Counting down: Only 100 days to go!

Dec. 02, 2009, 12:45 p.m. (ET)

100 days away..... The 2010 Paralympic Winter Games are right around the corner. It is time to put closure on last year and start fresh for this very important season. This is the time to focus, train hard, and be better than you ever thought you could be.

We arrived in Colorado mid-October. Erik Petersen director and head coach of The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) competition program nominated me for athlete of the year. We were asked to come to the Black Diamond Ball in Denver to receive the award. The event was held at Invesco Field, home of the Denver Broncos.  I was truly shocked and honored to receive this award. In my mind I believe every athlete deserves this award, for many different reasons.

We all have grown stronger as athletes and teammates through this past season. Erik said "you won everything, worked hard this past season, and deserve the Athlete of the Year." Thank you Erik! I want to thank the other coaches from last season Kurt, Hiro and Rob -  without them, we could not have accomplished as much as we did. We moved to Winter Park to get the best training possible for us.... and we did. My teammates of NSCD are like family as they encouraged and supported us throughout the season..... Thank You!  Rob and I did have an amazing 2008-2009 season. This was a perfect way to end it. 

Now it is time to move on.... to new goals, obstacles, races, and of course preparing for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

The race season is just around the corner. In two weeks our first NorAm races will be held here in Colorado.  A GS and slalom at Copper, immediately followed by a Super-G and Super Combined at Winter Park.  Team Vision4Gold has spent a lot of time in the gym getting physically stronger for this season. We have worked on being mentally stronger as a team, too. We truly believe all our hard work will pay off.

We have been back on snow for less than a month getting our equipment fully dialed in. It is very important to make sure all your equipment is perfect before the race season starts. POC USA supplied us with our helmets, goggles, and spine protectors to keep us safe and looking sharp. Our Volkl race skis have been tuned to perfection by the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team (USAST) technician Jared. He is truly working hard to get all USAST athlete's skis ready to win. We have been working with our Tecnica representative Travis and Brian at Podium Sports, here in Colorado, getting our new race boots canted and aligned.  They are better than expected.

Through the summer and early season training we have established an awesome relationship with our U.S. Adaptive Ski Team coaches, and our coaches at the NSCD. Now we all are on the same page and know what we have to work on, our strengths, and weaknesses.

With 100 days to go until the 2010 Paralympics we know what we have to do.  It is time to be our best.

To learn more about Vision4Gold go to our website www.Vision4Gold.org

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