A Tribute to Torin Koos

Leavenworth Olympian deserves recognition – and so does his community By Rep. Brad Hawkins The Washington State House of Representatives occasionally takes time during its course of business – drafting budgets and passing laws – to recognize people, groups and events that are significant and worthy of statewide credit. Torin Koos, Leavenworth’s own Olympic athlete, is more than deserving of such recognition. Last week, I was honored to sponsor a House resolution to recognize his accomplishments. Competing in his fourth Olympic Games this year in Sochi, Russia, Torin did our state and country proud. The second-oldest member of the 14-person skiing team, Torin tied for 37th out of 85 racers in the qualification race for the men’s sprint free event. Torin has proven himself an extraordinary athlete and remains the reigning U.S. national freestyle sprint champion, winning his eighth national Continue reading

Torin Koos, National Cross-Country Champion

photo credit: Toko USA USA Pears is a proud sponsor of Torin Koos, cross-country skier and Olympic hopeful from Leavenworth, WA. We caught up with Torin recently as he celebrated his recent freestyle sprint title on the slopes at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Torin’s training this season will hopefully earn him a spot on the 2014 U.S. Winter Olympics team, which would be his fourth Olympic appearance. Torin grew up among the pear orchards of the Wenatchee Valley, and he values both the beauty of his hometown and the healthy benefits of fresh USA Pears. Of his recent national title, he says, “I felt that as the day went on I got better and better. The qualifier was a little bit off, but every time I was like, ‘Okay, refocus and let’s do this. We’ve got Sochi coming up and I’ve Continue reading

Congrats, Torin!

USA Pears is a proud sponsor of cross-country skier and Olympian Torin Koos, and we’re thrilled to congratulate him on his recent successes at the 2013 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. (Can you see his biggest fan perched atop the wall?) Koos took first place in the classic sprint on January 2 and first in the 30 kilometer classic race on January 4 — his first national title in a distance race, and his eighth U.S. National gold. He also took home sixth in the 15 kilometer skate race. Check out this interview to hear Torin’s thoughts on the sport of Nordic ski racing and his history on the slopes. Torin recently shared this fun video with us, filmed on the slopes in Leavenworth, Washington—right near the heart of pear country. Try out this fun Continue reading

New Beginnings with Youth Mentorship

This week, we have a guest post from Torin Koos, our favorite cross-country skiier! Read on to hear about his latest adventures, from mentoring high school students (who modeled Torin’s Olympic duds in the classroom) to running mountainside in Switzerland. Just as my summer schooling and Canada training camp came to an end, the first days of hopping in Mr. Peck’s classroom and a little running with the Kodiaks of Cascade commenced. Probably few things are better for a high schooler than overnighting with your teammates. I joined the Kodiaks for their first annual team training camp along the shores of Lake Wenatchee. A family opened up their turn-of-the-century homestead for the team to call home. It was a sweet location, with fireroads and dirt trails around to run on, the lake nearby to cool off and relax besides. The Continue reading

Aspire and Expire

This latest article from our cross-country skiing friend Torin Koos provides some powerful insight into how a recent avalanche tragedy in the heart of pear country has affected the skiing community, particularly Torin himself. Thanks to Torin for sharing this heartfelt story. The news came when I was in the hamlet of Sjusjoen, in the hills above Lillehammer, Norway: Three Dead in Stevens Pass Avalanche *** Why the appeal of affixing clinging skins, clicking into rear-heal releasing bindings and heading into the backcountry? My ITA mentor Greg Peck says this gets back to the soul of sport. And the way he says it, you know it’s true. Some of the last words of Daniel Zimmerman, the closest person to me I’ve lost to winter’s fury said to me was, “We got to get up in the mountains together again (pointing Continue reading

The Sweet Science of Skiing

As a proud supporter of Olympian cross country skier Torin Koos, we’re pleased to be able to share this great article. He’s just embarked on another year of competition, already bringing in second and eighth-place finishes at the USSA SuperTour in West Yellowstone. Best of luck in 2012, Torin! The Sweet Science of Skiing By Torin Koos Riding the cable car up, up, up high into the high Austrian air to the Dachstein Glacier for the first time, I get the feeling Garrison Keillor echoes on his News from Lake Wobegon when he says “All the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” Packed six tight into the tiny aluminum tin, you can’t help but look around and think all the young women around you are strong and good-looking and above Continue reading

Torin Koos Takes Another Title

Our favorite cross-country skier, Torin Koos, won his fourth U.S. Nationals title on Sunday, January 2 in Rumford, Maine. I caught up with Torin after his championship win to ask him about his 2011 racing season. Here’s what he had to say: USA Pears: How did you prepare for the race? Torin Koos: The last couple weeks I’ve ratcheted up the intensity of my training. This takes me from being fit to being fast. I start racing in November. The season doesn’t end until April, so I decided I want to start skiing really fast from January on. It seems as if my preparation and planning is spot on. The morning of, I eat a big bowl of oatmeal, topped with real maple syrup and slices of Anjou pear for more pizzazz, as well as a bit more fiber. In Continue reading

USA Pears Hit the Slopes

It may be summer, but there’s still snow on the mountains, and you can bet Olympic skier Torin Koos is there to enjoy it! From June 18–22, skiers of all ages joined Torin on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon to brush up on their skiing skills and have fun at Bend Camp. Bend Camp is a long-running tradition that invites Nordic skiers to train on snow and land with professional skiers. This year, skiers including Torin, Lars Flora, and Kristina Strandberg instructed campers, and Torin invited USA Pears to camp, too! As you can see, Perry was happy to join in the fun—he even made a new four-legged friend! It was a pear-fect start to the summer. Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Go for the Gold with Pears!

After the last few weeks of winter games, do you have the Olympic spirit? Are you itching to try a new sport? Maybe you’re thinking about hitting the slopes, trail, or the ice. Now, when you’re motivated, is the time to try something new! But just like in summer, safe and effective physical activity has a few requirements. Whichever activity you choose, you may want to play it safe by opting for a lesson, and always dress in layers to stay warm. Staying hydrated is crucial for regulating body temperature. In the winter you may not feel like you are losing as much moisture. But, you are still losing moisture through sweat and respiration, especially if you are active at higher altitudes (e.g., ski slopes). It’s also imperative to energize your body with proper nutrition! Your body needs carbohydrates, vitamins, Continue reading

Go Torin!

The Leavenworth Junior Nordic Team from Torin Koos’s hometown shows their support for their local Olympic athlete.  Today he competes in the Men’s Individual Sprint in Vancouver.  “Go Torin,” indeed! Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn