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Equipment is key for Olympic athletes

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Feb 19 2014 07:06:09 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 10:49:45 PM MST
KALISPELL, Mont. -

To get to the Olympics, it takes a lot of training, and even more to take home the gold.

Olympic athletes have trained their bodies to be in top shape for the games.

While the competitors prepare themselves for the Olympics, the gear and equipment they're using also has to be top notch.

High-end race skis can cost well over $1,000, and that's without the bindings.

"The quality of materials that go into your race ski is generally much higher than what you're going to find in an all-mountain recreational ski,” says Zak Anderson.

Anderson is the assistant coach for the Whitefish Mountain race team. He coaches skiers in events like giant slalom and downhill. For each of these types of events, different types of equipment are used.

"The poles are bent in a downhill pole to fit around the body when you're in the tuck position," says Anderson.

It's no exception for Nordic skiing.

Cross country skis are much different than what Olympic skiers like Ted Ligety and Bode Miller use in their races.

"It has more of an alpine camber to it, if any camber.  It's important that the ski is stiff and light because you're picking it up and pushing it off constantly," says ski instructor Jessie Opel.