Even through we are in the midst of summer heat, the 2018 Winter Olympic Games aren’t too far away. No one knows that more than Mike Testwuide, a Vail local who will be playing for the South Korean hockey team in February. Testwuide has been training in his hometown with Brent Sands, a strength coach at the Vail Vitality Center. Sands has been working with Testwuide on injury prevention, strength, balance and skating for power and explosive speed. Sands also understands the rigors of the sport since he has played hockey in college and professionally with the Southern Professional Hockey League, Federal Hockey League, and currently plays with Yeti Hockey in Vail. Although skiing was the dominant sport when Testwuide grew up in Vail and his father, Paul Testwuide, lead Vail Resorts for many years as its chief operating officer, Mike and his brother, Jon Paul, enjoyed the team aspect of hockey. They both went on to play in college and professionally for many years. Testwuide recently became a South Korean citizen and will play for their national team, Goyang High 1, when the Olympic Games come to PyeongChang. South Korea is also the home of another kid who is from Vail, Toby Dawson. Toby Dawson grew up two houses down from the Testwuide family on Red Sandstone Circle in Vail. “I never thought this would come full circle. Toby was actually there the first time I played hockey. He and his brother Casey taught me how to play in the cul-du-sac with rollerblades, sticks and a ball,” said Testwuide. Fast forward to the 2006 Olympic Games where Toby Dawson won a bronze medal for mogul skiing. “Now he’s back in South Korea coaching their national mogul ski team and now I’m a South Korean citizen playing hockey for South Korea in the Olympics. It’s just pretty crazy how we both came from our cul-du-sac in Vail to Seoul and being involved in the Olympics together as Koreans,” said Testwuide. Mike Testwuide and Toby Dawson won’t be the only athletes from Vail at the 2018 Olympic Games. Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin are expected to be there as well. “It’s pretty amazing to me to even be in the same sentence with those two. Here we are, kids from Vail going to the Olympics. I wish them the best and nobody works harder than they do.” Mike Testwuide will soon be traveling to Praque and Helsinki for training camp and exhibition games against other teams in the Kontinental Hockey League, which is Russia’s equivalent to our National Hockey League. Follow Mike Testwuide on instagram: @miketestwuide or The Vail Vitality Center has also set up an instagram account with Testwuide’s links and workouts: @vailvitalitycenterfitness.
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