June 23, 2011 (Ostersund, Sweden) – U.S. XC Ski Teamers Kikkan Randall and Liz Stephen are back from their whirlwind 2.5-week training trip to Sweden where they hung out with the Swedish National Team for some fabulous dryland and on-snow training, including some cultural exchange while making new friends.
“Last year I trained for a couple of weeks in Norway during the off season and at the last FIS Athlete Council meeting I chatted with Anna Haag and Emil Joensson and they invited me to Sweden to train with their team,” Randall told SkiTrax on her return. “Liz was interested as well so things took off from there.”
Randall and Stephen logged some great dryland and on-snow sessions in Mora, Ostersund and Torsby where they checked out the ski tunnel. Ostersund, located in the middle of Sweden on Lake Storsjön, is known as Winter City (Vinterstaden) and has hosted several National and World Championships including the Nordic Games, a precursor to the Winter Olympic Games – read more HERE.
According to Randall Ostersund is an awesome skiing hub. “It’s like a mini-athlete’s village. Many of the country’s top athletes including lots of xc skiers live there so there’s plenty of ongoing activities and opportunities.”
“The ski tunnel facility in Torsby is uber-cool. You can be roller skiing in the morning and be on snow in the afternoon. The temperature inside the tunnel is a brisk -3 degrees Celsius. Gliding on snow during the summer there reminded me why I love this sport,” quipped Randall.
The duo were introduced to Swedish cooking along with attending Haag’s cousin’s graduation ceremony and are even more hooked on Scandinavia. “We’re stoked in Sweden,” added Randall. So how’s her Swedish? “You know as much as I’ve travelled around the world because of skiing I’ve only been able to pick up some casual phrases here and there because everyone speaks such good English.”
Look for a full report from Randall and Stephen on their Swedish escapades… meanwhile, the above pics should whet your appetite. Skol.