I was really stoked to get the second interview with Greg Malory after his historic, successful navigation of the Mangde Chu river in the Himalayan Mountain ranges of Tibet.
If you didn't get a chance to read his recounting of being the first paraplegic to run this "never before run" stretch of whitewater you can find it here
Ralph - Hi Greg! How's it going? I have been working on this new article, hoping to sell it to a publication and add to my funds for the winter sports travel fund. Please answer my questions and if there is anything want to add I would appreciate it!
Ralph - I just saw on the Paralympics website that you made the team... Congratulations! I know you are incredibly busy with handling your job as a lawyer and training hard in this winters snow season. Where and how have you been training? Is your health good?
Greg - It's been a tough summer - I came down with a bacterial infection the start of July and was basically sidelined until mid-September. I'm feeling good now so hopefully I can make up for lost time. I've been doing a lot of strength training (core and weights), roller skiing along the river in Portland and handcycling.It's starting to rain in Oregon so I've been getting some good kayaking in as well.
Ralph - I know that back in May you and the team attended a Sports Science Center for monitoring. Has this been benificial to your team? I know that you trained hard all summer and your anxious to put it to the snow.
Greg - We just did another testing camp a couple of weeks ago. It was good to see the results compared against our May graphs. However, they changed the protocol a little bit so the comparison may be a little flawed. I think this stuff is definitely going to help us but there is a learning curve to go up for all involved.
Ralph - In our previous interview back in March fresh on the heels of your amazing Tibetan Expedition you mentioned that that you were the Captain of the Nordic Team. On the Paralympics website it says Jon Kreamelmeyer is the head coach is that the same as Captain? Did you step down? Or is he the Coach and your the Captain of your teammates? What are the differences between your job and his?
Greg - JK is the head coach. I'm just the team captain - basically an informal liaison between the athletes and the coaching staff.
Ralph - Your team this season coming into the world cup is quite accomplished, Have you competed with all of them? Chris Klebl is back for his third season after producing eight World Cup podiums in '07 to finish second in the overall standings.Andy Soule (Sun Valley, Idaho), who finished fourth in his first World Cup last season is a relative newcomer and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Rounding out the team is Bob Balk and Sean Halstead.
Ralph - I know you won the middle distance opener at the U.S. Nationals '07 with a 23.02 over Andy Soule. Is that your best event? Are you confident that given your off season training, mental preparation and your experience in Torino that you are in a position to bring a medal home?
Greg -I've been racing with all the current team members for a while now. Chris definitely puts in the most training and gets time on snow in New Zealand and Finland over the summer/fall. Bob is a long-timer who took a year off last year because of triplets. Andy and Sean are relatively new to the team. The results from nationals don't really mean much - we're just racing amongst ourselves and sometimes not everybody is in the race (Chris was not in the middle distance race last year). My favorite race is the 15K (long distance) but I had my best result ever (1st) in the sprint at the final World Cup race last year.
Ralph - The season opener, a season of 13 events starts New Years Day in Park City, Utah. Which venues and events will you be competing in. The event that has the highest profile is the X Games in Colorado, it's not your nordic event but mono-skier X. Will you be participating in that?
Greg - We don't start racing until the first week of January in Houghton, Michigan. We then have World Cups scheduled in Germany, Finland and Norway. Unfortunately, our on-snow camp in Canmore, Canada scheduled for Thanksgiving week had to be cancelled for lack of snow. We'll try to make it up in December but things don't look too promising. I won't make the X Games because my schedule is pretty tight as it is but it would be fun to go one year - I do downhill ski but doubt I could keep up with those guys.
Keep it up Greg! I'll be routing on you and the team to bring home the gold bacon