Nordic skiers train on Alaska's Eagle Glacier for upcoming Olympics

GIRDWOOD, Alaska (KTUU) -- This summer is the most important off-season for U.S. Olympic skiers.

The Alaska Pacific University ski program takes medal hopefuls and their training very seriously.

While others rest on sandy beaches in the hot summer sun, these elite athletes are training on their snow away from home.

"This has been the foundation of our success up here at eagle glacier," said APU Head Coach Erik Flora. "Probably its best kept secret, is our teams come up here and train about 3-4 times a summer. Typically what that means is every two years, we get another winter worth of skiing. And so for every two years, we are getting a winter ahead of everybody."

The results are evident, led by Kikkan Randall's two world cup sprint titles, the U.S. women are experiencing unprecedented success.

"I don't think there is any coincidence we are so successful because of the positive dynamic we have. And what I'm most excited about heading into this next winter is that while i have some really big goals and expectations.

"Personally, i think we have equally good chances in some of the team events," said Randall.

With the Sochi Olympics approaching, eagle glacier simulates more "realistic" Olympic conditions.

"It's not always ideal skiing. But the thing is, the last couple championships we've been to It's not ideal skiing either. 2011 world championships in Oslo it was so foggy, you couldn't see anything. We don't get that in anchorage but we get that, on eagle glacier," skier holly brooks said.

Better prepared to increase their chances of a first U.S. women's podium finish.


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