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Kris Freeman

Fri, Dec  7, 2007 - By Zach Caldwell

Pete and I flew home from Finland Monday, and the rest of the crew migrated down to Davos where they met up with Justin Wadsworth. Central Europe has been hammered by snow, and it snowed all day yesterday. But the tracks were groomed and skiing was great. Kris has been feeling good, and keeping the load quite low.

Tuesday was a two hour ski - mostly because that’s what the rest of the team had scheduled, and it was better to ski than to sit in a cold van. But two hours was the high-end limit for the week, and he was only allowed one of those. Today was about an hour and a half, and tomorrow will be pretty low key. Friday Kris will ski the first half of the 5K loop hard. The course is pretty much a 2.5K climb followed by a 2.5K descent. He’ll ski steady threshold pace to within a couple of minutes of the top, and then light it up for a couple of minutes. Move some blood, move some air, make some power, and stop before it gets to be a real load.

Hopes are high for the weekend. Speaking for myself, it’s alarming how quickly satisfaction with a successful day fades into hunger for more. We all want to see Kris go out and uncork another one. But it’s a game of small margins and lots can go wrong. What’s most important now is to learn from mistakes. We know based on last weekend that Kris is very fit and has the potential for a top-5 finish. If this weekend is a disappointment then we’ve got to identify the problem and know how to avoid it in the future. The major objective for this season is to get it right for the Canadian World Cups. Through 2010 the big goal is the Olympics, which means that Kris is a one-day skier. He’s not trying to win the World Cup, he’s trying to win an Olympic medal. Getting 5th in a World Cup is great - extremely encouraging. What we really need is to see everything come together on a specific target day. This year that target is in January, in Canmore.

So, we’ll take what we get this weekend. Whatever happens, it has to further the cause.  Be prepared to fail so that you can prepare to succeed - I should start making motivational posters. I’m hoping for a great weekend. I’m hoping for a podium. Kris wants that badly - we all do. What I want even more is for Kris to take on all comers on January 25th in Canmore and be at his very best. Next year I want to see a podium finish in Liberec at World Championships. And in 2010 I want Kris to be the second, third or fourth American to win and Olympic medal. We’d better leave a little room there for the sprinters to do their thing!