Fair Haven’s Rebecca Hass Golden in Norway

    By on January 7, 2015
    • Playing of the National Anthem, with the raising of the Stars and Stripes. From the left are Daria Miroui of Romania, silver, Rebecca Hass, gold, and Elena Skryleva of Russia, bronze.

    • This is what every racer wants to see after their run: 1st place.

    • Focusing on her final run, Rebecca Hass knew she needed another good run to take the gold.

    • Rebecca Hass gets ready to start, representing the USA.

    • Skeleton sliders move at speeds of 60 miles per hour, just inches from the ice.

    • Skeleton sliders move at speeds of 60 miles per hour, just inches from the ice.

    • Rebecca Hass also trains in the Bobsled.

    at Youth Winter Olympics Qualifier

    Fair Haven’s Rebecca Hass had a golden day in Lillehammer, Norway.

    She came away the gold medal winner in the Youth Olympic Games skeleton competition.

    “Rebecca was really excited. We did not expect a gold. Going into the race we were hoping to get on the podium with maybe a second or third,” said Rebecca’s father, Don Hass, head coach of youth development.

    “From my end, it was a great surprise. She put it together race day. She has a real competitive spirit that comes through on race day. Even the Russian coach commented on her focus and drive,” said Hass, a former bobsled and skeleton competitor and owner of Fair Haven Motel and Mill Pond Evergreen Nursery.

    Hass said his daughter out slid an international field of athletes from Russia, Great Britain, Romania, Slovenia, France, Norway and the United States in the qualifying race Dec. 20, held on the future site of the 2016 Youth Olympic Games.

    After a week of training, Rebecca continued to rise through the ranks, and it seemed as though on race day a medal was within reach. And indeed, at the end of the event, the gold belonged to Rebecca, a Red Creek Central School 10th grader who is the No. 1 U.S. Youth Slider.

    Teammate Kailyn McGuire from Queensbury, NY had a very respectable 8th place finish.

    For the men, Kindrick Carter from Philadelphia, PA, recorded a strong 5th place finish.

    Hass said the awards ceremony saw the red, white and blue raised for the first time in a youth event when Rebecca won the gold medal.

    A key player in helping Rebecca reach the podium is the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA).

    ORDA, Hass said, is his employer, allowing him to organize and coach youth athletes up to the Olympic level.

    “The organization runs the track and supplies funds and availability to run bobsled and skeleton programs. ORDA sponsors the youth development programs that Rebecca has slid in, youth bobsledding and skeleton,” he said.

    Training

    Hass said Rebecca works hard to balance training, competition and her education.

    She has weight room or sprint training one to two hours per day, plus sliding in Lake Placid two to three hours daily.

    She also continues her academic education.

    “Red Creek School has been great with working with Rebecca on her schooling,” Hass said.

    The hard work is paying off, and it’s helping her reach her goals, one of which is to come away a winner in the Youth Olympic Games next year in Lillehammer, Norway. She will enter the skeleton event and, if the schedule allows, the bobsled competition as well.

    There will be more qualifying races next fall in Lillehammer and Innsbruck, Austria.

    “She is in good shape at this time,” he said, adding there will be a lot of hard training this winter and all through next summer and fall.

    The next stop of her schedule will be training in Park City, Utah in mid-January.

    Hass said Rebecca will participate in push training and sliding daily on the 2002 Olympic Track.

    “Picking up another track is important to the development of young sliders,” he said.

    Hass will be coaching Rebecca along with six other youth sliders.

    Other competitions are in front of her. There’s the 2015 Empire State Winter Games in February, and the U.S. National Championships in March, where she will compete against the World Cup Team and past Olympians.

    As Rebecca competes in far-away places like Norway, Don Hass sees Rebecca through the eyes of a coach, and as a father.

    As a coach, he admires her great effort, and said she showed great determination and the ability to learn quickly. The dad in him sees her great, golden moment in Norway. And he is proud of her.

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