Hotham’s Louis Muhlen to ski with world’s best
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YOUTH Olympic Winter Games bronze medallist and Mount Hotham alpine skier Louis Muhlen will start training with some of the world’s best skiers under a new formal agreement with the United States’ ski team’s high performance development program.
Mick Branch, alpine director for Ski and Snowboard Australia – the peak organisation for the nation’s competitive accredited snow sports – said Muhlen was a “promising talent” whose inclusion in the US program was an invaluable opportunity for the 19-year-old.
The youngster was regularly on podiums in international alpine FIS races in 2016-17 and was awarded a bronze medal in ski cross at the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 2016.
Ski and Snowboard Australia believes he has the determination and consistency to be a real player in an international alpine skiing field.
The unprecedented opportunity for an Australian to train with the US ski team results from the advocacy of outgoing Australian alpine director Brad Wall and Branch’s American connections.
Muhlen said it was amazing to be given the opportunity to develop his skiing career with such a highly successful program.
“The program itself is incredible with a great group of athletes to work with and chase, as well as a strong staff group to help support and guide us,” Muhlen said.
“I think the program has a great thing going for it and it can be seen in the skiers it has produced.”
The US ski team has produced some of the world’s best skiers – Ted Ligety, Andrew Weibrecht and Lindsay Vonn.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Louis to continue to improve his skill set in a high performance environment within his peer group,” Branch said.
“And we hope to continue our agreement with the team into the future.”
Muhlen will receive high perfor- mance on-snow coaching, strength and conditioning, ski servicing and access to the best training venues in the US and internationally during the year-round program.
“The thing I am most excited for is the rivalries with my teammates as everyone here (in the team) is a strong skier, it’s exciting to never know who could win race training that day,” Muhlen said.
Under the program, Muhlen’s short-term goal is to secure solid placings in North American Cup (NorAm) FIS competitions with a view to break into World Cup competition with top 30 finishes.
“Over this season I really want to work hard on my GS and Slalom,” he said.
“I am still planning to race speed as well as train it but I think with a good strong base of the technical events will also help my speed skiing.”
Louis is currently in New Zealand for his first camp with the team and will head to the USA for a conditioning camp before arriving at the US Ski Team’s training venue in Colorado in November.
His first competitions will be FIS races in Colorado before Christmas, and then onto the first NorAm events.
“One day I hope Australia will be able to bring together its top young athletes and have them travel and train together all season like with this program.”
Paul Vey has worked as an accountant in the Alpine Shire for over 17 years and heads the team that will look after all your accounting needs.