U.S. Adaptive Alpine Ski Team goes one-on-one at Copper Mountain

Nov. 05, 2009, 5:52 p.m. (ET)

COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - The U.S. Adaptive Alpine Ski Team athletes have pitched tent a at Copper Mountain, CO for training to find great early season snow after an earlier camp at Mt. Hood, OR was cancelled. The Team members have joined their development team counterparts in hopes of getting some on-snow time before their next camp starting in December.

Looking forward, the athletes have been training on their own and taking advantage of opportunities to join other training sessions.

"We've made some adjustments and adapted our program and moved everything out," says Adaptive Alpine Head Coach Ray Watkins."I mean, it's actually a positive because they are getting to spend individual time, one-on-one, with the coaches."

Some of the athletes that have been training with the development team are John Whitney (standing; Towson, MD), Danelle Umstead (visually impaired; Taos, NM), Carl Burnett (sit-ski; Winter Park, CO), and George Sansonetis (sit-ski; Fraser, CO). Their focus has been clear and simple, with an emphasis on having a good transition into the winter season.

"Basically, we just want to get a good transition from the summer, remember what we figured out this summer and get it all back on winter time snow," explains Adaptive Alpine Coach Ian Garner. "We want to get a good base before we really start working on race time tactics."

With athletes taking advantage of one-on-one time with the coaches, high expectations and goals have begun to surface.

"Our immediate goal is to hopefully make it to the World Cup and bring home wins which will give us preparation for the games," states Umstead." So, if we can do really well at the World Cups that will give us the time to prepare for Vancouver."

There are many new hopefuls joining the accomplished veterans from last season. Among the rising stars are development team member Alana Nichols (sit-ski; Farmington, MN) and C Team members Whitney and Umstead.

The Team's next camp is scheduled to begin on Dec. 1 in Colorado.

Click on the links to view videos from the Copper Mountain camps.

John Whitney Trains at Copper.

Danelle and Rob Umstead Training at Copper.

Carl Burnett Trains at Copper.

For more U.S. Ski Team footage visit the U.S. Ski Team YouTube Page.