Tag Archive | "feature"

SkiTrax FIS Fantasy World Cup 2017/18 Contest – Don’t Miss It


November 19, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Don’t miss our 9th annual SkiTrax FIS Fantasy World Cup 2017/18 Contest and your chance to win great prizes as the FIS World Cup gets underway next weekend and the world’s best xc skiers battle for glory on the toughest circuit in this Olympic year.

We’ve added a new “twist” this year and will allow all contestants a first look at everyone’s form at the kick-off event in Ruka, Finland before finalizing their team.

Register your team of four (4) men, and four (4) women including two (2) Outlaw Skiers – one (1) male and one (1) female not in the top 15 of the FIS World Cup overall rankings.

Points will be awarded following each World Cup based on each skier’s performance and published regularly at skitrax.com so you can see how your score compares to other international players and the actual FIS standings.

Earn TdS or Pyeonchang 2018 points, and other bonus points – all information, skier menus and contest rules are available at registration.

The deadline to register or revise your team is Thursday, Nov. 30, at 10pm EST, the day before round two of the XC FIS World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway.

These are the original FIS Fantasy Nordic contests first launched back in 2008 so register today and earn bragging rights while enjoying our coverage – good luck to all contestants.

We’re still finalizing our prizes and thanks to all of our great sponsors so far including Yoko, Nipika Mountain Resort, Salomon, Silver Star, Mt. Borah, High Peaks Cyclery, Concept2 and Bjorger Pettersen and Associates.

To register click HERE.

SkiTrax Fantasy FIS World Cup 2017/18 Contest Prizes

* 1st Prize Yoko YXR Racing Skate skis, 9100 Poles and Bindings (value $1,025)
* 2nd PrizeNipika Mountain Resort – 2 nights lodging in fully equipped cabin incl. all amenities (value $875)
* 3rd Prize Salomon S/Race Skate Pro Boots (value $500)
* 4th Prize – Silver Star Loppet 2019 Entries/accommodation (2 nights)/trail passes for 2 people (value $475)
* 5th Prize – Mt. Borah Custom Nordic Race Suit (value $159)
* 6th Prize – High Peaks Cyclery Ski Care w/Stone Grind, Hot Box, Hardening, Race Prep (value $150)
* 7th PrizeConcept2 Goodie Duffle Bag (value $100)
* 8th PrizeA Cross Country Ski Story by Bjorger Pettersen (value $49.95)

* WCup Breaks SkiTrax 1-yr Subscription

SkiTrax is North America’s leading Nordic skiing publication and the official magazine of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Canada (CCC).

Will FIS Render a Decision on 6 Alleged Russian Dopers on Nov. 23 before Ruka World Cup Start ?


November 18, 2017 – The FIS XC Ski 2017/18 season is underway and the World Cup start is around the corner beginning on Nov. 24 in Ruka, Finland but the fate of six Russians alleged to have doped at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games seems to hang in the balance – see FIS Council notice below from their Nov. 18 meeting.

Men’s 50km FR final podium at Sochi (l-r) Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS), Alexander Legkov (RUS), Ilia Chernousov (RUS). [P] NordicFocusFIS claims it will issue a communication on Nov. 23 regarding the “status” of Alexander Lekov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin – read more about the sanctions issued against the six skiers here and here.

Evgeniy Belov (RUS) [P] Nordic FocusThe provisional suspensions issued by the FIS Doping Panel on Dec. 23, 2016 were confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but limited to Oct. 31, 2017 as the panel awaits the “receipt of the pending reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission”. Thus five of the six athletes are racing this weekend – Belov won in Sweden on Friday – as Ivanova has since retired. Both Lekov and Belov announced their intention to fight the sanction.

Sverre Seeberg [P] FISSweden’s SVT Sport channel reports that no ruling is coming on Nov. 23. “There is no decision before Ruka,” FIS Vice President, Sverre Seeberg, apparently told NRK. The FIS Council is waiting for documentation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Disciplinary Commission before making its decision.

Anti-Doping Update (FIS Council Decisions from Autumn 2017 Meeting on Nov. 18)
The IOC Disciplinary Commission recently issued its decisions in the cases against Cross-Country skiers Alexander Lekov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin. The commission has sanctioned them with disqualification from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and non-eligibility for future editions of the Games.

These six athletes have previously been subject to a provisional suspension by the FIS Doping Panel as from 23 December 2016, a measure which was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) although limited until 31October 2017.

Following receipt of the pending reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the FIS Doping Panel will undertake the necessary steps in complete accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, affording the athletes the right of due legal process and convening personal hearings.

The procedures will take into consideration the impending FIS Cross-Country World Cup season which begins at the end of November 2017. A media communication with the status of the cases will be issued by FIS on Thursday 23 November 2017.

The Council welcomed the recent founding and goals of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) under the lead of the IOC in collaboration with the International Federations, and noted that FIS is playing an active role in the establishment of the new structure.

Full release on all FIS Council decisions here.

FIS Council Decisions at Autumn 2017 Meeting – WCup Calendar, Kasper to Re-run, World Championship Sites


November 18, 2017 (Oberhofen, SUI) – The FIS Council held its’ Autumn Meeting at the FIS Headquarters in Oberhofen (SUI) on Saturday 18th November and dealt with a full agenda relating to the current season, as well as future activities. The main subject areas comprising both the sport organisational aspects included competition calendars, proposals from the FIS Technical Committees with updates to various regulations and competition rules, appointment of technical officials and reports on the upcoming FIS World Championships and Olympic Winter Games. In addition, various important areas of the Governance of FIS were addressed, including a review of FIS financial matters and activities of the Marc Hodler Foundation.

The main decisions of the Council at its Meeting in Oberhofen include the following:

FIS competition activities
FIS World Cup calendars 2017/2018 to 2021/2022

Final versions of the FIS World Cup Calendars for the 2017/2018 season which include minor modifications proposed by the respective Technical Committees were approved and are available on the FIS website. The draft calendars for future seasons up to 2021/22 were also acknowledged. In addition, technical delegates and international technical officials for upcoming World Championship, Olympic Winter Games and other major events were appointed.

 FIS World Championships
The reports from all future FIS World Championship hosts indicate that preparations are proceeding according to schedule and the upcoming season’s FIS World Cup competitions will serve as key test events for the Åre 2019 (Alpine Events), Seefeld 2019 (Nordic Events) and Park City 2019 (Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Events).

The five applications for the 2022 and 2023 FIS World Championships were all confirmed with their presentations on Tuesday 15th May followed by the election by the Council on Thursday 17th May during the FIS Congress in Coast Navarino (GRE).

The Council set a new deadline of 31st March 2018 for candidates to submit applications to host the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships 2023.

Appointment of other FIS World Championships
The following nations were appointed as hosts of future FIS Junior, Grass Ski and Telemark World Championships (in chronological order):

FIS Grass Ski World Championships 2018
Montecampione (ITA)

FIS Nordic Junior World Championship 2019
Vuokatti (FIN)

FIS Roller Ski World Championship 2019
Madona (LAT)

FIS Nordic Junior World Championship 2021
Wisla (POL)

FIS Alpine Junior World Championship 2021
Bansko (BUL)

FIS Telemark World Championship 2021
Mürren/Schilthorn (SUI)

IOC Activities
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper provided a report of the IOC meetings and activities since the last Council Meeting in June. This included the IOC Executive Board meetings and 130th IOC Extraordinary Session in July, the 131st IOC Session in Lima (PER) in September and the Olympic Summit in October. In addition he updated the Council on the new candidature process for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

The Council also received reports from the future Winter Olympic and Youth Olympic Games hosts. The main focus was on PyeongChang 2018, which begins in less than three months, with reports also submitted from Beijing 2022 and Lausanne YOG 2020.

FIS applications to the IOC for the consideration of new events to be included on the programme of future editions of the Olympic Winter Games include:

  • ·         Ski Jumping Mixed Team Competition (3rd application)
  • ·         Ladies’ Nordic Combined Individual Competition (gender equity)
  • ·         Freestyle Ski Big Air Men’s and Ladies’ (2nd application)

A further six events have been submitted to the 2018 FIS Congress for eventual proposal to the IOC:

  • ·         Alpine Skiing Individual Parallel Event
  • ·         Freestyle Ski Aerials Mixed Team Event
  • ·         Snowboard Cross Team Event
  • ·         Snowboard Mixed Team Parallel Event
  • ·         Snowboard Parallel Slalom
  • ·         Telemark Parallel Sprint and Team Parallel Sprint

FIS Technical Committees
A number of proposals from the Technical Committees to amend rules and sport organisational aspects were approved by the Council. Of note are the following:

Cross Country Skiing
The new prize money distribution at individual World Cup and stage World Cup competitions to allow more athletes to earn prize money, increased to the top 20.

Ski Jumping
There will be no pre-qualified athletes for the competition itself with all required to participate in the qualification round. The system was successfully tested during the Summer Grand Prix 2017.

Nordic Combined
Recognition of the ‘Best Jumper’ and ‘Best Skier’ in each FIS Nordic Combined World Cup competition will be carried out with a different-coloured bib and an award at the end of the season.

Alpine Skiing
Lenzerheide (SUI) was formally approved as the host of the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in 2021, following their recommendation by the Sub-Committee for the Alpine World Cup.

Governance of FIS
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper informed the Council of his intention to stand for re-election at the next FIS Congress in May 2018.

The application from Jordan as an associate member of the International Ski Federation was approved, subject to ratification at the FIS Congress 2018. There are now 130 affiliated FIS Member National Ski Associations.

The proposal of the Ski Federation of Kosovo, which is presently an associate member, to be granted full membership rights will be recommended to the FIS Congress 2018.

FIS policies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young persons will be developed to assist the National Ski Associations with their implementation, based on the IOC’s newly published Toolkit containing measures and guidelines to safeguard athletes from harassment and abuse in sport

The Council’s FIS future strategy working groups for sport, governance and financial and commercial aspects led by the FIS Vice Presidents gave their intermediary reports and they will continue their work until the FIS Congress in 2018.

Anti-Doping Update
The IOC Disciplinary Commission recently issued its decisions in the cases against Cross-Country skiers Alexander Lekov, Evgeniy Belov, Julia Ivanova, Evgenia Shapovalova, Alexey Petukhov and Maxim Vylegzhanin. The commission has sanctioned them with disqualification from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and non-eligibility for future editions of the Games.

These six athletes have previously been subject to a provisional suspension by the FIS Doping Panel as from 23 December 2016, a measure which was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) although limited until 31October 2017.

Following receipt of the pending reasoned decision of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the FIS Doping Panel will undertake the necessary steps in complete accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules, affording the athletes the right of due legal process and convening personal hearings.

The procedures will take into consideration the impending FIS Cross-Country World Cup season which begins at the end of November 2017. A media communication with the status of the cases will be issued by FIS on Thursday 23 November 2017.

The Council welcomed the recent founding and goals of the Independent Testing Authority (ITA) under the lead of the IOC in collaboration with the International Federations, and noted that FIS is playing an active role in the establishment of the new structure.

FIS Development Programme and FIS Solidarity support
The activities and budget for the 2018 FIS Development Programme, which consists of 37 FIS member National Ski Associations, were confirmed. Applications for financial support from FIS Solidarity for 11 special projects from the National Ski Associations were also approved.

FIS Congress 2018
Preparations for the 51st FIS Congress in Costa Navarino (GRE) are progressing well with more than 1’000 participants expected. 65 proposals for consideration at the Congress have been submitted by the National Ski Associations.

Other Business

Get into Snow Sport – China
The Council was briefed on the latest action points with the Get Into Snow Sports China campaign, which is being carried out by the FIS Academy has the goal of contributing to increasing participation in snow sports in nation towards the Chinese Government’s goal of 300 million new participants ahead of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

Bring Children to Snow Campaign – FIS World Snow Day
The seventh FIS World Snow Day will take place on 20th January 2018 following the extremely successful developments and national engagement since the inaugural edition in 2012.

Honorary Membership of the Grass Ski Committee was bestowed on Achille Cattaneo (ITA) and Helmut Gruber (AUT) who served as expert for 28 years.

Randall 15th and Kershaw 20th at Gällivare 10/15km CL – Kalla Again, Bolshunov Leads Russian Sweep


November 18, 2017 (Gällivare, SWE) – American Kikkan Randall finished 15th in the women’s 10km CL individual start race as Charlotte Kalla (Swe) made it back-to-back victories at home in Gallivare on Day 2.

Kikkan Randall [P] Michael Renström, Imega Promotion

Canadian Devon Kershaw claimed 20th in the men’s 15km CL race won by Alexander Bolshunov who led a Russian sweep with Maxim Vlegzhanin 2nd and Alexey Chervotkin in 3rd. In 4th was Alexey Poltoranin (Kaz) with Dario Cologna (Sui) 5th.

Devon Kershaw [P] Yngve Johansson, Imega Promotion


1. KALLA Charlotte (SWE) 27:55.2
2. TCHEKALEVA Yulia (RUS) 17.7
3. NEPRYAEVA Natalia (RUS) 40.9
4. ISHIDA Masako (JPN) 1:02.4
5. ZHEREBYATEVA Anna (RUS) 1:08.8

15. RANDALL Kikkan (USA) 1:48.1

Complete RESULTS

MEN 15 km CL

1. BOLSHUNOV Alexander (RUS) 37:13.0
2. VYLEGZHANIN Maxim (RUS) 1.0
3. CHERVOTKIN Alexey (RUS) 5.1
4. POLTORANIN Alexey (KAZ) 18.0
5. COLOGNA Dario (SUI) 22.1

20. KERSHAW Devon (CAN) 1:06.7

Complete RESULTS

USA’s Newell 16th in Men’s 1.5 km Sprint CL at Beitostolen – Falla and Klaebo Win


November 18, 2017 (Beitostolen, NOR) – Andy Newell (USA) placed 15th in the men’s 1.5 km Sprint CL today at his first competition of the season amidst a sea of Norwegians at Beitostolen. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (Nor) picked up where he left off last season taking his first victory as a new season gets underway. Fellow Norge, Maiken Caspersen Falla, topped the women’s field with Anne Hart (USA) finishing 31st.


LADIES 1.5 km Sprint C

1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen (NOR)
2. EIDE Mari (NOR)
3. JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt (NOR)
4. WENG Tiril Udnes (NOR)
5. GJEITNES Kari Vikhagen (NOR)

31. HART Anne (USA)

Complete RESULTS

 MEN 1.5 km Sprint C 

1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot (NOR)
2. STADAAS Kasper (NOR)
4. RISETH Fredrik (NOR)
5. FOSSLI Sondre Turvoll (NOR)

16. NEWELL Andy (USA)

Complete RESULTS

SkiTrax FIS Fantasy World Cup 2017/18 Contest – Registration Now OPEN


November 17, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Welcome to our 9th annual SkiTrax FIS Fantasy World Cup 2017/18 Contest and your chance to win great prizes while watching the world’s best xc skiers battle for glory on the toughest circuit in this Olympic year.

This year we’re introducing a new “twist” and allowing contestants a first look at everyone’s form at the kick-off event in Ruka, Finland before finalizing their team.

Register your team of four (4) men, and four (4) women including two (2) Outlaw Skiers – one (1) male and one (1) female not in the top 15 of the FIS World Cup overall rankings.

Points will be awarded following each World Cup based on each skier’s performance and published regularly at skitrax.com so you can see how your score compares to other international players and the actual FIS standings.

Earn TdS or Pyeonchang 2018 points, and other bonus points – all information, skier menus and contest rules are available at registration.

The deadline to register or revise your team is Thursday, Nov. 30, at 10pm EST, the day before round two of the XC FIS World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway.

These are the original FIS Fantasy Nordic contests first launched back in 2008 so register today and earn bragging rights while enjoying our coverage – good luck to all contestants.

We’re still finalizing our prizes and thanks to all of our great sponsors so far including Yoko, Nipika Mountain Resort, Salomon, Silver Star, Mt. Borah, High Peaks Cyclery, Concept2 and Bjorger Pettersen and Associates.

To register click HERE.

SkiTrax Fantasy FIS World Cup 2017/18 Contest Prizes

* 1st Prize Yoko YXR Racing Skate skis, 9100 Poles and Bindings (value $1,025)
* 2nd PrizeNipika Mountain Resort – 2 nights lodging in fully equipped cabin incl. all amenities (value $875)
* 3rd Prize Salomon S/Race Skate Pro Boots (value $500)
* 4th Prize – Silver Star Loppet 2019 Entries/accommodation (2 nights)/trail passes for 2 people (value $475)
* 5th Prize – Mt. Borah Custom Nordic Race Suit (value $159)
* 6th Prize – High Peaks Cyclery Ski Care w/Stone Grind, Hot Box, Hardening, Race Prep (value $150)
* 7th PrizeConcept2 Goodie Duffle Bag (value $100)
* 8th PrizeA Cross Country Ski Story by Bjorger Pettersen (value $49.95)

* WCup Breaks SkiTrax 1-yr Subscription

SkiTrax is North America’s leading Nordic skiing publication and the official magazine of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and Cross Country Canada (CCC).

Gällivarepremiärens 5/10km FR – Randall 8th, Kershaw 12th


Kikkan Randall (USA) [P] Nordic FocusNovember 17, 2017 (Gällivare, SWE) – US veteran star, Kikkan Randall, delivered a solid 8th-place finish in the women’s 5km freestyle individual start race in Gällivare, Sweden won by local legend Charlotte Kalla at the Gällivarepremiärens pre-World Cup competition today.

Charlotte Kalla wins [P] Michael Renström, Imega Promotion

Canada’s Devon Kershaw, also showed good form claiming 12th in the men’s 10km race won by Russia’s Evgeniy Belov with his teammate Sergey Usiugov in second followed by Dario Cologna (Sui) in third.

Evgeniy Belov [P] Michael Renström, Imega Promotion
SportEvent Gällivare Lapland hosts training camps along with several early season races as part of a traditional lead up to the FIS World Cup that gets underway next weekend.

Women’s here.
Men’s here.

SportEvent Gällivare Lapland info here.

Maxim Vylegzhanin Headlines Four More Russian XC Skiers Banned for Doping at Sochi 2014


November 09, 2017 – Three-time silver medalist, Maxim Vylegzhanin, headlines four more Russian cross-country skiers now banned by the International Olympic Committee from all future Olympics as a result of being found guilty of doping at the 2014 Sochi Games. The cases against the Russians were built on evidence of a state doping conspiracy as detailed by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren.

Maxim Vylegzhanin [P] Nordic FocusThe news follows the recent bans of Alexander Legkov, who won gold in the 50-kilometre race ahead of Vylegzhanin in a Russian sweep, and Evgeny Belov meaning six Russian xc skiers have now been found guilty of doping. According to CBC.ca Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov promises legal support for the banned athletes who intend to fight the bans while Russian President Vladimir Putin disputes the bans adding that American interests are trying to use doping scandals to discredit his government. While not confirmed, Putin is expected to run for re-election next March – read more here.

Snowfactory Comes to Lake Placid – Reliable Snow and Much More


October 25, 2017 (Lake Placid, NY) – The impacts of a steadily warming planet can be felt far and wide and it’s one that is already dramatically changing the way winter sports facilities operate. One can install fancy lodges, speedy lifts and hot tubs until the cows come home, but snow is everything. To that end, operations have been increasing snowmaking budgets to match the threat of mother nature going on a permanent hiatus. Until recently, snowmaking was something that only happened at alpine resorts. No longer.

Snow Factory Delivery [P] Lake PlacidDuring the 2015/16 season, one marred by winter weather far below average, Nordic ski hub Mt. Van Hoevenberg near the town of Lake Placid was open for just 39 days. The next season, it was back up to 139 days thanks in part to a historic investment of $90,000 in a Snowfactory portable snowmaking system. The first in North America. SkiTrax got the inside scoop on the equipment from Kris Seymour, Nordic program manager at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country & Biathlon Center, run by the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority – skiing is underway at Lake Placid see here.

How did Snowfactory come to Lake Placid?
Kris Seymour: The Snowfactory came to Lake Placid last season to provide snowmaking at the cross-country complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. It is located behind the cross-country lodge. This machine was chosen as it met a number of the needs specific to our location. The majority of Mt. Van Hoevenberg is located in a protected region of the Adirondack Park. Traditional snowmaking systems require a very specific infrastructure and require large quantities of water to be on site.  Both of these are difficult to accomplish in the locations that we need snow at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. We have an existing remote pumping station from the 1980 Olympic games but the location is far from any of the trail systems. The Snowfactory is a movable, fully enclosed structure that was able to be hooked up in exactly the place we need it and it uses power and water that was available on site. Although it is movable, for our needs it will remain next to the cross-country stadium.

Snow Factory Delivery [P] Lake PlacidWeather and snowmaking studies indicate that the Snowfactory was a perfect solution for both our normal and anomaly winters. Our minimum requirement for consistent snow is the beginning of December thru the third week of March. Between our sport partners (US Biathlon, NYSEF, USSA, US Para Nordic, etc.), performance skiers, season pass holders, programs and recreational guests to our complex we had 35,000 skier visits last season. The expectation of these skiers is we will be open with quality conditions when they want to ski at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. This may be holiday weeks, national level races, family vacations or team practice during the week.

In normal years, the early windows for traditional snowmaking are short and spread apart, thus making it difficult to guarantee snow for the beginning of the season. The Snowfactory makes it possible to have snow when we need it. In an anomaly season like we had two years ago (15/16), we were open 39 days. There were only 164 hours available to make snow in a traditional manner and the windows were very short. This past season (16/17) we were open 139 days and just under 40% of those days were because we had the Snowfactory in operation. The Snowfactory is a game changer for Mt. Van Hoevenberg. We can decide when to start our season and meet the expectations of the Nordic community during the winter months.

Josies Cabin [P] Lake PlacidWhere did the Snowfactory originate?
KS: The Snowfactory is a TechnoAlpin product. The U.S. headquarters are in Denver and the international headquarters are in Bolzano, Italy. The technology has been in existence since a little before the Sochi Olympic Games and the units have been available for sale for a few years. The Snowfactory at Mt. Van Hoevenberg is currently the only one in North America. There are a couple dozen in the world at the moment, the majority are at Nordic centers in Scandinavia and Europe. TechnoAlpin has shared that a few Nordic national teams in Europe own Snowfactories.

Cabin [P] Lake PlacidWhat is the snowmaking capacity of the Snowfactory and how many employees are needed to operate it?
KS: Our SnowFactory produces 3.6 cubic meters of snow an hour at an ambient outdoor temperature up to 60 Degrees Fahrenheit. This production rate is the actual measured quantity with our SnowFactory and the rate remains the same at all temperatures at and below 60 degrees.  We have not tested it yet above 60 degrees, but other sites have successfully made snow up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  The average tandem dump truck holds between 8 to 11 cubic meters of product.  At the 3.6 cubic meters production rate per hour, we make 86.4 cubic meters per day and 604.8 cubic meters of snow per week.

The SnowFactory uses 11 gallons of water a minute that we pull from a ground well on site. One hundred percent of the water is turned to snow that is on site. The process has no loss to wind. Water temperature does have an effect on the production rate. Our groundwater is 41 degrees Fahrenheit, generally speaking a colder water temperature produces slightly more snow over time. Snow from the Snowfactory is blown out of the machine through a 6-inch pipe. We use either a ridged or flexible pipe depending on our needs an have blown snow successfully up to 280 meters from the Snowfactory.

Snowfactory at work [P] Kris SeymourThe operation of the machine requires minimal employees as all of the system and snow production is contained in a shipping container. The Snowfactory can be operated remotely from a computer or smartphone. We have a couple dedicated employees at Mt. Van Hoevenberg who maintain and oversee the production of snow with the Snowfactory. For the most part, outside of startup and shutting down, the Snowfactory is checked on every few hours by our staff. The Snowfactory has a fully automated system that will safely shut down the system if there is an issue. The movement, spreading and grooming of snow is done by our Mt. Van Hoevenberg grooming staff. For Mt. Van Hoevenberg, we use a Piston Bully 100 and 400 for snow maintenance and a typical loader and dump trailer to transport. After a stockpile of snow has been made, it requires a Piston Bully operator to push out piles and a loader operator if we are moving the snow away from any piles.

MVH Kids Winter 2016 [P] Lake PlacidDoes Snowfactory snow melt at the same rate as natural or man-made snow?
KS: Good question… it actually melts slower that both – about 2/3 slower than natural snow and 1/3 slower than man-made snow.

How much did unpredictable winter weather and the cancellation of the 2017 American Birkie and postponement of the 2017 Lake Placid Loppet impact the decision to purchase a Snowfactory?
KS: We have a Snowfactory because of unpredictable winter weather. It is impossible to run a ski business and meet the expectations of the Nordic community if we don’t have snow. We didn’t have the Snowfactory for the 15/16 ski season and were open 39 days. From a business standpoint this is very difficult but it is also detrimental to the support and development of Nordic sport. Individuals, families and guests that would ski at Mt. Van Hoevenberg (or any other location) are more likely to leave the sport and find other activates if they can’t ski. We acquired the Snowfactory right before the 16/17 ski season and it helped us turn an OK snow winter into a great season of 139 days open. Without the Snowfactory, this past season we would have lost the stadium and connector trails just under 40% of the days we were open. Our season would have been closer to 85 days if we only had natural snow. Going into the 17/18 season, Mt. Van Hoevenberg will start the Snowfactory on Oct. 1 and stand to have skiable snow about three weeks after that date. The Snowfactory delivered and the first skiing began on Oct. 22 – see here.

First skiing this year at Mt. Van Hoevenberg [P] Kris SeymourOur goal is to be open with skiable snow 150 days this season. As pioneers with the Snowfactory in North America, we are still learning how to optimize the machine and perfecting our warm weather snow management. TechnoAlpin has been helpful in sharing how others have used the Snowfactory around the planet, but to some extent all locations have their own challenges.

Start [P] Lake PlacidThe Snowfactory has a price tag of around $700,000 US we understand.
KS: We have not purchased the snowfactory. Just like last season, the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Nordic Center and ORDA are leasing it. The two years of lease will be subtracted from the final prices when the Snowfactory is purchased.

What comments can you share on the financial impact and ORDA’s interest and capacity to recoup this investment?
KS: The financial impact will be the 50 additional days of Nordic skiing at Mt. Van Hoevenberg. The goal this winter is to add at least 50 more days of skiing at the center, with the overall goal of this adding more revenue for the center. The overall goal is to create excitement within the Nordic community, so that more people purchase season passes and day passes, which will in turn bring about more revenue. While this is not a primary source of snow, it will go a long way towards ensuring that the quality of the trails remain consistent, even during the inclement winter periods.

JRN4 [P] Lake PlacidTell us about your Nordic Festival with Loppet and the impact this is likely have on it and the facilities there?
KS: The Lake Placid Loppet continues to be a 25/50k race that happens in both skate and classic techniques on a slightly modified version of the 1980 Olympic course. The Nordic Festival has added activities, clinics and celebrations for our regional Nordic experience. This includes a “community challenge” race that happens in the afternoon after the Lake Placid Loppet. This event offers a 3, 6 and 12k rolling course and it has been a wonderful success. This year we are offering a series of five “community challenge” races leading up to Loppet weekend and the final event. We will also make these a community series of races that will offer all participants one point for their home ski club for each entry. The community that has the most participants in the series will win the “community challenge cup.” These weeks will also have a youth and junior element at Mt. Van Hoevenberg as all regional clubs will be encouraged to join together the morning of the series days. Our community will join together on these days to celebrate our Nordic lifestyle and the opportunities that it brings. The Snowfactory will help us continue building our base of skiers and keep existing skiers in the sport.

JRN4 [P] Lake PlacidWhat about other events and national training and clinics you host that will be positively impacted?
KS: Given the unpredictable nature of winter, everything will depend on the Snowfactory to stand guard for our skiers. Mt. Van Hoevenberg has about 30 race day starts a year and this is everything from Paintball Biathlon races to national level events. Mt. Van Hoevenberg has a full plate of clinics, programs and lessons that run seven days a week. Our ski education staff depends on the employment and our guests depend on an acceptable skiable surface when they visit our Olympic venue.  Last season, in 139 days we hosted 35,000 skier visits.  In order to support the culture of Nordic skiing in our region and continue the growth of our sport, the SnowFactory is our insurance policy

JRN1 [P] Lake PlacidOlympians such as Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke and Bill Demong call Lake Placid home — are they a big draw for the sport as well?
KS: Lowell Bailey, Bill Demong, Tim Burke, Annelies Cook and Haley Johnson have been an incredible gift to this region by their accomplishments, generosity of time and quality of character. They are all from this region, their families live and work in our community and their collective legacy is only growing. Parents want their children to grow up in the positive influence and lifestyle of these individuals. Young skiers want to emulate these athletes. All five of these Olympians have gracefully highlighted their childhoods, upbringing and development in the Adirondacks as being important to their success. They have influenced the lives of thousands of regional families and made our community a better place to live.

Lake Placid Snowfactory Skiing is Underway – BELIEVE IT


October 23, 2017 (Lake Placid, NY) – WOW… despite balmy weather conditions out east, Lake Placid has snow at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Cross Country and Biathlon Center. “I just skied 6k at MVH. We have 480m out and back, 2′ deep and 16′ wide,” wrote Kris Seymour, Nordic program manager at MVH courtesy of their Snowfactory portable snowmaking system.

First skiing this year at Mt. Van Hoevenberg [P] Kris Seymour

The US Para Nordic team is arriving today we understand, and Seymour says if things go according to plan four local clubs will be using their strip of snow this week including UVM, Middlebury, St. Lawrence and NYSEF. “We’ll be open to the public this weekend if things go according to plan,” added Seymour.

Snowfactory at work [P] Kris Seymour

Check out the Snowfactory gun above and look for our full interview with Seymour on how the Snowfactory came to Lake Placid later today/tomorrow.

MVH [P] Kris Seymour

XC Supercamp Update We’ve Got Snow – Register Today


[P] XC SupercampOctober 23, 2017 (Sovereign Lake, B.C.) – The snow has been blanketing the ground on and off for 10 days and the staff at Sovereign Lake packed and track set approximately 5km of skiing last weekend. What does this mean? Winter is around the corner and it’s time to dig out the winter gear, the wax kit and, of course, get ready for your trip to XC Supercamp.

If you haven’t registered yet for your Supercamp experience, now is the time, camps are almost full and registration may be closed on some as soon as Monday.

XC Supercamp Experience [P] XC Supercamp

Register here for your XC SUPERCAMP experience!

Biathlon Camp [P] XC SupercampBiathlon Camp:
Nov 24-26 & Dec 1-3
New this year: Biathlon Camp is over 3 day camps, Friday – Sunday. Biathlon Camp participants ski with their Supercamp group in the morning to improve their technique and then go to the biathlon range in the afternoon.
Click here to see more!

Early Season Supercamp Snow [P] XC SupercampPro Camp:
Pro camp is back by popular demand and improved with a new program structure! If you have racing experience and are looking to enhance your understanding of training and racing, this camp is for you! The goal is to improve your efficiency, power and prepare you to race on the Master’s or Loppet circuit.

Camp Dates:
Camp 1: Nov 20 – 24
Camp 3: Nov 27 – Dec 1
Camp 5: Dec 4 – 8

Wild Women's Camp [P] XC SupercampNew this year:
Wild Women’s Camp: Dec 4 – 8
Enjoy your nordic experience in a fun, friendly, female-focused environment. Spend your mornings on skis improving your technique, and then relax in the afternoons with wine & yoga, a strength and conditioning session, and other exciting extras.
Click here to read more!

7 Day Camp [P] XC Supercamp7 day camp!
Are you flying in to attend XC Supercamp?
Make the most of your trip and attend Supercamp Monday to Sunday with a special 7 day price.
Click here to learn more!

Keep up with news on the conditions at SilverStar and Sovereign Lake.
Click here to link to Soverign Lake Nordic Club and here for SilverStar Nordic’s conditions and trail reports and follow or bookmark those pages!

Silver Star Mountain Resort [P] XC SupercampReceive a booking code for 20% off Accommodation at Silver Star Mountain Resort when you registered for XC Supercamp.
Don’t wait! November is the month of Nordic at Silver Star so book yours now!

New Elite Invitational Roller Ski Competition at Trapp Family Lodge on Nov. 4


October 20, 2017 (Stowe, Vt) – The New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) and the Trapp Family Lodge have partnered to create a roller ski race for an elite field of cross-country skiers including past and future Olympians.  Upwards of fifty athletes representing colleges and clubs from throughout New England will compete in a challenging 10-kilometer race that will finish at the top of Trapp Hill.  Spectators are encouraged to park at the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center parking lot and cheer skiers to the finish.

Top-ranked New England athletes in their respective age groups will join Olympians, Elizabeth Stephen, Ida Sargent, and Kris Freeman for this head-to-head competition designed to showcase Nordic skiing.  The majority of the field is comprised of athletes who were named to the NENSA Elite and Development Teams – a group who has demonstrated national and international success.  Skiers from the University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, Stratton Elite Team and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project will be in attendance.

The course will begin on Nebraska Valley Road before turning onto Barrows Road and conclude by climbing Luce and Trapp Hill.  The race begins at 3pm and skiers are expected to complete the course in approximately thirty minutes.  Racers will depart the start in thirty-second intervals, making for non-stop spectating for nearly an hour.

An award ceremony will be held at the von Trapp Beirhall at 4:30pm just before the Winter Kickoff Party.  Spectators are encouraged to attend the party where they can meet athletes and socialize with members of the New England skiing community – tickets can be purchased in advance here or at the door.

Questions about the event should be directed to Justin Beckwith at justin@nensa.net

West Yellowstone Fall Training Camp – Ski With a Pro Registration Now Open


September 29, 2017 (West Yellowstone, MT) – Come and join our professional coaching staff to get a “jump start” on your 2017 – 2018 ski season during the Yellowstone Ski Festival.  The staff provides a solid understanding of technique, and gives you tools and drills to gain efficiency and strength at the camp and throughout your ski season. The coaching staff is composed of an elite group of XC ski professionals which includes retired world class skiers, coaches and professional instructors.   Coaches will rotate through groups every ½ day session so you will get exposure to different coaches throughout your clinic. The coaches think snow and skiing just about year round, and are ready to give you just the tips and techniques you need to launch your season with the best focus for you.

[P] Yellowstone Ski FestivalThis is no stand-around-and-learn kind of deal either. The coaches know that the best way ingrain effective movement is through practice. Plan on logging some k’s. You’ll also get feedback, in the dose that’s right for you. While some just need a new focus and mileage, others benefit from a more consistent stream of information about whether and how much they’re performing the task to the desired degree. The coaches know how to pace the flow of information, and offer up a great balance of new information, drills, and practice.

[P] Yellowstone Ski FestivalNot only will you get great instruction and a fitness bump for skiing 1, 2, 3 or 5 days, but you’ll be immersed in a touchstone event for the cross country ski culture, with on snow demos, an indoor expo and lectures in the evening. Event organizers bring in a keynote lecture to entertain and inspire. There’s even sessions called Women, Wine and Wax or Whiskers, Whiskey and Wax.

[P] Yellowstone Ski FestivalSome of the special offerings include:

  • 5 and 3-Day Skate & Classic Technique for Performance (all levels)
  • 3-Day Skate & Classic Camp for Master Racers
  • 2-Day Skate & Classic Tune-up
  • 2 and 1-Day Improve Your Skate Technique
  • 1-Day Improve Your Classic Technique
  • 1-Day Classic Touring (new to Nordic skiing)
  • 1-Day Learn to Skate Ski
  • 1-day USSA Level 100 Coaching Certification Technique Clinic

Enjoy your First Tracks in West Yellowstone. Whether First Tracks truly means the corduroy and you, or it is the first time on skis this season, or the first time on skis period; you are invited to take them at the Yellowstone Ski Festival. Think Snow and make plans now to attend the 2017 Yellowstone Ski Festival.

[P] Yellowstone Ski FestivalFor more information, visit here and follow westyellxcski on Twitter, or friend Yellowstone Ski Fest on Facebook for up-to-minute news.



NYSEF Climb to the Castle Rollerski Race Report, Results, PHOTOS


September 28, 2017 (Whiteface Mountain, New York) – We would like to share some fast results and photos with you from Climb to the Castle which took place on Sunday, Sept. 24. This rollerski event starts at the Whiteface Toll Booth, climbing for 5 miles with an average 8% grade up the Memorial Highway to the summit of Whiteface Mountain– New York’s 5th highest peak with an elevation of 4,867 feet.

[P] NYSEF SnowsportsThe race was freestyle technique and athletes were greeted at the finish with a 360-degree panoramic view of the Adirondacks plus the best music in New England from our title sponsor, Reuk Norton—a two (and a half) year old NYSEF prodigy.

[P] NYSEF SnowsportsReuk has not determined what avenue he will take in the snowsport industry but continues to support Nordic ski races whether it be doing course maintenance or prepping skis during Junior Nationals. When asked how will you get up the toll road this morning, Reuk answered, “the car.” Although he is not ready to climb 5 miles on rollerskis, we expect he will be purchasing a set when grown and ready.

[P] NYSEF SnowsportsAlso, a huge thank-you to our Volunteers, the race would not be a success without your efforts!

Finally, we invite you to relive some moments of Climb to the Castle! Check out photos, here.

Men’s results here.
Women’s results here.
Over all results (age group) here.

Stay tuned for the 2018 Climb to the Castle date!

[P] NYSEF Snowsports

Canmore 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World CupCanmore 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup


September 28, 2017 With over 100 of the world’s best para-athletes, this international world-class event will take place at the world-renowned Canmore Nordic Centre. Para-Nordic skiing is a sport for participants with physical impairment (classified in three categories – sitting, standing and athletes with visual challenges). Most of the elite athletes compete in both cross-country skiing and biathlon races.

Canmore 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Screen shot 2017-09-28 at 9.29.16 AMDates: December 8-18, 2017

Location: Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

Organized by the Alberta World Cup Society, in partnership with Cross Country Canada and World Para Nordic Skiing.

Visit the event website here.

Be a part of a world-renowned organisation of excellence. Associate your business with the Canmore 2017 World Para-Nordic Skiing.

Consult the partnership opportunities brochure here.

2017-2018 Female Athlete Mentorship Program


September 26, 2017 – The CCC Women’s Committee has been coordinating the Female Athlete Mentorship Program since 2010 with females on the National Talent Squad. The goal of the program is to create a strong community of elite female skiers in Canada. Younger athletes will be paired with past or current elite skier for the year. The program will provide an opportunity for older athletes to share their journey, knowledge and experiences as high-level racers, while giving younger athletes a friendly resource for any questions or concerns they may have. This year we have decided to open it up to more female athletes who would like to have a mentor with a short application process.

The program is open to female skiers born in 2000 or 2001, with at least one result in the top-10 of their year of birth at the 2017 Canadian National Championships or in a 2016-2017 Noram event.

Application Deadline: October 15, 2017

Please email your completed application to fred_kayak@hotmail.com

Application Form

Team Madshus Welcomes Liz Stephen


September 21, 2017 – Madshus, providers of high quality Nordic sks, boots, and poles, has added a new athlete to the U.S. team. Nordic Skier Liz Stephen has joined the Madshus team roster, and will represent the brand in domestic races as well as international competition.

Liz Stephen [P] courtesy of MadshusStephen grew up in East Montpelier, Vermont and began as a promising alpine racer. However, she crossed over to cross country as a sophomore in high school, right when Burke Mountain Academy had rebooted its Nordic program. In the last five years, she has rocketed in her status as a distance skier and is now known as one of the best climbers in the world.

Stephen’s most recent accomplishments include best finisher for the United States at the 2015 Tour de Ski with a fifth-place overall effort. Stephen also fought in the 2016 Tour de Ski, where she posted the second-fastest hill climb during the 9k Alpe Cermis during the final stage. Apart from those highlights, Stephen is a two-time Olympian and four-time World Championship team member.

“I am so excited to be joining the Madshus team,” said Stephen, “after getting a chance to do some early season testing in May on the skis, I am so optimistic and excited about the product and what it has to offer!”

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Liz to Team Madshus this season,” said Jill Nazeer, Madshus U.S. Marketing Specialist. “Liz has a clear talent and passion for the sport and we look forward to supporting her as we continue to develop the highest performance Nordic skis possible.”

For more information about Madshus Athletes, product, and technologies, go to: www.madshus.com.

Kowalczyk and Chernousov Win Fiemme Rollerski Cup on Alpe Cermi + Video of Course


September 20, 2017 (Val di Fiemme, ITA) – Today the beautiful Val di Fiemme (Italy) hosted a wonderful and rainy long distance rollerski race between Ziano and Alpe Cermis, the same final climb that in winter closes the Tour de Ski. But this time the athletes were on roller skis, with the first edition of the Fiemme Rollerski Cup that – it has to be said – spectacularly “wet” its own debut.

The rain hasn’t nevertheless stopped the athletes, who competed in the final stage of the prestigious Guide World Classic Tour – with a six thousand Euros prize for the winners – and fought for the Long Distance Italian Championship.

Kowalczyk [P]In the élite women’s race, Justyna Kowalczyk, who is a world-class athlete and has won four times the Tour de Ski between 2010 and 2013, won the race before the Norwegian Astrid Oyre Slind and the Swede Maria Graefnings. The Polish athlete was very satisfied and unusually talkative:

“I’m very happy, also because it is always good to win a race. But it is never easy and the race was very long and there were many strong competitors. Besides, it is also complicated to be constantly focused on the race, but I’m very happy for my result; arriving on Cermis makes you always feel something incredible.

Women's podium [P]“The level of toughness between cross-country and rollerski is very similar, but what I like is the classic style. The Fiemme Rollerski Cup has been well organized and Val di Fiemme is one of the most special places for me. Now we move to Bulgaria to continue the preparation step by step to arrive ready for the winter and for the Tour de Ski,” said Kowalczyk.

The élite men’s race saw Ilya Chernousov win – who has already won an Olympic and a World bronze in cross-country: “It was a wonderful day for me, it was a bit cold and rainy but I have to offer my congratulations to the organizers of this event.

Men's podium [P]“I’m very happy for my result. No-one wanted to take the lead and everyone was waiting for the final climb to attack. Then I decided to go first because I was feeling good. I’d like to thank the organizers; the event was really perfect. There aren’t so many differences between this race and the Tour de Ski final climb; it is always tough competing here.”

The Norwegians Morten Eide Pedersen and Sjur Roethe, who came second and third, weren’t really outdistanced. It is nevertheless a good result for Pedersen who wins the Guide World Classic Tour keeping the yellow leader-bib. The Russian Evgenji Dementiev came sixth, while the Italian Dietmar Noeckler came eighth less than one minute after the first.

Among the ladies, The Norwegian Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes receives the six thousand euros, just like Pedersen, after winning the Guide World Classic Tour. Lucia Scardoni, from Verona, came sixth. The Italian Championship goes to Jacopo Giardina, with Simone Ripamonti and Alberto Dalla Via in second and third places.

Now let’s focus on the next important goal of the Nordic Ski Fiemme committee, the Tour de Ski on 6th and 7th January 2018.

For further information: www.fiemmerollerskicup.it

Download TV images:


Elite Men
1. Ilya Chernousov RUS 02:10:11
2. Morten Eide Pedersen NOR 02:10:17
3. Sjur Roethe NOR 02:10:22
4. Simen Ostensen NOR 02:10:43
5. Torleif Syrstad NOR 02:10:46
6. Eugeni Dementiev RUS 02:10:56
7. Petter Engdahl SWE 02:11:03
8. Dietmar Noeckler ITA 02:11:05
9. Oeyvind Moen Fjeld NOR 02:11:11
10. Runar Skaug Mathisen NOR 02:11:19

Elite Women
1. Justyna Kowalczyk POL 02:28:35
2. Astrid Oyre Slind NOR 02:28:39
3. Maria Graefnings SWE 02:30:16
4. Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes NOR 02:31:04
5. Yulia Tikhonova BLR 02:34:54
6. Lucia Scardoni ITA 02:36:39
7. Heli Heikanen FIN 02:41:03
8. Sara Lindborg SWE 02:41:46
9. Francisca Muller GER 02:50:13
10. Stefania Corradini ITA 03:00:01

Guide World Classic Tour Final Ranking
1. Morten Eide Pedersen

1. Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes

Job Opportunity – Office Administrator @ Cross Country Ski de fond Canada


September 19, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – Cross Country Ski de fond Canada has an immediate opening for a challenge-driven, organized, and detail-oriented team player with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. The Office Administrator is a full-time position that supports all staff and has specific responsibilities in accounting, clerical, marketing and communication functions.

Based at the beautiful Canmore Nordic Centre (AB), CCC is the national organization for cross-country skiing in Canada. We aim to get all Canadians on skis, and Olympians and Paralympians on podiums.

Detailed Job Description here.

Please submit your cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to Megan Begley, Manager, Operations and Strategic Development, mbegley@cccski.com.

Deadline for application is October 1st, 2017.


Report Says XC Ski Equipment Sales to Reach $50 Million US by 2022


September 17, 2017 – A research report by Fact.MR claims to provide an in-depth analysis of the global cross-country ski equipment market for the forecast period 2017-2022, and projects it will hit $50 million US by 2022. Offering key insights about future market direction the report says several health benefits are associated with cross country-skiing which is less expensive and less crowded attracting more people – read more here.

NTDC 2017/18 Team Officially Launched


September 15, 2017 (Thunder Bay, ON) – The National Team Development Centre Thunder Bay (NTDC Thunder Bay) officially launched its  2017-18 Team last weekend in a reception held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 5.

[P] Top Row (l-r): Julian Smith, Lisle Compton, Bob Thompson, Sadie White
2nd Row:  Alannah Maclean, Angus Foster, Katherine Stewart-Jones, Levi Nadlersmith
3rd Row:  Conor McGovern, Mia Serratore, Graham Ritchie, Evan Palmer- Charrette
Bottom Row:  Annika Richardson, Pierre Grall-Johnson.

The team is highlighted by returning athletes Bob Thompson (Woodstock) and Katherine Stewart Jones (Chelsea), as well as local athlete Evan Palmer Charette. Both Charrette and Thompson excelled on the domestic and international circuits last season, with Thompson representing Canada at the test World Cup events at the Olympic venues in Pyeonchang, while Charette finished the domestic season as the 2nd ranked man in Canada. In her second year on the Canadian National Team, Stewart Jones solidified her spot as one of the country‚s top women, earning some of Canada‚s top results at the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland.  All three will be legitimate contenders in the hunt to represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeonchang in February.

The rest of the team is not short on experience- NTDC also has great depth across the Junior and U23 categories.  Lisle Compton (Kenora) and Annika Richardson (Vancouver) both were named to the Canadian Junior National Team following breakout results last season.  In addition,  8 of the 14 athletes have experience racing at the World Junior and U23 Championships over the past 3 season, and two have represented Canada at the Youth Olympic Games. The team also has added some new blood this season, with 3 rookies joining the ranks, highlighted by Junior Boy‚s National Sprint Champion Pierre Grall-Johnson of Ottawa.

After a full summer of dryland training, the team is heading into the season fit and well prepared, with very strong results in recent fitness testing at the Canadian Sport Institute in Toronto. The team travels to Austria for on- snow altitude training on the Dachstein glacier next week.  The racing season will kick off in early November, with Angus Foster (Thunder Bay) and Julian Smith (Wiarton) and Bob Thompson competing for World Cup starts at the season opener in Canmore.

The rest of the team will start racing on the national circuit in early December, with their main goals being the Olympic and World Championship Trials in January.  The season will wrap with the Canadian National Championship, which will be hosted right here in Thunder Bay in March.

NTDC Thunder Bay is a community-based organization designed to develop elite cross country skiers who will represent Canada at international competitions (ex. World Cups, World Championships, Olympics). It is one of three NDC‚s (the others are in Quebec and Canmore) working with Cross Country Canada to provide athletes with intensive training and competition programs.  The Centre is led by Head Coach Timo Puiras of Thunder Bay and Camille Cheskey (Waterloo) joins the team this year as Assistant Coach after several seasons providing wax support to the group.

NTDC Thunder Bay 2017/18 Team

1.         Alannah Maclean, Sudbury ON
2.         Bob Thompson, Woodstock ON
3.         Evan Palmer Charette, Thunder Bay ON
4.         Julian Smith, Wiarton ON
5.         Sadie White, Thunder Bay ON
6.         Katherine Stewart Jones, Chelsea PQ
7.         Mia Serratore, Thunder Bay ON
8.         Angus Foster, Thunder Bay ON
9.         Annika Richardson, Vancouver BC
10.      Lisle Compton, Kenora ON
11.      Levi Nadlersmith, Boissevain MB
12.      Conor McGovern, Winnipeg MB
13.      Graham Ritchie, Parry Sound ON
14.      Pierre Grall-Johnson, Ottawa ON

Head Coach:            Timo Puiras
Assistant Coach:      Camille Cheskey

Olympian Reijo Puiras Helped Shape Canadian Skiing


September 05, 2017 – Reijo Puiras learned the gruelling, demanding discipline of cross-country skiing as a boy in his ancestral home of Finland. As a young man, he represented Canada in the sport at the Winter Olympics. Mr. Puiras, who has died at 65, built skiing trails on the rolling hills of his private property outside Thunder Bay.

Reijo Puiras circa 1970 [P] courtesy of the Globe and MailThe popularity of his trails among his skiing friends was such that he had to further develop the property, creating a training facility now used for international competitions.  His role in the sport as a builder led to his induction into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.  He founded the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre to encourage more Canadians to take up a sport long dominated by athletes from the Nordic countries and the Soviet Union.

Read the Globe & Mail article here.

Katherine Stewart-Jones Report from NZ – Winter Down Under


September 04, 2017 (Wanaka, NZ) – Perfect winter conditions. That is what I was promised before I made the decision to travel 12,000 KM to New Zealand. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Before this trip the farthest South I had ever been was New York City. So, For the first time ever, I flew South far past the Big Apple to, ironically, find winter.

Katherine Stewart-Jones in NZ [P] KSJI was joined by 6 of my teammates from across Canada as well as the Alberta World Cup Academy coach, Chris Jeffries. 24 hours after leaving Canada, we arrived in Queenstown, NZ. We then packed 7 duffels, 4 ski bags and 7 bodies into a rental van and drove the twisty, windy and puke inducing mountain road that led us to our new home, the Snow Farm. The Snow Farm is literally what it sounds like: lots and lots and lots of snow… AKA heaven for cross-country skiers!

Read more here.

Snow Farm in NZ [P] KSJ

Merino Muster 2017 Report, Results – Diggins and Hamilton Win


September 03, 2017 (Wanaka, NZ) – The sun came out for the finish of the 2017 Merino Muster 42 km marathon cross country ski race at Snow Farm in the stunning Pisa Range, Wanaka. There were 85 entrants in the 42km cross country skiing with over 127 in the 21km Snow Rake and the 7km Straggle Muster.

Men's podium (l-r) Gregg, Hamilton, Bellingham [P] Merino MusterEntrants competing came from all over the world – Italy, Australia, Wales, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, USA, Japan, Argentina, Singapore Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Morocco,Nepal, Mexico and Estonia.

With the PyeongChand 2018 Winter Olympic games looming this event is an important part of the more serious competitor’s preparation. The temperature was -5 degrees with fog lingering at the start which formed ice crystals on beards and hair as steamy breaths froze as they were exhaled.

The sun was very much needed in order to see the men’s fast finishers skiing toward the line who were all within touching distance of each other.  Simeon Hamilton, Brain Gregg  of USA and Phillip Bellingham from Australia all finished in first, second and third respectively, all recording times within one second of each other.

The woman’s race was won by USA Olympian Jessica Digggins of USA  followed by Hannah Dreissigacker USA and Britta Clark from USA.

Snow conditions were fantastic with one veteran skier saying they were the best he has ever raced in.  This was largely due to the huge efforts of the Snow Farm team Dean, with some help from Sam, who worked through the night with two machines grooming the loops three times to create these conditions. Also, the fact that the temperatures stayed cool helped.

In the 21 km Snow Rack the woman showed their international class. Another USA Olympic skier Catlin Gregg beat her fellow USA teammate Eileen Carey followed by Julia Kern also from the USA ski team.

Campbell Wright flew the local flag winning the men’s 21 km race with Moroccan skier Samir Azzimani and Sophie Caldwell won the women’s event hotly contested by the her USA team mate Catlin Gregg.

The 7 km Straggle Muster men’s & woman’s race, a great introduction to the sport, was won by local skiers Olivia Jones and Angus Cagney.

As is the tradition, many people dressing up for the occasion with the dancing girls, a kiwi to name a few and the annual early viewing of Santa Claus.

Juha Viljamaa from Finland, the President International Loppet Federation also raced in the 21 km Snow Rake. When asked for comment he said the conditions were nice and cool and the race was run very professionally.

Worldloppet is a family of skiers with camaraderie amongst nations. Mt Aspiring college student Louis jones takes the award for true Worldloppet spirit skiing 14kms with an eighty one year old Japanese skier, Haruo Tsuchiya after completing his own 21km race just to make sure he completed the race after last year breaking a boot and retiring from the race.

Results (brief)

1. Simeon    Hamilton (USA – U35M) 1:40:33     
2. Brian    Gregg (USA – U35M) 1:40:34  
3. Phillip    Bellingham (AUS – U30M) 1:40:35  
4. Jessica    Diggins (USA – U30W) 1:51:42 ……….1st woman      
5. Joosep    Tammeme (EST – U30M) 1:52:13
6. Hannah Dreissigacker (USA – U35W) 2:01:59 ……….2nd woman  
7. Valerii    Krylov (RUS – U55M) 2:03:52
8. Chad    Gregg (USA – U35M) 2:07:05                                        
8. Chris    Forne (NZL – U45M) 2:07:05
10. Tim    David (AUS – U50M) 2:07:28
11. Britta    Clark (USA – U25W) 2:09:06 ……….3rd woman                                            
12. Daiki    Watanabe (JPN – U30M) 2:09:59
13. Rachel Knott (USA – U35W) 2:10:01 ……….4th woman                                        
14. Sloan    Storey (USA – U25W    ) 2:11:10 ……….5th woman                                        
15. Ron    Carmichael (GBR – U60M) 2:11:52

For a full list of results click here

Updated Canadian Anti-Doping Rules Coming Into Effect


Canadian Antidoping ProgramAugust 30, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – An updated version of the 2015 Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) will come into effect on September 1, 2017. The rules of the CADP govern how anti-doping is conducted in Canada and are administered by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) on behalf of the Canadian sport community.

“The CCES is pleased to share the second version of the 2015 CADP,” said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES. “The CADP serves to protect Canadian athletes and their right to clean sport, in addition to meeting the rigorous international standards of the World Anti-Doping Code.”

The second version of the 2015 CADP was developed following two years of experience implementing the 2015 CADP and a consultation period with the Canadian sport community. The CCES sought to collect feedback from its stakeholders in the sport community, such as national and multi-sport organizations.

“We are grateful for everyone who took the time to share their opinions and experience regarding the 2015 CADP,” said Melia. “Contributions from stakeholders help ensure that the CADP evolves to meet the needs of Canadian sport.”

For information about the 2015 CADP (Version 2) and to download a copy, please visit here.

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the CADP. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

Bickner Ends Weekend Strong for US Skiers Around the Globe with Top Ten in Japan


USA Nordic Logo-300x200August 28, 2017 (Park City, Utah) – Kevin Bickner tied his best result ever on Sunday morning when he finished in seventh place at the Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix in Hakuba, Japan. The result came nearly a year to the day after Bickner had his first ever top ten finish, seventh at the Grand Prix in Hakuba last year.

“I feel like I put together two solid jumps,” Bickner said when asked how he felt about Sunday. “Not as exciting as last year, but more consistent.” Bickner had the longest jump in training and knew his potential going into the competition. Although he didn’t win, Bickner was pleased with his results, as he has been for most of the summer and said he was “looking forward to the next Grand Prix.”

The event was won by Junshiro Kobayashi, of Japan who edged out teammate Ryoyu Kobayashi. Anze Lanisek of Slovenia claimed third. Bickner was joined in the top 30 by Michael Glasder who earned himself his first top 30 since February.

Bickner led the team both days, finishing 23rd on Saturday ahead of Glasder and Casey Larson as well as Canadians Joshua Maurer and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes. Kobayashi was also the winner on Saturday. Second place went to Kenneth Gangnes of Norway and third place was claimed by Klemens Muranka of Poland.

“We are still in the middle of our preparation for winter,” said an enthusiastic coach Uros “Balki” Vhrovec when asked how he felt about the overall performance of the team. He said the athletes have been “fighting” in every competition, but admitted there is still “room for
improvements.” Balki also congratulated Kevin on his top ten result, noting the improvements that the team has made.

Halfway around the globe, the men’s Nordic Combined team wrapped up a stretch of competitions with back to back events in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Taylor Fletcher put in another great race on Friday and led the team in 25th place at the Summer Grand Prix in Oberstdorf. Brother, Bryan Fletcher, who skied together with Taylor for most of the race, crossed the line a few seconds later in 28th place. Ben Berend finished in 40th place and Jasper Good was 45th.

The day was won by Eric Frenzel of Germany. Second place was claimed by fellow German Johannes Rydzek, while Mario Seidl of Austria took third.

Saturday, which was the last Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix for a month, was a little more difficult for the US team. Both Taylor Fletcher and Ben Berend were disqualified after the jumping. Neither were happy about the decision but both acknowledged the need to move on with Fletcher calling the day disappointing but the trip an “overall success.” Bryan Fletcher decided to rest some tendonitis he’s been battling rather than risk an injury down the road. But there was one skier who did finish on Saturday.

Adam Loomis tied his second best result with a 28th place on Saturday. Loomis, who has been waiting for his chance to compete took advantage of his opportunity and picked up a few Summer Grand Prix cup points as well when he turned in 14th fastest time. It was a bright note on a long day.

Saturday’s event was won by Mario Seidl. It was his second win of the Summer Grand Prix series. German skier Fabian Riessle edged out teammate Eric Frenzel in a final sprint. Both had wins earlier in the week.

For now the Nordic Combined team will be resting and recovering before the next Summer Grand Prix in Planica, Slovenia in a month. Meanwhile, Bickner and the rest of the team will return to Europe to train for the next Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix in Chaikovsky, Russia where the men will be joined by the Ladies’ Ski Jumping Summer Grand Prix.

Dahria Beatty Report – New Zealand Snow Farm Training Camp


August 27, 2017 (New Zealand) – Training down under in New Zealand last summer was such a great experience, we decided to go back again this summer. Emily and I rounded up a few more friends plus coach Chris for a 3-week on snow training camp at the Snow Farm in New Zealand.

(l-r) Emily Nishikawa, Katherine Stewart-Jones, Cendrine Browne, Annika Hicks, Dahria Beatty [P]After the spring and early summer, I felt that my overall training was going well but I didn’t feel quite like I was where I wanted to be especially during intensity sessions. Getting back on snow allowed me to find those little pieces that seemed to be missing during the early season dry-land training. I felt really good throughout the camp and I can safely say it has been my most productive training block of the season to date. My body handled the 69 hours,18 days volume load surprisingly well and the intensity sessions were better than anything I’ve done on roller skis this year. It’s a good thing I am a skier not a roller ski racer because apparently I am substantially better at skiing than I am at roller skiing. Something I continue to reconfirm every time I get back on snow.

Besides being able to average over 40km of skiing a day, having a group of seven women training together for a 3 weeks has been a real treat. The mid ski photo shoots to get those Instagram shots, evening O.C. marathons and an abundance of “great jokes” made for a fun and positive atmosphere. But more importantly having a strong group to ski with everyday, to push you in sprints and intensity workouts and get you through those long distance days definitely added to the quality and success of the camp.

I am really happy to have had the chance to come back to the Snow Farm this summer with a coach and the women’s team to prepare for the upcoming season. There were lots of great things about the camp but here are a few of my favourite parts.

Camp highlights here.

Lanctôt Acquires NRG Enterprises and Expands Bike Division


August 24, 2017 (Montreal, QC) — Raymond Lanctôt Ltd. (Lanctôt) announces that it has recently acquired NRG Enterprises of Nelson, BC. NRG is an authentic rider-owned cycling distribution company based in Nelson BC. NRG has been at the forefront of mountain and urban cycling in Canada for almost 30 years. They are avid cyclists who are passionate about the bike business.

[P] courtesy of NRGNRG currently distributes Surly, Chromag, Ortlieb, Maxxis, Hope, HT, Early Rider, MRP, Kuat, 7iDP, USWE, Orange Seal, Huck Norris, Red Monkey, WPL and Sensus to Canadian Dealers.

“This acquisition provides us with a solid foundation to grow our Bike Division,” said President Diane Lanctôt.

Jean Cloutier, VP Operations added, “The employees of both companies share an addiction for the mountains and the active outdoor lifestyle. Lanctôt operates from a state-of-the-art 60,000 sqft facility in Montréal and we want to add some of our resources to NRG to make it easier for dealers to do business with them.”

“There is an exciting future for NRG with this acquisition. Lanctôt’s financial, IT and warehousing resources will combine with NRG’s core cycling culture to create a new powerhouse in Canadian cycling distribution,” said Ramin Sherkat, the former owner of NRG Enterprises who will now act as a consultant.

About Lanctôt Ltée
Since 1953, Lanctôt has been a leading Canadian based distributor of premium sporting goods, apparel and eyewear. www.rlanctot.com Contact: Jean Cloutier, V.P. Operations. jcloutier@rlanctot.com (514) 731-6841 #227

About NRG Enterprises
Since 1989, NRG has been a distributor known for its bike fanatic staff and Westcoast Nelson Culture www.nrgenterprises.com . Contact: Ramin Sherkat, President ramins@nrgenterprises.com (800) 665-4362

Therese Johaug is Out of PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games


August 22, 2017 – Norwegian cross-country skiing star, Therese Johaug, is out of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games as she is mandated to serve an 18-month ban which expires next April, according to the final verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – see full ruling below.

“I am heart-broken. I had a dream to get to the Olympics,” said Johaug in tears at a news conference following the verdict. “I think it is unfair, I feel I was unfairly treated.”

Therese Johaug (NOR) in Sochi [P] Nordic FocusThe former Olympic champion initially received a 13-month suspension by the Norwegian Olympic tribunal after traces of the anabolic drug Clostebol were found in her urine resulting from the use of suncream containing the banned steroid during a training camp in Italy last year.

The tribunal felt Johaug was not completely responsible as it was approved by the Norwegian team doctor who has since resigned. But the International Ski Federation (FIS) did not agree and appealed seeking a longer suspension citing Johaug’s failure “to read the doping warning label printed in red on the package”. Athletes are responsible for what they ingest.

The three-member CAS judging panel sided with FIS and did not agree that Johaug was blameless as there were clear warnings on the packaging. “The [judging] panel noted that Ms. Johaug failed to conduct a basic check of the packaging, which not only listed a prohibited substance as an ingredient but also included [a] clear doping cautionary warning,” said a court statement.

Johaug, who turned 29 in June, has won the overall FIS World Cup title twice and her suspension prevented her from defending her 2016/17 title. She has won gold seven times at the FIS Nordic World Championships and won gold in the 4x5km relay at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver followed by individual silver and bronze medals in the 30km FS and 10km classic races respectively at Sochi 2014.

CAS ruling here.

New SkiTrax Roundtable Launching Soon – Plus Buyer’s Guide, Road to PyeongChang 2018, Fashion Guide & More


Canada's Alex Harvey takes the Men's 50K Free race [P] Nordic FocusAugust 18, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – We’re excited to announce that a new innovative SkiTrax Roundtable is launching soon featuring Canadian top gun Alex Harvey along with US star Kikkan Randall, veteran Canuck Devon Kershaw, American speed king Andy Newell and more top-shelf xc skiers including some Euro stars as well.

Kikkan Randall (USA) [P] Nordic FocusWe’ll present the same question to the Roundtable and publish everyone’s replies through the season as they talk shop for an inside look in this Olympic year. First question: “As the new FIS President what are your top 3 objectives ?” Launch date is Sept. 15 – mark your calendar

Sophie Caldwell (USA) [P] Nordic FocusWe’re pleased as well to welcome back star U.S. skiers, Sophie Caldwell and Simi Hamilton who are excited to share their daily training routine in their popular Training RAP for the skivvy on how to balance life near the top of the xc ski food chain and keep your cool on World Cup start lines while aiming for the podium – check it out at skitrax.com.

Road to PyeongChang 2017-08-18 at 9.21.06 AM.4Excitement is brewing with the Games ahead and our Road to PyeongChang 2018 “Going for Gold” feature in every issue and on-line as well will highlight the key elements of the Olympics including the excitement of the venues, athletes, coaches, strategies, contenders and controversies that capture the attention of the world.

Fashion Guide [P]We’re also excited to bring back our popular Fashion Guide with the latest “cool” styles in Nordic, plus our new Celebrity Corner and Retailer Shop profiles, along with our annual 2017/18 North American Buyer’s Guide in a new format this season with more photos featuring Skis, Poles, Boots and Bindings.

Bailey with gold medal [P] Nordic FocusOur new affiliation with US Biathlon is another exciting new partnership as the US team is keen this coming Olympic year following a milestone season that saw Lowell Bailey win historic gold at the 2017 Biathlon Worlds and Susan Dunklee claim silver at the same championships.

Susan Dunklee (USA) [P] Nordic FocusFinally our new “Travel Adventure” section in each issue features resorts, lodges, guides and outfitters offering fabulous winter excursions and adventures this winter – don’t miss it.

As the official magazine of both USSA and Cross Country Canada, SkiTrax Magazine continues to be the most influential Nordic ski magazine, delivering comprehensive coverage of the sport from the U.S.A, Canada and around the globe.

Rossignol Introduces Mountain Bike Collection for Spring 2018


August 18, 2017 (Park City, Utah) – Following the recent acquisitions of TIME Sport and Felt Bicycles, the Rossignol Group will continue its expansion into the cycling market with the introduction of a new Rossignol Bike collection to debut next Spring, 2018. With this new endeavor, Rossignol, one of the most iconic brands in snow sports with over 110 years of history and innovation, will now extend the reach of the brand to deliver AnotherBestDay throughout the calendar year.

[P] courtesy of Rossignol “Rossignol’s consumer franchise is active in the outdoors well beyond the winter months, as are our retail and rental business partners,” said Francois Goulet, President, Rossignol Group North America. “Given our relationships with those partners, a strong understanding of modern year-round resort operations, and recent acquisitions within the Group, we have the unique ability to offer not only a compelling business opportunity – but a product offering worthy of the Rossignol brand. Rossignol has never been just a ‘snow sports brand’, but a ‘mountain brand’,” added Goulet.

[P] courtesy of Rossignol The new North American collection for 2018 is scheduled to include 11 mountain bike models, including five full suspension and six hard tail offerings across DH, Enduro, Trail, and Junior categories with 27.5, 27.5+, 29” wheelsets for adults, and 24 and 20” wheelsets for Juniors. Rossignol e-Bikes, which have seen distribution across Europe over the past three years, will not be made available in North America for the 2018 season.

“Rossignol is committed to elevating the outdoor experience through premium technology and innovation,” said Kurt Hoefler, Rossignol VP Sales and Marketing. “Now with the support, collaboration, and expertise of our friends at Felt, we’re producing a very focused and credible product offering. One that’s not only unique in its construction, geometry, and components, but addresses the meat of the market and is sure to deliver the type of experience consumers expect from the Rossignol brand.”

Investing in the Next Generation of Olympic and Paralympic Athletes – Up to $10 million in Annual Funding


July 21, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – Ensuring that Canadian athletes have the support they need, to continue to push for the podium today and in the future, is an important focus for the Government of Canada.

(l-r) COC Chef de Mission Isabelle Charest, next generation athlete Sarah Mitton, CPC CEO Karen O'Neill, Minister Qualtrough, COC CEO Chris Overholt, next generation athlete Élodie Tessier, CPC Chef de Mission Todd Nicholson [P] Adam Pulicicchio/Canadian Olympic CommitteeToday, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, announced funding for the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Working with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) and their respective foundations, a total of up to $10 million in ongoing, annual funding—$5 million from the Government of Canada, $4 million from the COC and $1 million from the CPC—will support Olympic and Paralympic athletes who have demonstrated medal potential for the subsequent Olympic or Paralympic Games.

[P] Adam Pulicicchio/Canadian Olympic CommitteeThe investment is designed to complement the current investments in the sport system. It will support additional coaches, improve the daily training environments of athletes, and invest in sport science and sport medicine services. As a result, athletes will be better prepared (physically, mentally, technically, tactically) when they reach the level of top international competition.

(l-r) Next generation athlete Sarah Mitton, Minister Qualtrough, next generation athlete Élodie Tessier [P] Adam Pulicicchio/Canadian Olympic CommitteeQuotes:
“As a Paralympian, I know first-hand the impact that our athletes’ accomplishments have in inspiring all Canadians, especially our young people. Today’s announcement is a true reflection of our commitment to investing in our next generation of athletes. I encourage further private sector sponsors to step up and partner with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees to support our athletes and our future Olympic and Paralympic heroes.” — The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

(l-r) COC Chef de Mission Isabelle Charest, next generation athlete Sarah Mitton, CPC CEO Karen O'Neill, Minister Qualtrough, COC CEO Chris Overholt, next generation athlete Élodie Tessier, CPC Chef de Mission Todd Nicholson [P] Adam Pulicicchio/Canadian Olympic Committee“Today marks a significant milestone towards high-performance funding in the Canadian sport system. We must continue to deliver the financial backing required to maintain our reputation as a world leader in sport and to ensure the growing success of our next generation of athletes. Thank you to the federal government and to our many corporate partners, including RBC, for investing in the growth and development of the Canadian Olympic Team.” — Chris Overholt, CEO and Secretary General, Canadian Olympic Committee

“On behalf of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, thank you to Minister Qualtrough and the Government of Canada for this timely investment in the next generation of Canadian athletes with potential to excel on the world stage. The journey to the podium can be a challenging one and this additional support is exactly what is needed to help high-potential athletes who are on the verge of international success. Looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and beyond, it is encouraging to know that tomorrow’s champions are receiving such a vote of confidence today. I look forward to working with our key corporate partners and donors who have given such tremendous support to date, to activate this future new investment as we work towards world-leading performances on the field of play, making all Canadians proud.” — Karen O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Paralympic Committee

Quick Facts:
Through Budget 2015, the Government of Canada committed to providing funding, matched by the private sector, to support Canada’s future Olympians and Paralympians. This investment is designed to develop the next cohort of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic medallists.

The approach is based on three components: the daily training environment (including meaningful competition), quality coaching, and access to sport science and medicine support.

Own the Podium will continue to provide a technical assessment of the national sport organizations’ submissions and make funding recommendations to the national funding partners (Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee).

Canada’s Women National Ski Team in the Running for Champions Fund Grant by Dairy Farmers of Canada!


July 18, 2017 – The Dairy Farmers of Canada announces that Cross Country Canada – Women National Ski Team from Canmore, Alberta is in the running for a Champions Fund grant of $5,000 to help achieve their goals – Give a word of encouragement here – #ChampionHer @WomenChampions.

Canadian Women's National Ski Team [P] Martine Zilligen/CCC



We have a fabulous team of women that are the next generation of Olympians that need our attention now so that they can achieve their dream for the 2022 & 2026 Games. These role model superstars deserve the maximum support to help make this happen & inspire young women that anything is possible!


NSOs depend on government & corporate funding which is a challenge to secure with so many deserving athletes. While our Wmn hold performances that inspire many, it is difficult to secure the dollars needed to get them to that top step on the podium. A sad reality as our podium pathway in xc is long.

[P] Nordic Focus


Create a universal sense of safety and well-being in sport for women, where there is freedom to express yourself, no matter what level or performance. It’s about achieve goals, dreaming that anything is possible thru healthy habits and activity.


Sports means a time to play, to have fun, to let go, for all ages and abilities, for any goal, big and small. It brings people together, a sense of pride in achieving a better you, your inner champion, whatever that means.There is no better way to embrace life, friendship & health. Sport fuels life!

Kikkan Randall Runs for IOC Athletes’ Commission


July 13, 2017 – This week, the IOC Executive Board approved the candidatures of six winter sports athletes for the IOC Athletes’ Commission elections, which will be held next February during the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Two of them – Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen (NOR) and Kikkan Randall (USA) – are FIS athletes, both in cross-country skiing.

Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and Kikkan Randall [P] NordicFocusOther candidates are: Ander Mirambell (ESP) (skeleton); Emma Terho (FIN) (ice hockey); Hong Zhang (CHN) (skating/speed-skating); and Armin Zoeggeler (ITA) (luge).

Two seats on the Commission will become vacant in 2018, with current Chair Angela Ruggiero and member Adam Pengilly finishing their terms of office next February. All athletes participating in the next Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang are eligible to vote. After approval by the IOC Session, the two elected Olympians will become IOC Members for an eight-year term.

Find out more about the candidates here.

First Congress inspection in Marrakech

FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis visited Marrakech (MAR) on 7th July for the first inspection of the venue of the 52nd FIS Congress in 2020 with Heinz Gurtner, Manager of FIS Travel Service which will handle the accommodation and travel for the 800 to 1000 participants.

FIS Press Conference [P] courtesy of FISTogether with members of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Ski and Mountaineering, including President Haj Abdenbi Lerhenane, the group undertook a full tour of the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi and Palais de Congres to view the facilities for the International Ski Congress 2020. Lewis also met with members of the National Ski Association together with the Moroccan National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Sport and Youth to discuss the national association’s activities and ambitious development plans, as well as the general programme and the various organisational aspects for staging the Congress .

”The first FIS Congress in North Africa will be another milestone for our organisation and Marrakech offers an excellent location for this historical event. The facilities at the Palais de Congres will enable a compact organisation serviced by a highly professional team from the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi, with excellent engagement from the Royal Moroccan Federation of Ski and Mountaineering.”

The FIS Council, meeting in the spring of 2017, selected the Moroccan city to host the 52nd FIS Congress in 2020 from among four candidates: Morocco, Brazil, China and Ireland.

Independent Testing Authority

Among numerous decisions made by the IOC Executive Board this week is the creation of an Independent Testing Authority (ITA). The IOC Executive Board approved on principle the ITA business model. The ITA will be an independent non-for-profit Swiss Foundation that will provide doping control services to International Federations and Major Event Organisations to help compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code in an autonomous and harmonised manner. The establishment of the ITA was called for by the Olympic Summit, and endorsed by WADA.

Read more here.

Bickner Leads Team USA with 3rd Place Finish at First Continental Cups of the Summer


July 11, 2017 (Kranj, Slovenia) – Kevin Bickner led the way for team USA this past weekend at the first Continental Cups of the 2017/2018 season in Kranj, Slovenia. Bickner, who is coming off a strong finish to the winter season, posted a career high 3rd place on Saturday in the second of two competitions in as many days.

Kevin Bickner [P] Romina Eggert After jumping to only 15th in the first round, Bickner had the longest jump of the weekend in the second round flying 115 meters on the K100. The huge jump moved Kevin to the top of the leader board for most of the round and, after the last jumper had landed, Kevin was able to hang on to the podium with 238 points.

Poland’s Klemens Muranka took the top spot on Saturday with 253.6 points. Slovenia’s Rok Justin took second with 242.6 points.

Other top North American finishers on Saturday included Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes in 16th with 221.3 points, Will Rhoads in 23rd with 216.6 points, and Michael Glasder in 28th with 211.9 points.

“The weekend went pretty well, there was improvement on the same competition last year,” Bickner told USANS following the competition. “It was my best Continental Cup result…I was able to do what I was working on on the hill.” While happy with his result, Bickner was focused on the future as he always is, “There’s always more stuff to work on; I’ll see if I can improve on this weekend next weekend.”

Friday night proved a little more difficult for the mens team. Competition was extremely tight with every jumper in the top 30 flying at least 100 meters just to qualify for the second round. As he did on Saturday, Klemens Muranka of Poland finished in first place with 284.7 points. Second place was claimed by Miran Zupancic of Slovenia with 282.8 points. And Bor Pavlovcic took third with 281.4 points.

Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes posted the highest North American result in 16th with 264.4 points. Bickner was just behind in 17th with 264.3 points. Michael Glasder was consistent with another 28th place on Friday, finishing with 211.9 points. Casey Larsen, who didn’t compete on Saturday, jumped a respectable 97 meters on Friday, just missing the cut for the second round.

The team will remain in Kranj for a few days of training before heading to Wisla, Poland, for the first summer Grand Prix competitions of the season on the 14th and 15th.

Supercamp Registration is Now OPEN


July 10, 2017 – Hello skiers, registration is now open for Supercamp! We have some very exciting programs planned for this year and some great changes from the last few seasons of Supercamp.

[P]Take some time to look through the Supercamp website to see what’s new!

– Camps that were 2.5 days last year are now 3 days.
– All 3 day camps are for only Skate or only Classic skiing.
– There is a new 7 day camp option.
– Biathlon camp is now over a 3 day weekend camp with one full day option at the Biathlon range.
– Pro Camp is back, revamped and over 5 full days.
– Wild Women’s Camp is new and during camp 5, Dec 4 – 8.
– We are running camps later into December!
– New guest speakers and new presentations!

Just to name a few, more information and detail will be released soon.

If you have questions while looking through, please email info@xcsupercamp.com and one of our team will get back to you as quickly as we can!

Register NOW before camps fill up.
Early bird rates expire September 15th.

Fast and Female Champ Chat p/b Fuelling Women Champions in Canmore, AB


July 08, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – Calling all girls 8-18 years old! Join us for a day of empowerment through sports at the Canmore MTB Nationals! This Champ Chat includes an inspirational chat with our Fast and Female Ambassadors, yoga session, and autographs.

Fast and Female Ambassadors:
Catharine Pendrel – Mountain Biking, 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist
– Grace Dafoe – Skeleton
– Kasia Gw – Rowing
– Mirela Rahneva – Skeleton

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm MST

Canmore Nordic Centre Day Lodge

Girls ages 8-18 years old

– Online registration closes Tuesday July 20th at 11:59pm MST.
– Day of event registration is $35

Registration Includes:
Fast and Female L.L.Bean Technical T-shirt (value $29
– Chocolate Milk2Go provided by Canada’s Dairy Farmers / Fuelling Women Champions
Canada’s Dairy Farmers Water Bottle
– Fast and Female Poster

Champ Chat Schedule:
3:40pm – Check-in / Registration /Icebreakers (20 minutes prior to event)
– 4:00pm – Welcome to Fast and Female / Introduce Ambassadors / Group Photo
– 4:15pm – Inspirational Chat and Q&A with Fast and Female Ambassadors
– Milk Break presented by Canada’s Dairy Farmers / Fuelling Women Champions
– 5:00pm – Yoga
– 5:30pm – Autographs & Photos
– 6:00pm – Event Conclusion4:15pm – Inspirational Chat and Q&A with Fast and Female Ambassadors

Enjoy Other Festivities During MTB Nationals:
2:45pm-3:45pm – Rundle Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC) will be hosting a ride for girls 8-18 years old. Bring your bike gear and enjoy the group ride through the Noridc Centre trails! For more details visit: http://www.rundlemountaincyclingclub.com/
– 6:00pm onward – Watch the Enduro races and enjoy a BBQ at the Canmore Nordic Centre. For more information on the race schedule for MTB Nationals please visit: www.mtbikerace.ca

What to Bring:
A friend with you!
– Water Bottle
– Active Clothing
– Gym Shoes
– Snack
– Yoga Mat (Optional)Active Clothing

Traveling to the Bow Valley for the weekend? View our Canmore Hotel recommendations.

Outdoor Retailer, Largest U.S. Tradeshow for Outdoor Community, Chooses Denver for All Shows Beginning January 2018


July 07, 2017 (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) – Emerald Expositions, LLC (“Emerald Expositions”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Emerald Expositions Events, Inc. (NYSE: EEX), producer of Outdoor Retailer and a leading U.S. business-to-business tradeshow and conference producer, has selected Denver for the site of all Outdoor Retailer tradeshows, including Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show, Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, which will move to November in 2018. It is intended that Grassroots Connect will co-locate in Denver with Outdoor Retailer when an appropriate venue is procured.

“We received submissions from truly incredible outdoor cities – a testament to the strength of the outdoor community,” said Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer show director. “Denver is the undeniable industry choice. Bringing these organizations together and basing the show in a state that places such a high value on outdoor recreation is the best move we can make for the outdoor industry. As outdoor recreation evolves, outdoor businesses need to stand together and adapt to those changes to successfully move forward. We look forward to building a future together and thank Governor Hickenlooper, Luis Benitez, director for the office of Outdoor Recreation, and Mayor Hancock, for their gracious support.”

Outdoor Retailer engaged industry partners throughout the process to help identify the best venue for the show. The decision to move to Denver is strongly supported by the outdoor community that relies on Outdoor Retailer to be the place where the entire industry comes together to conduct business, to share best practices and to exchange ideas. This move and partnerships with Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance showcase the strength of the outdoor industry and a progressive approach to the changing outdoor recreation landscape.

“Outdoor recreation is a huge economic force in the state of Colorado,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association. “It generates $28 billion in consumer spending annually and contributes a whopping 229,000 jobs and two billion dollars in state and local tax revenue. Colorado’s elected officials have shown significant leadership in promoting policies that ensure the outdoor recreation economy continues to thrive. OIA looks forward to having our industry gathering contribute to Denver’s economy and serve as a platform for collaboration that increases outdoor access and participation for all Americans.”

“SIA is thrilled that the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show will remain in Denver,” says Nick Sargent, president of SIA. “In 2010, SIA brought the 50-year-old Snow Show to Colorado. Since then SIA, Denver and the state have worked together to build the best platform for the winter business, thereby laying the foundation for this announcement. Denver has been an outstanding partner to SIA and the winter industry, and we are excited to help grow the economic impact that the Outdoor Retailer shows and the SIA On-Snow Demo bring to the state.”

The relocation to Denver begins in January 2018. The full calendar of shows for 2018 include:

  • SIA Industry + Intelligence Day – January 24, 2018
  • Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show – January 25-28, 2018
  • SIA On-Snow Demo – January 29-30, 2018, Copper Mountain, Colo.
  • Outdoor Retailer Summer Market – July 23-26, 2018
  • Outdoor Retailer Winter Market – November 8-11, 2018

Future dates will be released in the next 30 days.

“Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office could not be prouder that Outdoor Retailer selected Denver as its new home,” said Luis Benitez, director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “The State of Colorado and Outdoor Retailer share the common belief that protecting public lands is not only good for the economy, but also, for the soul. We look forward to becoming the gravitational hub for the thought leadership that represents this important industry that makes an enormous contribution to both Colorado’s and the country’s economy. We’re especially excited to send a heartfelt welcome to all exhibitors and attendees and look forward to serving and promoting the industry for many years to come.”

“Denver is a wonderful choice for hosting a co-located Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Connect,” says Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “These combined events in Denver will deliver the most effective and efficient nine days of our specialty-retail buying cycle. We look forward to continue working closely with Outdoor Retailer and OIA to achieve this and other shared industry goals.”

APU’s Scott Patterson Triumphs at 2017 Mount Marathon Race


July 06, 2017 (Seward, Alaska) – Congratulations to APU Elite team member Scott Patterson on winning the 2017 Mount Marathon race in a time of 44:30. The 25-year-old from Anchorage destroyed the men’s field winning by 52 seconds over Erik Johnson of Seward with Kenneth Brewer of Chugiak in third at 2:23.

Scott Patterson cruising to victory in the 2017 Mt. Marathon [P] courtesy of APUFull race video from Robert Arnold can be seen here:

In the Junior Boy’s race, APU Junior Luke Jager took the win for the 3rd consecutive year in a time of 29:08!  Congratulations to Luke on closing out his Junior Mt. Marathon career with another win!

Luke Jager finishing his Junior Mt. Marathon career with another win! [P] courtesy of APUTop 10 finishes by APU Junior athletes went to Kelemen Legate in 5th and in the Girl’s Junior race Aubrey LeClair finished 8th and Kaylee Heck 9th

Full Junior race recap video by Robert Arnold can be viewed here:

Full race results here.

Congratulations to all the APU athletes and coaches that competed in this year’s Mt. Marathon races!

Support APU Athletes! Donate here.

Happy Fourth of July


July 04, 2017 – Happy Fourth of July… while most Americans are celebrating the anniversary of the their Independance Day with a barbeque gathering featuring franks and beans or other favourites, we thought we’d share some special moments on snow for a little trip down memory lane with some of the Nordic luminaries we’ve come to know and love over the yearsHappy 4th of July [P]. Cheers and Happy Birthday USA.

Inaugural Canada 150 Rollerski Race in Thunder Bay a Success


July 03, 2017 (Thunder Bay, ON) – Despite threatening weather and a little rain, the Canada 150 Rollerski Race went off without a hitch Saturday, July 1, as Thunder Bay hosted the second-ever sanctioned rollerski event in Canada. Intermittent heavy rain gave organizers, athletes and spectators an extra challenge, but the Thunder Bay community rallied around what was considered by all accounts to be a hugely successful race.

Group C Men [P] Anna Buske

The closed streets of the downtown Port Arthur area saw a competitive field of top North American skiers compete in a double header format, with a sprint qualifier and mass start held in front of the Sleeping Giant on the Thunder Bay waterfront.

Elite Women's start [P] [P] Kevin SchlyterThe unsettled weather meant both the athletes and the Canada Day spectators were constantly adjusting to the conditions, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the racers or the spectators for the new event.

Elite Men's sprint preem finish [P] Anna BuskeOrganized by the Lakehead Superior Nordic Association, Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club, Lappe Nordic, and the Thunder Bay National Team Development Centre, the Canada 150 race included a field of top junior and senior athletes from across Canada, who are in the city taking part in a 10-day Cross Country Canada alignment training camp.

Elite Women's podium [P] Anna BuskeThe field also featured American Olympians Brian and Caitlin Gregg, who made the trip up from the Twin City area to join the camp. With great support from the City of Thunder Bay, the Waterfront District BIA and the local business community, the event was a success at bringing the excitement of Nordic skiing to a new downtown audience.

Racers had plenty to work hard for in the sprint qualifier, mass starts and bonus sprint primes, with over $3,000 in cash and prizes making it one of the biggest ever prize pools for a North American rollerski event.

Elite Men's podium [P] Kevin SchlyterHometown favorite Evan Palmer-Charrette (NTDC TBay) and 2015 World Championship medalist Caitlin Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) took the wins in the 1.5km sprint qualifier, with Gregg skiing to a nearly 10-second win on the women’s side. Julian Smith (NTDC Thunder Bay) and Jack Carlyle (Alpine Insurance Alberta World Cup Academy) claimed 2nd and 3rd respectively for the men, with Annika Richardson (NTDC Thunder Bay) and Sadie White (NTDC Thunder Bay) rounding out the women’s qualifier podium.

Palmer-Charrette also took home the big prize money in the Elite Men’s Mass Start, narrowly edging out Brian Gregg (Team Gregg/Madshus) in second and Jack Carlyle in 3rd on the finishing straight. In the Elite Women’s Mass Start race, Caitlin Gregg followed up her dominating qualifier performance, winning the race by more than a minute. Annika Richardson and Katherine Stewart Jones (NTDC TBay) finished in second and third respectively.

Other winners included Larkin Wasmuth in Group A Men (Capital Region Training Group), Thomas Manktelow (AIAWCA) in Group B Men and Aleksi Luoma (Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club) in Group C Men.

For full results see:

Time trial here.
Heats here.

Space Dogs Dachstein Glacier Ski Trip Sept. 28 – Oct. 8


June 25, 2017 – The Space Dogs Ski Club is organizing a Masters ski trip to Dachstein Glacier in late September, and there are still some spots available on the trip. The club’s mission is to provide a great skiing opportunity to master skiers in Calgary, and around the country.

Dachstein Glacier ski trip [P]This trip could be a great way to encourage Canadian master skiers to get more involved in the sport, and maybe consider joining a ski club and entering ski loppets next winter – learn more here.

Canadian Paralympic Double Medallist Erik Carleton Calls it a Career with Para-Nordic Team


June 24, 2017 (Canmore, AB) – After successfully achieving his dream of not only competing for Canada at a Paralympic Winter Games, but guiding Brian McKeever to two gold medals in Sochi, Erik Carleton has decided to call it a career from racing full time on the Para-Nordic circuit.
Brian McKeever and his guide Erik Carleton [P] Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee

The 39-year-old Carleton is ready to spend time with his wife, 97-year-old- Grandma, and his father and mother, who have supported his pursuit of excellence in cross-country skiing since he was a young boy.

“I am very fortunate to have lived the life of an athlete for so long, but it was too good to last,” said Carleton. “I’m proud of staying involved at a high level, and that I always strived for improvement, while helping Brian achieve his performance goals.”

A former National Junior Team athlete, Carleton united with his childhood friend McKeever in 2011 when Robin McKeever transitioned from guide to head coach of Canada’s Para-Nordic squad. The newly formed duo had immediate success, dominating IPC World Championship and World Cup races around the globe.

Brian McKeever and guide Erik Carleton [P] CCCSkiing into the 2014 Games with 10 medals under McKeever’s belt, Carleton helped the Paralympic legend add two more gold medals to his resume in middle and long distance racing.

“Standing on the Paralympic podium with Brian was a moment I will cherish forever. It validated years of work and clean sport, and made me think of everyone who supported me to get there,” added Carleton, who formed a one-two guiding punch with Graham Nishikawa for McKeever in Sochi. “I am very grateful to Nish (Graham Nishikawa) for jumping in on race day. Our performances in Sochi were a complete team effort. I am so thankful for our coach, Robin McKeever, and all of the wax techs. And my parents deserve a special mention for supporting me over the years.”

In his six years guiding McKeever, the dynamic duo racked up two Paralympic gold medals, three IPC World Championship titles, and finished first overall on the 2013 IPC World Cup where they won five races.

“Erik’s been my guide and teammate since 2011, but our friendship goes much farther back. We’ve been competitor throughout our racing lives which forges a ton of respect for each other,” said Brian McKeever. “His competitiveness and desire to improve is inspiring, and made me a better athlete. My weaknesses were tempered by Erik’s strengths, which made us a great team.

“I never saw Erik give anything less than his best, and that is an inspiring trait. I will always be grateful for Erik’s sacrifices to our program, his patience, and I’m thankful he was able to accept my stubborn approach to training and racing. I will miss his enthusiasm and excitement, but I know he’ll still be involved in skiing and we will always be friends and training partners with a shared love of the sport.”

While Carleton won’t be travelling the world on a mission for gold, he will still hit the start line for a race or two in Canada.

“Skiing is a lifelong sport and I will keep racing where I can – without training as much,” said Carleton, who is a database developer at SCAinteractive. “I’m looking forward to doing more non-specific activities that I enjoy including canoeing, hiking, camping and fishing. There are so many places to explore close to home. My community has given me so much that I look forward to doing some volunteer work to give back.”

Graham Nishikawa will help guide McKeever in his continued mission for gold medals at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea.

USA Nordic Sport Names Men’s Teams for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined


USA Nordic Logo-300x200June 23, 2017 Park City, UT – As the summer training season begins and athletes all over the world lay the groundwork for the upcoming Olympic season, USA Nordic has officially named their Men’s teams for the 2017/2018 season.

Kevin Bickner will lead the Men’s Ski Jumping team as the only athlete to qualify for the A Team. Bickner had his best season last year, setting the new US distance record at 244.5 meters, and recording multiple top 20 World Cup finishes. A man of few words, who prefers to focus on his training rather than focus too far into the future, Bickner said that he’s “excited for the upcoming season.”

As for Nordic Combined, the team will once again be led by team stalwarts and brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher. The Fletchers, who have both represented the US in multiple Olympics past, will lead a strong team of younger skiers as the Nordic Combined team looks to recapture the strength and form that they showed in Vancouver in 2010.

The complete teams are as follows:

Ski Jumping

A Team:
– Kevin Bickner
B Team:
– Casey Larson
– Michael Glasder
– William Rhoads
C Team:
– AJ Brown
– Nicholas Mattoon

Nordic Combined

A Team:
– Bryan Fletcher
– Taylor Fletcher
B Team:
– Adam Loomis
– Ben Berend
– Ben Loomis
– Jasper Good
– Stephen Schumann
C Team:
– Grant Andrews

When asked how he felt about the team going into PyeongChang, Team Director Clint Jones said he was also excited about the momentum from last season: “We’ve got a good, young team. They had a few strong results toward the end of the season last year and we’re looking to build on those going into an Olympic year.”

For more information, contact info@usanordic.org.

Developing Cross-Country Skiing in Iceland


June 22, 2017 (Iceland) – Under the banner of the FIS Solidarity programme, the Icelandic Ski Association hosted a successful summer training camp for cross-country skiers from 8th-11th June 2017. The initiative aimed at bringing athletes aged 12 years and older together for a fun and effective training camp on roller skis.

Training on roller skis in Iceland's beautiful surroundings [P] Icelandic Ski Association

25 girls and boys from all over the country participated in the camp which included the presence of the national cross-country team and offered the talented youngsters the opportunity to train alongside the country’s best athletes. The training sessions were organised by the national team coach and club coaches from all over Iceland had the opportunity to work with him and learn new training methods.

The training sessions took place in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, and at Bláfjöll, the local ski area.

Enjoy this recap video!

Toyota Expands Partnership With U.S. Ski & Snowboard Teams


June 21, 2017 (ParkCity, Utah) – U.S. Ski & Snowboard has named Toyota as the official automotive and mobility partner of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Teams, bringing the world’s top automaker together with America’s best winter athletes to achieve success at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games and beyond.

Toyota’s partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard began last season as it stepped in as the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix, one of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s premiere event properties and the official Olympic qualification series for snowboarding and freeskiing. With the expanded partnership, Toyota will now have a presence across multiple U.S. Ski & Snowboard events, including the U.S. Alpine Championships and domestic World Cups across all sports. The company will also receive logo exposure on alpine, freestyle and cross country athlete uniforms.

Toyota is entering its second year as the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix [P] USSA“With a record number of digital impressions and TV viewers last season, U.S. Ski & Snowboard events continue to bring incredible value to our partners and are key in the promotion of our athlete and sports,” said Tiger Shaw, U.S. Ski & Snowboard president and CEO. “Through its expanded partnership, Toyota is demonstrating confidence in its ownership of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and a dedication to supporting all of our national teams. We are looking forward to continuing to add value to this relationship.”

Commitment to advanced mobility, innovation and a passion for the outdoors aligns Toyota with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s organizational vision, and both parties are working together to grow the visibility of winter action sports. In the lead-up to the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Toyota will also support some of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s top athletes, including U.S. Snowboard Team’s Chloe Kim and Hailey Langland, and U.S. Freeski Team’s Torin Yater-Wallace and Gus Kenworthy.

U.S. Snowboard Team athletes (l-r) Julia Marino, Jamie Anderson and Hailey Langland celebrate a USA sweep at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain [P] USSA“Toyota’s first year as a partner of U.S. Ski & Snowboard was invaluable to us as a brand making its initial foray into the Olympic movement,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president, marketing, Toyota. “Adding the U.S. Ski Team to the mix for this season, especially heading into the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, is very exciting.”

The 2017-18 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix schedule will be announced this week at U.S. Ski & Snowboard Partner Summit.

Job Opportunity – Part-time Cross Country Ski Head Coach @ Calgary Ski Club


June 14, 2017 – The Calgary Ski Club (CSC) is seeking a Part-Time Cross Country Ski Head Coach to support and develop CSC’s cross-country ski lessons program, focusing on recreation, dryland fitness, and programs for all members.

This position is focused on the following objectives:

  • improving the skiing abilities of the CSC members including students in our lesson programs
  • recruiting and developing Coaches and Assistant Coaches
  • advising on safety training practices for the recreational programs

See full job description
Please email your cover letter and resume to xc@calgaryskiclub.org by 12:00 PM (noon), Friday, July 14, 2017.

Tom Smith Named Head Nordic Ski Coach at Michigan Tech


June 13, 2017 (Houghton, Mich.) – Tom Smith has been named the head coach of the Michigan Tech men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams athletic director Dr. Suzanne Sanregret announced today. Smith brings 14 years of coaching and competition experience that will enable him to continue to build what is already a nationally competitive program.

[P] Michigan Tech“We are excited that Tom is joining our staff and excited for him to continue to build what is an already strong Nordic Ski program,” Sanregret said. “He brings a wealth of experience with him to Michigan Tech as both a coach and student-athlete at the collegiate level. He understands our mission at Tech and is committed to developing our student-athletes both athletically and academically.”

“I am incredibly thankful to Michigan Tech for this opportunity to lead the Nordic ski team,” Smith said. “Every aspect of this coaching opportunity spoke to me. I want to foster a strong team dynamic and love for the sport that I believe will bring academic and athletic success for the student-athletes and continue to draw the brightest and best skiers to our team. I want to develop a lasting relationship between the program and the university community as whole in order to increase the visibility and engagement with the team throughout the Copper Country. It will help ensure the vitality of our program as a competitive, community, and cultural staple of Michigan Tech.”

Smith, a native of Bend, Oregon, comes to Houghton after serving as the Head Coach of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation in Ketchum, Idaho. Sun Valley provides year-round training and competitive opportunities for youth. Smith provided professional programming and support for competitive development, allowing his skiers to gain positions on collegiate ski teams, national development teams, elite teams, and national teams. Smith guided Sun Valley to a fourth place overall finish in the club standings.

“I believe we offer an incredibly valuable opportunity for the student-athletes and the entire community that encompasses the university,” Smith added. “Tech has unparalleled Nordic training facilities along with an integrated network of resources and support throughout the entire athletic department and university. It’s a well-rounded team of student-athletes that value a top-notch education as well as athletic opportunities that being part of the Nordic ski team provides. There is an extensive community of support for the program within the university, the local and regional community, and throughout the network of alumni that branches out domestically and globally.”

Throughout his coaching career, Smith has coached an NCAA National Champion, numerous NCAA All-Americans, a Paralympian, and multiple Junior All-Americans. His team’s have won junior titles and competed in World Junior and U23 World Championships. His skiers have also earned collegiate Nordic skiing scholarships at universities across the country. Smith owns USSA Level 100 and 200 Coaches Certification.

In addition to coaching at Sun Valley, Smith has served as the Head Domestic National Team Coach for Australia, the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club, Victorian Junior Cross-Country Ski Team, and the program instructor for the Australian Primary and Secondary Schools. He was also a student assistant coach with the University of Utah when the Utehs finished second at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Smith was an outstanding student-athlete at the University of Utah where he helped guide the Utehs to a pair of second-place NCAA Championship finishes in both 2011 and 2012. Smith began his collegiate career as a walk-on but eventually earned a scholarship after scoring in two straight NCAA Championships. Smith was named a Pac 12/Mountain West Scholar-Athlete all four years as a student-athlete.

Smith was a Gold Medalist in the freestyle sprint at the U.S. Junior Nationals in 2007 as well as being a six-time Junior All-American. He was also a prolific skier in high school, claiming the Oregon High School Nordic State Champion title three times. Smith comes from a skiing family with his brother, sister, and cousins all racing at the collegiate level.

Smith graduated from Utah in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental and sustainability Studies and also a bachelor’s degree in international studies. He will also serve as an assistant coach for the cross country program. Smith’s partner Kristen Monahan, a Michigan Tech alumna and former nordic skiing/cross country student-athlete, will serve as an assistant coach.

“Kristin is a great addition to our Nordic and Cross Country programs as an assistant coach,” Sanregret added. “As a former student-athlete at Michigan Tech, she understands the demands on our student-athletes both athletically and academically and brings extensive experience to support them. We are fortunate to be able to provide a female role model who has excelled in her experiences at Michigan Tech and in her professional career since graduating.”

Smith replaces, Joe Haggenmiller who coached the Huskies for 14 seasons. The Huskies sent five skiers to the NCAA Championships in 2017 and four in 2016.

Jake Isaacson will now lead the cross country program as head coach in addition to his role as the head coach of the Michigan Tech track and field programs.

Lahti 2017 Makes Considerable Impact


Lahti Logo.4 2017-02-11 at 1.19.24 PMJune 10, 2017 – An impact study conducted by Sportcal, an experienced provider of sports market intelligence, reported that the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2017 in Lahti (FIN) achieved nearly all of its targets.

Ninety-six percent of visitors were satisfied with their experience and the direct economic impacts of the event exceeded EUR 25 million. The World Championships enabled both the Lahti region and Nordic ski sports to reach a large number of new people.

This is the first time an impact study of this calibre was conducted in Finland and it served as a pilot project for future events organised in the country. The study was conducted in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the City of Lahti, Lahti Region and the Finnish Olympic Committee.

According to the analysis, even on an international scale, Lahti 2017 is one of the best examples of a truly holistic event that delivered a whole range of impacts for Lahti and Finland.

“When evaluating events, it is equally important – perhaps even more important – to also look at all impacts other than just direct economic impacts. The highlights for Lahti 2017 include, among other things, high media reach figures, a high-quality volunteer programme, sustainability work, successful partnerships and social impacts,” said Sportcal’s CEO Mike Laflin.

The study by Sportcal indicates that 96% of visitors were satisfied with the experience.

“We made a conscious decision to change the operating culture and the event. Competition for the free time of consumers is becoming increasingly fierce and the number of visitors to sports events has been declining for a long time. We invested in knowing the customers and tailored the event experience on the basis of studies. We also created new kinds of cooperation models with several different stakeholders. We believe that there is no returning to the past,” commented Lahti 2017 Secretary General Janne Leskinen.

270,000 visitors attend events at the stadium and the market square

A total of 180,000 tickets were sold for the World Championships, with the total number of visitors reaching 220,000. In addition, approximately 50,000 people attended the free-entry opening and award ceremonies in Lahti’s market square.

The direct economic impact of the event exceeded EUR 25 million. Sixty percent of visitors were from outside the region (approximately one fifth from abroad).

Towards more sustainable events

The World Championships had nearly 50 international and national partners who participated in creating the event experience together with the Championships organisation. Sustainability themes played a key role in the cooperation with different partners and stakeholders, including presenting sponsor StoraEnso.

The study by Sportcal underlines the significant role of increasing the awareness of ski sports and the event among new generations. For the schools of Lahti, the World Championships was the first learning opportunity with a special emphasis on a multi-disciplinary approach, and the opening event was attended by approximately 15,000 students. Cooperation with educational institutions provided students with study and traineeship opportunities related to the World Championships. Roughly 900 students worked as volunteers at the World Championships.

Inaugural Mount-Royal Challenge in Montreal a Success


June 05, 2017 (Montreal, Que.) – It was a beautiful sunny Sunday on June 4 that greeted 48 athletes, their coaches and some parents from four clubs near Montreal, Que. to the first edition of the Mount-Royal Challenge. This new event consisted of three different tests that would challenge the athletes in measuring their ski specific skills on Montreal’s unique Mount-Royal climb.

[P] Michele CarriereThe rollerski tests were done using CCC’s standard rollerski fleet to initiate a test result database that will allow athletes to measure their progression on a periodic basis and also to compare athletes between themselves and against benchmarks.

First the athletes had to climb up the mountain on Camilien-Houde way in skating technique over 1.7km at a 9% average grade (see course).

Video of National Junior Team Nicolas Beaulieu (Orford ski club) leading the way with Étienne Hébert (Montériski ski club), also a National Junior Team member, chasing down Nicolas. Nicolas was able to hold off Étienne in the end with a 9sec victory margin.

[P] Michele CarriereThe second test would more specifically test the athletes’ cardio-vascular capacity with an uphill running test over 1.5km through some of Mount-Royal’s numerous trails offering a combination of gradual terrain, sections of stairs and steep pitches (see course).

Finally, athletes finished the day with an uphill double poling test using CCC rollerski test skis again over the last 1km (and steeper part…) of Camilien-Houde way (see course).

[P] Michele CarriereBy the end of it all, athletes were exhausted but satisfied, proud and excited to have new goals to motivate themselves for the rest of the dryland training season.

Mount-Royal Challenge results (June 4th 2017)

Photo album (thanks to Michèle Carrière)

The next group to tackle the Mount-Royal Challenge will be the Pierre Harvey Training Centre athletes on June 26th.

If you expect to be in the Montreal area in the coming weeks or months with a team and would like to get tested and compare yourself to other athletes in the database, contact Stéphane Barrette, CCC CAD Director (sbarrette@cccski.com) to make arrangements.

Stéphane Barrette
CCC CAD Director