The 2010 Winter Olympics are underway in Canada at the moment, and there is some pretty exciting action coming from the snowy slopes of Cypress Mountain. Seth Wescott has won his second Snowboarding gold medal. He is now 34 years old and he first won gold four years ago at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
The Winter Olympics never receives as much attention as the Summer Olympics, but in some ways many of the sports are more exiting. The ski and snowboarding events are always a thrill to watch, with the Snowboard Cross (a.k.a. SBX, boardercross) races being one of the highlights of the Olympic Games.
In a way Seth Wescott is a true Olympic hero. Unlike many of the athletes in the Summer Olympics, who receive almost full time training (like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt), after winning Gold in 2006 Seth opened a skier/snowboarder restaurant near Sugarloaf in the ski resort in Maine, USA. Although he works in a restaurant, it is ideally located for him to practice his snowboarding. He says that he spends a lot of time waiting on tables and washing dishes – he washed dishes when he was younger and finds the work almost therapeutic.
Seth’s father was the athletics coach at Colby College, so he has had a good grounding in sports training and nutrition. Seth started snowboarding when he was 7 years old and had been skiing before that. His main training grounds were in the Alaskan mountains around Cordova and also on Sugarloaf mountain in Maine. In 1989 when he was 13 years old he stopped competitive skiing to focus on snowboarding.
Mental and Physical Preparation
Sugarloaf is Seth Wescott’s home which gives him a huge advantage. Seth had 4 days of training on the Olympic course, which is considerably more than you get on the World Cup events, which is just a single 2 hour training day. He also skied on this course in the World Cup in 2009.
Preparation involved testing different boards and outfits to get the most from the snow conditions, plus a lot of practice runs thrown in.
One sports commentator said that a snowboard race was like doing 100kg (220 pound) squats for 50 seconds. He needs a lot of massages and stretching to keep supple.
“During the summer months Seth spends lots of time in the weight room, on his bike, paddling on his surf board, and apparently standing on top of a giant blue ball. Most of us would have trouble just sitting on one of these, but Seth jumps on top of it and then does four sets of 100 squats. On top of a ball!” Source: Train like an Olympian – Part 1
So the bulk of his off-season training involves a combination of muscular endurance, with emphasis on squats, and balance and coordination training.
The first 3 months of the year he focuses on cardiovascular training with running, cycling and swimming. Then he does bodyweight training to trim the fat and improve functional strength and balance.
- 20 Minute Warm-up on a skateboard
- Weight Training:
- Balance ball squats – the stability ball is first put on a crash mat to stop it moving so much. Excellent core strength workout.
- 4 sets of 100 ball squats to start the session.
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Seth Wescott’s stats and profile
- Name: Seth Wescott
- Nationality: USA
- FIS Code 1053614
- Ski club: Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club
- Birthdate 28.06.1976
- Birthplace Durham, NC (USA)
- Education Carrabassett Valley Academy
- Hobbies Skating, Surfing, Mountian Biking, Photography, Reading, and Lumberjacking!