U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence inspires Tahoe athletes | SierraSun.com

U.S. Ski Team’s Center of Excellence inspires Tahoe athletes

U.S. Ski Team reports

A group of 15 U.S. Ski and Snowboard athletes took a tour of the soon-to-be completed Center of Excellence in July as they spent a week together in Park City, Utah. Amazed by the structure’s future capabilities and features designed to advance them in their careers, several Tahoe-area athletes talked to the USSA about their excitement for the Center of Excellence.

“This is our first time to see it,” said Olympic skiers Marco Sullivan of Squaw Valley. “To see all the space for lifting weights and playing games gets us excited to be here. It makes me want to be a rookie again. It can only mean good things to train our athletes.”

President and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Bill Marolt guided the athletes through the 85,000-square-foot building.

“The professionalism to have everything under one room is incredible ” the administration, sport science and even the soccer fields outside,” said Olympian Daron Rahlves of Truckee. “This will be all the best stuff to allow the athletes to get the best out of training.”

Upon its completion in March 2009, the athletes will be able to train in a state-of-the art building that includes aerials and snowboard ramps and tramps area, a gymnasium, recovery room, cardio center, nutrition center, equipment and research areas and sports medicine facilities.

“It’s actually pretty overwhelming to see the magnitude of it,” said Squaw Valley snowboarder Nate Holland, an Olympian and four-time X Games gold medalist. “This is the best gym you could ever dream up. This place looks like it will be a blast ” the ramps and tramps will let you goof off but still be training.”

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After getting a preview of their training center, the athletes ” Olympic silver medalist Shannon Bahrke of Tahoe City, Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott, U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix overall champion Louie Vito and Olympian Steven Nyman ” toured the rest of the building, including the entryway, which will showcase athlete achievements when it is complete.

“Being a part of the history in the entryway is very special. I would love to have replicas of my medals in here,” Wescott said.

After their tour, athletes ate lunch with construction workers from the Jacobsen Construction team who are working on the building before heading out to finish their week in Park City.