Sunday, April 18, 2010

End of the Year Sponsor Update

I want to thank all of you for your part in helping me make it to the Olympic Games. Each year it has been my goal to be prepared to qualify for and to compete in the Olympic Games, but it would not have happened without the generosity and understanding from my sponsors, supporters, friends and family.

This group of people is multi-faceted, but collectively helps to keep my career sustainable, fun and meaningful:
My bag doesn't get packed without my Teko Socks (Boulder, CO) and their reminder to make environmentally and socially conscious choices in my life. I take some form of Food Science of Vermont (Essex, VT) vitamins daily, and especially attentive to this while in on the road for weeks. My Surefoot (Killington, VT) insoles are going strong despite multiple daily use and the wear and tear of wet and humid summers. I really have no excuse to not be limber and injury-free because I have some of the best self massage tools from Trigger Point Technologies (Austin, TX). And when I need some extra help, there's always Tim and his staff at Balance Bodyworks and Massage (Lake Placid, NY) that help me get back on track. And because much of training is really devoted to recovery and being fresh, Mix1 (Boulder, CO) protein drink and Sun Valley bars (Sun Valley, ID) help me get what I need during tough training days and when European food looses its novelty. Nutrition is paramount to what I do as a female athlete, and I am fortunate to have advice from Susie, a USOC nutrionist, and Green Goddess Natural Foods (Lake Placid, NY) to stock up before flights and months on the road. And when it comes time to get on snow and race this winter, it will be my 12th year exclusively on Rossignol (Park City, UT, France) equipment. Because all of this adds up, even down to the smallest custom piece on my rifle made by Jeff at Placid Industries (Lake Placid, NY) Kevin's custom homemade cuff or Pat's woodwork on my stock; it makes what I do affordable.

In addition to products, its the people. Within sport I consider my coaches and staff to be the inner circle of support, but one that functions only because of all of the people on the periphery. Their enthusiasm and generosity towards what I am aiming to achieve are like buttresses that I can always rely on; they are also the people that I work with on a daily basis. Sports psych time with Mara keeps my mind healthy and my goals at the forefront and Sports Med time with Peter, Jeremy and Megan keeps my body healthy. While on the road, it is always nice to come home to Lake Placid. I look forward to putting a card order together with Judi at Compass Printing and spending time, especially on skis, with Ms. Smith's 4th grade class at the Lake Placid Elementary School. I've benefited from countless other mentors, within friends, family and the ski world, whose advice and counsel has come in many forms. And such support wasn't more apparent than my crew at the Olympics! The Chagnon's, honorary family members, helped spearhead a huge family gather in Vancouver this winter that was unforgettable. Especially, since so many of my supporters don't get to see what I actually do when I spend my winters competing in Europe.

This is my 6th winter doing biathlon full-time and each year I can realistically consider continuing because of the financial support of US Biathlon, the US Olympic Committee, Jerry and J&J services, and a grant from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund in Lake Placid. In addition, over the last two years, I have enjoyed professionally representing Lake Placid and ORDA as a sponsored athlete. And now I am proud to be a part of our town's Olympic heritage.

Now that its mid-April, its time for me to get in a few more weeks of rest and relaxation before gearing up for another year. Its also time to evaluate the training/competition year and set out my 2010/2011 goals - there is a World Cup in Fort Kent, ME and February and World Championships will be held in Khanty-mansysk, Russia. I remain on the US Biathlon National Team and will continue to train out of Lake Placid.

What's next?
April 19 - 2010/2011 training year begins in Lake Placid

Keep in touch either through my blog, on facebook, or by email.

We hope this finds you all well and enjoying the spring!
-Haley and Kara

Lars, Kara and I skiing in Steamboat Springs.

Karlan, Lars and Kara in Squamish, BC during the Olympics.

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