Danelle Umstead's Blog - Visiting the OTC

Sept. 28, 2009, 2:48 p.m. (ET)

We spent the rest of the summer in Hood River, OR. Multiple hours a day cross training for team Vision4Gold. Most of our time was spent in the gym, and tandem biking. The summer wrapped up at the end of August, we packed up our travel trailer and headed back to Park City, UT.

After a week back in Park City, it was time for a dryland camp with the US Adaptive Ski Team. Before the camp started, we met the D’Aquanni Grandparent, (G-rents) and spent a couple of days with them.  They took our son Brocton back home to Taos, NM, with them while we did our camp. Thank you to the G-rents for helping and supporting us. We could not do this without our families helping us, and loving their grandson.  He is blessed to have such great grandparents.

Team Vision4Gold had the honor to train at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Along with some of the other athletes, and coaches of the US Adaptive Ski Team. (USAST) What a remarkable experience, we walked into the visitor’s center and it definitely hit me in a new way. We are a part of something big…. Really big!!! The Paralympics!!! I get to train and enjoy every part of this journey with my husband/guide. It still gives me goose bumps thinking about it. This is what we are working so hard for, representing the USA. I hope we can make our country proud by bringing home multiple gold medals.

We spent a week with outstanding food, good people, and baseline testing. We were gathering valuable data to gage our fitness and to compare future data to.  The Olympic Training Center has a top notch staff and facility. Rob and I have been working hard in the gym, and think we have a strong base now to build on. The team went to the Air Force Academy for a Dexa Scan which measures bone density and body composition.

There were some afternoon activities for the USAST. One day we swam in the Olympic pool. I have to admit I am not the best swimmer in the bunch. I really have a new appreciation for the Olympic swimmers.  I really enjoyed wheelchair basketball…..that is right a visually impaired girl playing wheelchair basketball. I actually had so much fun running into my teammates and trying to defend the ball. There was a lot of help from my teammates on where to go and some trickery on my part if I wanted the ball.

The last few days of the camp were awesome. The athletes and coaches of the USAST spent time mentoring the future Paralympians. This is my favorite part. I love spending time with the younger athletes. This was a great bunch….. each with a lot of strength, and courage.  I am constantly supporting their dreams, encouraging, and helping them along the way. I look forward to seeing and supporting the young athletes this December at The Hartford Ski Spectacular.

This experience and testing was really good for us, now Team Vision4Gold can spend the next couple of months working on getting physically, and mentally stronger for 2009-2010 season, and the Paralympic Games in March.

Go to our website to learn more about Team Vision4Gold http://www.vision4gold.org/.