Turin Athlete Balances Home Life, Training Seventeen men and women will represent the United States in cross-country skiing in the Turin Olympics. For some of those skiers, getting to the Olympics has been especially hard -- many had to find traveling money themselves, while working a day job and dealing with real life. Producer Adam Burke presents the story of one of those skiers.
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Turin Athlete Balances Home Life, Training

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Turin Athlete Balances Home Life, Training

Turin Athlete Balances Home Life, Training

Turin Athlete Balances Home Life, Training

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Seventeen men and women will represent the United States in cross-country skiing in the Turin Olympics. For some of those skiers, getting to the Olympics has been especially hard — many had to find traveling money themselves, while working a day job and dealing with real life. Producer Adam Burke presents the story of one of those skiers.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

The Winter Olympics begin the day after tomorrow in Turin, Italy. It's an exciting thing to watch and exciting to participate in and challenging as well. Cross-country skiing for instance, there are 17 Americans, men and women. But the U.S. Ski Association says it can only support the five male skiers. Others had to make their own funding. Here's a portrait of one of the women who is racing. She's also managed to be a mom.

Ms. REBECCA DUSSAULT (Cross-country skier, Winter Olympics 2006): My name is Rebecca Dussault and I am 25 and I cross-country ski to, not really make a living, but it is my career.

Mr. SHARBEL DUSSAULT (Husband): We want to do this as a family. She wanted to always have us close to her. She didn't want to leave us at home and just go off and race.

Ms. DUSSAULT: My husband is Sharbel Dussault and he's my husband now of six years and we have a beautiful four-year-old son Tabor.

Mr. DUSSAULT: We've been traveling together as a family following the World Cup Circuit; the super tour races in the United States.

Ms. DUSSAULT: Sharbel and Tabor come with me to all the races, and sometimes to my training they'll ski together while I go out on a long-distance ski.

TABOR DUSSAULT (Son of Cross-country Skier): Go mama. Go mama. Go mommy. Go mommy. Go mommy. Go mommy. Go mommy. Go mommy. Go mommy.

Mr. DUSSAULT: It's not very common at all to show up at a World Cup event with a little baby and a husband.

Ms. DUSSAULT: It's the number one priority that we make it so they can come. Does it mean that it's easy; no. It means that it's three times as expensive and, you know, a lot more baggage and a lot more logistics, but it's all worth it, because we're together and nobody's feeling like somebody's pursuing their dream apart from our family's dream.

Skeet(ph) skis are very stiff in the center so that you're only gliding on the tip and the tail of the ski.

Mr. DUSSAULT: When I see Rebecca ski, I can see very good technique.

Ms. DUSSAULT: It's a pretty rhythmic motion.

Mr. DUSSAULT: She has the balance over her skis.

Ms. DUSSAULT: Gliding one ski at a time and then...

Mr. DUSSAULT: She's driving forward.

Ms. DUSSAULT: ...transitioning all your weight onto the other ski and gliding.

Mr. DUSSAULT: She has a very high tempo.

Ms. DUSSAULT: When I feel I'm skating my best, it feels like my tempo is just flowing out of me. I don't have to make any forced movements. I just pull and immediately my arms reload and pull again, and pull again, and skate, skate, skate. It's kind of like a really fast, really hard dance on snow. This is a constant talking yourself into hurting more, and more, and more.

Mr. DUSSAULT: She is tough, tougher than I am, I'd definitely say that. To be a cross-country skier, a racer, you got to be tough.

Ms. DUSSAULT: I think part of what makes me a good skeet skier is just adapting over the years to that specific pain. Like the loaded, dead, going to fall off my hips, leg feeling that I get; I'm able to push through that to win races.

Mr. DUSSAULT: This season maybe hasn't been her best. In some ways she's struggled. There was definitely a little uneasiness, you know, saying, are they still going to choose her for the Olympic Team and, you know, is she still worthy? And they ultimately decided, yeah, she is worthy to go to the Olympics.

Ms. DUSSAULT: Feels powerful coming out of my humble mouth; I'm an Olympian. That definitely carries some clout, because it's the pinnacle of sport and, I don't know, it gives you a platform you never had before.

CHADWICK: Rebecca Dussault and family from producer Adam Burke in Colorado.

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