Special Olympics New Jersey athlete Becky Scheick will compete in Snowshoeing at the 2013 World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea. While in Lake Placid this past December, Becky kept a journal about how much fun she had at Training Camp. Here is a detailed account of her experience, with excerpts taken from her journal:
Saturday: December 8, 2012
Becky traveled up to Lake Placid with fellow New Jersey athletes, Maureen Larsen (Alpine Skiing) and Junichi Kusakawa (Cross Country Skiing), as well as Maureen’s parents. They left the SONJ Sports Complex in Lawrenceville around 9 a.m. and drove all day, reaching the Larsen’s timeshare in Lake Placid around 4 p.m.
“After we unpacked the car, we went for a walk to straighten our legs. We walked to dinner and ate at the Boat House. For dinner, I got a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. I went to bed really late. It was a very long car ride.”
Sunday: December 9, 2012
“After breakfast I got ready to go to Whiteface Mountain. It was really cool up there. After lunch, we took a ride on the gondola to the top of the mountain. We were above the clouds. It was really cool.”
In her journal, Becky shared a quick story that made her laugh. “When we were up top, Junichi went to the other side to take a picture. When he was trying to get back up, he slipped backwards and his bottle of ginger ale went down the hill. It was so funny!”
After another long day, she went to bed around 10:20 p.m.
Monday: December 10, 2012
Today is the day Becky meets her fellow Team USA members and her coaches. After breakfast, Becky, Junichi & Maureen first traveled to High Falls Gorge with Maureen’s parents. “It was so cool looking at the falls. After we were done with the hike, they had made a campfire for us. We all got to roast marshmallows by the campfire.”
Maureen’s parents took the three athletes back to get their bags and drove them to the hotel they would stay at for the duration. Becky had lunch and met her coaches and teammates. Once unpacked, Becky and her team went for a walk to see downtown Lake Placid. They stopped in some shops and then went to the Lake Placid Olympic Center to the ice rink, Herb Brooks Arena (named after the Miracle on Ice coach). “After dinner, we all went upstairs and played a team game. It was a lot of fun.”
Tuesday: December 11, 2012
No sleeping in for Becky today – she was up at 6:45 a.m., had breakfast and got ready to go to the Olympic Jumping Complex, home of the 90- and 120-meter ski jumps. This is where Becky and her snowshoeing teammates would get on the snow for the first time to practice…and where Becky ran into a little trouble.
“The bus took us to the ski jump area. We went outside and had to put on our snowshoes. I got them on, but I couldn’t get them tight. One of my coaches had to help me. When we were trying to get it tight, the buckle broke so my coach Missy had to duct tape my boot to my snowshoe! So when we took a break, I had to take off my whole boot.”
Despite the minor setback, Becky continued to practice. Some pointers she received were to use her arms more and to practice pushing off at the start line. That afternoon, they took the bus to the top of the ski jump to practice some more. She said, “That was really cool up top!”
That night, Becky went with her teammates to Opening Ceremonies and then they had a team meeting.
Wednesday: December 12, 2012
Another early morning came with a 6:45 a.m. wake-up call from her coaches. It would be another day of practicing at the ski jump. “The bus took us to the top instead of the bottom. I had to wait for snowshoes because I had to borrow a pair. After I got them on, we all went for a walk in the woods. That was really cool. Then we practiced for a while. Before lunch, some of us climbed up the really big hill and then we slid down on our butts. That was a lot of fun!”
After lunch, the team practiced a while longer. “We stopped a little early because we had a scavenger hunt in the woods. After the scavenger hunt, some of us took the elevator up to the top of the ski jump.” Becky was able to get a bird’s eye view of the ramp that the Olympic ski jumpers launch from before flying over the length of a football field.
The evening brought more excitement as Becky received her suitcase with her official Team USA uniform. Although hers was a little too big and will need to be taken in, she really liked the white jacket and red ski pants. After dinner, the athletes went to a talent show and then to the ice rink. “We were allowed to go on the ice to shoot some goals. Then we went to the Olympics Museum. That was a lot of fun!”
Thursday: December 13, 2012
Today, Becky had to get up even earlier because she needed to pack her bag and put it in her coach’s room. She had breakfast and boarded the bus for her final practice at the top of the ski jump. They practiced until 10:30 a.m., returned to the hotel to change out of their ski clothes and went shopping for souvenirs. Becky picked up some body lotion, cards, two long-sleeve shirts and popcorn. They were departing Lake Placid on the bus and traveling to Albany. Two movies on the bus later, Becky met up once again with her fellow New Jersey athletes. “Two of my coaches, Cindy & Missy, took me, Junichi and Maureen up to our rooms. Later, my coach Cindy came to get us to go to dinner, and then we had a dance after dinner. My coach Cindy is so nice.”
Friday: December 14, 2012
Today is the final day of Becky’s training camp experience. She spent most of the day on the road back to New Jersey. “We all fell asleep in the car all the way to New Jersey. I was very tired that day, but I also had a very good time.”
Becky made lots of new friends during her time in Lake Placid. She said her roommate Leanna from Arizona is “like a sister” and she’s hoping they will get to room together again in Korea. For now, they text and will try to connect on Facebook soon.
Becky will join the rest of the Team US Athletes in Los Angeles next week for a special send-off ceremony. Check back soon for an update on Becky, Junichi & Maureen…we’ll be sharing results as soon as we get them and Becky promised to let us peek into her journal again when she gets back.