In Search of Gold on the Ice Via South Bay

Speed skaters work out on the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center track

Long track speed skaters with their sights set on Vancouver, Canada and the 2010 Winter Olympics are working out far from the snow and ice that define their event. 

The team of men and women gathered at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Session for a two-week camp in June.  They're soaking in the sunshine and getting in some low elevation training.  

The team usually trains in Salt Lake City, Utah. but instead of practicing on their usual track, they've taken over the more traditional track with tennis shoes and drills specially designed for their unique sport. 

The athletes are working to build strength, coordination, flexibility and stability.  "It's definitely different than being on the ice itself, but it helps as far as getting strength in that position", said Elli Ochowicz, a two-time Olympian, who is hoping to get on the medal stand in Vancouver.  "I think about the Olympics every day and every day is a baby step to that ultimate goal."

The athletes arrived to gloomy weather in San Diego, but found themselves sweating in the hot and humid temperatures Wednesday. 

They are the latest winter athletes to train at the facility, which is home to summer sports such as track and field, canoe and kayak, archery, and BMX racing.

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