Unlock your potential to become an Olympian | SteamboatToday.com

Unlock your potential to become an Olympian

— Boy have I got a deal for you.

This week and this week only, I’m offering a free demonstration trial of the Tomco Home Olympic Athlete Testing Kit. The kit includes everything you need to unlock your own Olympic potential and fulfill your dreams of gold, perhaps as early as February 2002 in Salt Lake City. But there’s precious little time to waste. Tens of everyday Americans just like you have already found success with the Tomco kit.

The kit guides you step by step through a series of athletic tests just like the ones a couple of hundred young skiers from all over Colorado put themselves through Sunday at the Steamboat Springs High School track. The athletes were taking part in the U.S. Ski Association Medals Testing challenge.

Teen-age athletes who passed the tests will be awarded Colorado Gold Passes that allow them to ski free at any ski area in the state.

Lucky for you, I’m not offering a gold pass. Instead, I’m merely offering immortality. If you can pass these five physical tests, you are surely on your way to the Olympics.

First come the pushups. What red-blooded american can’t do 45 pushups? Next is the “Five-by Standing Broad Jump.” All you have to do jump like a frog, five times in succession and travel more than 45 feet across your backyard.

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A couple of the athletes on Sunday jumped more than 50 feet. They are for sure going to the Olympics. If you can combine five jumps for more than 32 feet you are a junior Olympian. Of course, you stand a better chance of tearing an abdominal muscle.

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coach Linas Vaitkus skied for Lithuania at the Winter Olympics in Nagano.

Vaitkus gave this ringing endorsement of the Tomco: “It tells you who has been working hard all summer and who is skating away a little bit,” Vaitkus said. “It’s also a chance to recognize athletic talent.” What did I tell you?

I hope you’ve enjoyed your little rest. No more than five minutes after you broad jump, you must complete the 440-yard dash in fewer than 60 seconds. If you can do this, not only can you possibly ski for your country, you might be able to outrun a grizzly bear.

The box jump is up next and it could be the sternest of the five tests. Your chances of passing the test if you had been raised by marsupials and suckled on Mountain Dew. You’ll need to have plenty of “hops” to get by this tortuous challenge. The focal point of the test is a wooden box, just 18 inches high. You will begin the test standing atop the box. When the whistle blows, hop off sideways, then hop back on, then hop off the other side.

Continue in a back-and-forth motion. If you can hop on the box 76 times in 90 seconds, you pass the test.

Drew Roberts is most certainly not a marsupial, and we aren’t even certain Mountain Dew is his favorite beverage. But somehow, he managed to hop on the box 100 times Sunday.

Drew is a 16-year-old alpine skier from Steamboat and clearly a gifted athlete. He says he succeeds in the box jump by concentrating and staying in a rhythm. Picture a kangaroo with a metronome.

The final event is the shuttle run sounds innocent enough, but it can be nasty, too.

Four athletes each take a lane on the track. The good news is they have to run only 20 meters. The bad news is they have to run back and forth seemingly endlessly. The test is choreographed by a recorded CD that beeps at the runners to tell them how quickly they must cover the 20 yards. Every third lap or so, the CD player emits a three-tone beep signifying the machine is about to pick up the pace. Any athlete who fails to step across the finish line before the next beep is eliminated.

The test starts benignly enough with the athletes barely at a jog trot. Be forewarned. Before the test is over you will be pushed to your limit and you will come to know the meaning of the term “VO2Max.”

Darlene Muirhead, who organized the test, said she thinks the shuttle run is a great test of athletes’ endurance and brings out their competitive nature.

Winter Sports Club coach Chris Gilbertson said the overall test results help him counsel his athletes about their progress and show them they have the potential to be Olympians.

“What’s really neat is I have eight years of test results,” Gilbertson said.

“I can tell a Davis Miller (one of his current athletes) what Johnny Spillane (U.S. Nordic Combined Team World Cup skier) did in the test when he was 14, 15 and 16. They just might find they are faster than Johnny was at their age.”

If you’re ready to take the test at home, e-mail me and I’ll provide you with a secret access code to the Web site containing your Tomco kit. Should you defy the odds and pass your self-administered test, get in touch and I’ll send you a Junior Olympian decoder ring along with a letter of congratulations from Juan Antonio Samaranch, a keepsake one day sure to be worth its weight in gold.

This past sunday was a perfect September day and I know there were future winter Olympians on the track. Check back with me in 2010 and I’ll tell you who made it.

Tom Ross is a longtime Steamboat resident. His column is published every Monday in Steamboat Today.