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Next generation of Olympic aerialists sought at Lake Placid camp

The United States Ski and Snowboard Association held a camp for athletes from throughout the northeastern United States at Lake Placid last week, looking for the next set of aerial ski athletes.

The United States Ski and Snowboard Association held a camp for athletes from throughout the northeastern United States at Lake Placid last week, looking for the next set of aerial ski athletes. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Youth from across the Northeast made their way to Lake Placid last week to train in a specialized camp that was looking for the next generation of aerialists.

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not every jump went according to plan, as many of the athletes were taking to skis for the first time on the ramp.

The youth, most of whom were experienced in gymnastics, strapped into skis and made their way down one of the three ramps at the Verizon Jumping Complex’s aerial training pool June 28 as part of a week-long aerials camp.

Several of the trainees were locking into skis for the first time.

“A lot of these kids at the camps have never been on skis before,” Doug Haney of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association said. “They come from a gymnastics background and we are looking to identify those who can put the two skills together.”

Haney said that the balance needed to be a high-level gymnast helps those who are new to skis to stay centered. He said the first time down one of the ramps can be intimidating, but many get the hang of it and start doing aerial acrobatics.

“We had a camp just like this one in Utah a week earlier,” Haney said. “The goal of these camps is to identify the athletes that we feel can be a part of the aerials team heading into the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and beyond.”

Haney said that the Lake Placid camp had been beneficial for the staff, which includes 1980 Olympic Gold medalist Eric Bergoust.

“There are some from this camp that we have looked at and will be moving onto the next phase of training,” Haney said.

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