Prince Albert product Brittany Hudak took home four gold medals and a silver at the six-day Para Nordic World Cup in Canmore, Alta.
Hudak tied for top spot with teammate Natalie Wilkie in the Women’s Cross-Country Short C Standing Final for her first gold. She then added another Cross-Country gold in the Women’s Sprint C Standing Final, and two Biathlon golds in the Women’s Sprint Standing and Women’s Middle Standing events.
While people only see the work put out during the race, Hudak explained how much work is put in behind the scenes.
“Cross country skiing is such a high muscular and endurance sport,” she said. “We train over 600 hours a year. This past training year for me has been around 700 hours. Most of our schedule is usually six days a week, sometimes twice a day. Sometimes it’s seven days a week, so it’s definitely a lifestyle.”
Hudak has been in training in Canmore since 2015. She says it’s a great place to train with the quantity of competitive skiers that train there.
“It’s an amazing hub for a lot of cross country skiers and biathletes,” she said. “It’s a great place to train in Canada. There’s a lot of athletes here which is great because there’s just a culture of excellence here with a lot of other elite skiers. It’s just a great environment to be in, but it’s pretty full on.
“There’s a lot of training that goes into it. It’s not just working on your overall fitness, but also the skiing technique. You’re always trying to be as efficient as possible on skis, especially when medals are up for grabs.”
With the hard work that Hudak has put in this year, she mentioned how much of a help her team has been in helping her reach the stage she’s reached.
“There’s a nice team of us here in Canmore,” Hudak said. “One of my recent teammates that moved is Natalie Wilke. She’s a bit younger than me but her first games were in Pyeongchang in 2018. She was a medalist that year and recently moved to Canmore.
“We’ve spent the last few years kind of training side by side when we go to training camps and when our teams have races. We’ve pushed each other to work on our weaknesses together and strategize off of each other. Both of us were very dominant last weekend in Canmore and I think we both know that we’ve had some good training sessions together and that’s it’s been a very successful summer of training for both of us.”
Hudak and her team will head to Lillehammer, Norway in January to compete in the World Championships. The 2021 version as postponed due to COVID-19.