skill set through varying events and terrain while gaining valuable lessons in the European cultural experience.”  

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