Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para snowboarding. Here’s what you missed!
Knocking Off The Rust
Members of the U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding National Team flew to Saas-Fee, Switzerland, earlier this month for a training camp in preparation for the season.
Since the athletes had mostly been training individually over the past several months, it was no surprise they were eager to get back on snow as a unit and get ready for world cup competition beginning Nov. 28.
“It’s safe to say I love what I do,” Keith Gabel posted on Instagram. “So stoked to be back on course knocking the rust off.”
Gabel and his wife Heather had to celebrate their five-year anniversary apart. But that didn’t stop him from paying a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram.
“Rippin in Switzerland,” Zach Miller wrote. “Take a ride with @evan_strong, @nickpierce81 and @garrettgeros22 as I chase em down the course here in Saas-Fee!”
Mike Schultz was excited to be back on the course for another reason: his new gear.
“Big year getting rolling now and only the best gear will do as we start the journey toward the Paralympic Games in March,” he wrote.
But you can’t go on a trip to Switzerland without taking the time to appreciate the beautiful view, as Evan Strong did.
Training for the Paralympic Games takes athletes away from their loved ones for extended periods of time. The distance has a way of putting things in perspective of what’s truly important.
Noah Elliott was asked about this during the Team USA Media Summit, held virtually Oct. 18 and 19. Elliott, who became a dad to daughter Skylar at age 15, said fatherhood has taught him a lot about who he is and how he can be the best role model for her.
“It was one of those cool realities where I was able to kind of grow as a person, but also realize what kind of a father figure that I want to be for my daughter,” he explained. “Now, my daughter is 8 years old and I’m 24 years old. It’s given me the opportunity to make a best friend forever, as well as be inspired. I think a lot of parents can relate to the fact that you learn so much for your kid, almost just as much as you’re able to teach them. She’s super inspiring and plays a huge role into my motivation leading into China, as well as each and every day.”
Elliott was also asked if there was a product he had to have before getting out in the cold weather during training. His response was quite different from the usual answers of Chap Stick, sunscreen or a music playlist.
“For me, it’s actually mustache wax, because my mustache is super long right now,” he said, drawing chuckles from reporters. “I gotta keep it looking good.”
Gabel was asked by a reporter what he considered the best advice he’s ever been given.
“If you want to go big, don’t think small,” he said.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to someone else?
“Appreciate the process. I’ve found that good days, bad days, whichever they may be, whether it’s on course, in the gym, whatever the case may be, the process is where you learn the most about yourself with the failures and the successes. I think that’s where you become the true champion.”
One Lucky Bear
Turns out Mike Schultz has an extra companion that made the trip to Saas-Fee: a stuffed bear, courtesy of his daughter Lauren.
Schultz talked about the bear at the Media Summit and the special bond it creates with his daughter.
“She’s a second grader now,” Schultz said. “She got me Lucky Bear here, over my shoulder. Whenever I go traveling, she makes sure that I bring Lucky Bear with me.”
Adaptive Action Sports Seeks Volunteers
Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) is looking for volunteers to help at the Adaptive Dew Tour Banked Slalom set for Dec. 16-18.
AAS is the sport organizer for the event, which will be held at its facilities at Copper Mountain. They need help on course with flagging and spotting.
“It’s open to the general public,” explained AAS Executive Director Dan Gale. “Anybody can come. You don’t need a ticket to watch the event, but you need a lift ticket to get up and see the venue.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can send an email to email@example.com.