Recent team travels brought the KMS Alpine team to the Stubai Glacier in Austria and the KMS Freestyle team to Idre Fjäll, Sweden. The teams were joined by KMS Faculty that helped bridge the gap between teachers back stateside and students in Europe. Curious what a day feels like on a training project? Lindsey and Kate can explain what a day is like.
Idre Fjäll, Sweden
After 20 hours of traveling last Tuesday, the freestyle team finally landed in Idre Fjäll, a quiet ski town situated just east of the Norwegian border. The student-athletes were tired after a long travel day, but they were happy upon arriving to the condominiums to find that a warm buffet-style meal was waiting for them in the dining hall. The food here is great, but of course is no match to the KMS kitchen crew’s cooking!
Our days in Sweden are structured heavily: student-athletes wake up at 6:30 A.M. to go skiing for 8:00 A.M.; they go to study hall for an hour at 10:30 A.M.; lunch at 11:30 A.M.; back to skiing for two hours at 1:00 P.M.; and they then return to study hall for another hour after skiing. Days usually end with a tired, yet eager team surrounding their coaches to watch and analyze the day’s skiing on two separate televisions in Kris and Kate’s condos.
As for academics, strong wifi paired with skilled, supportive teachers has made remote learning feel natural. Groups of students have met via FaceTime to catch up with Claudia, their Spanish teacher, and others have been able to chat with Terri about upcoming Chemistry assignments through Google Hangouts. Although technology has certainly helped to bridge academics from the classroom to the mountain, it’s the students who have been a driving force in taking ownership in their learning, and that has made all of the difference.
Next Tuesday, November 19th, will be our last day in Sweden. We will be reluctant to say goodbye to the vastness and endless snowfall, but we are also looking forward to the comfort of being home in the Green Mountain State and to the start of a great ski season!
It’s 6:00 am, and an alarm is going off. Our athletes roll out of bed, don sneakers, and make their way outside to begin warming up for the day. By 6:45 am, skis are loaded into our cargo van and everyone is heading up to breakfast. We eat well here, breakfast is a buffet; some of the best scrambled eggs we’ve ever tasted, a magical machine that makes coffee, hot chocolate, and an assortment of other cafe drinks. By 7:15, we are loaded and heading up to the glacier.
The gondola takes us up through the mountains. The landscape is huge and white. By the time athletes arrive at our training lanes, the coaches are almost done setting up our course. Athletes take a few warm-up runs, and then they delve into their training session. Together, coaches and athletes strive to improve our athletes' performances. We stay out until 1:30 pm, so busy we don’t even break for lunch. Between runs, sandwiches made at our breakfast, are munched on. As the teacher on this trip, I have to say, our athletes are tough. Neither cold nor hunger can drive them into the toasty lodge for a break.
By 1:45 pm, we’re back at the Gasteigerhof, which is the hotel we’re staying at. We quick run and change out of our ski clothes and prepare for study hall. From 2:00 - 4:00 our athletes work on assignments and touch base with teachers; at 3:00, we take a quick break for soup and cake served by the hotel. As study hall wraps up, students run back to their rooms and throw on some workout clothes; dry-land starts at 4:15.
Dinner at the Gasteigerhof never disappoints. Everynight is a 3-course meal, so we all replenish our bodies with delicious food. By 8:00, everyone is exhausted and minds are shifting towards our beds. Athletes head to their rooms to finish assignments, relax for a short bit, and then get some well earned sleep.