Enduring conditions pushing the human body to its limits, Abe Wright, one of Australia’s best cross-country skiers, is honored to be training in the Australian Institute of Sport. He is one of 12 cross-country skiers selected as members of the Australian Junior Cross Country Team. Their coach, Finn Marsland, is along their side to guide them throughout the duration of the painful training.
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The training is meant to better understand the aerobic capacity of the athletes but is also part of their preparation for the Australian Championship which will be happening in July and in the Winter Olympics in Norway by next year. Included in the training is the grueling VO2 Max test that every skier in the camp must go through. Despite being physically demanding and exhausting, the athletes are enjoying the privilege of training in the facility.
After undergoing his first test, Abe Wright described it as pretty painful – though not actually too bad. He is currently one of the youngest cross country skiers in the team that is composed of athletes between the ages of 15 and 19. Some have even went to major international races, which serves as inspiration for Wright to keep persevering in one of the toughest sports in the world.
Another one of the 12 cross country skiers is Katerina Paul whom just returned from Kazakhstan in her first major international race. Spreading the inspiration to her co-skiers including Abe Wright, she said that one of the coaches from the competing teams told her that she deserved to be a part of the competition as much as anybody. She further elaborates her experience, stating that it was completely a new moment for her.
According to Finn Marsland, the group is currently incredibly talented and are further becoming more experienced in preparation for international highlights. In addition, he adds that they are grooming themselves to challenge countries in the northern hemisphere, which have historically dominated the sport. At the moment, the coach himself is quite proud of what the team has already achieved in such an early stage.