Race/PerformanceCross Country Skier Magazine

Cross Country Skier is the Journal of Nordic Skiing. Published during the height of the ski season with November/December and January/February issues, each includes feature articles, destinations, helpful information and perspectives from a variety of columnists, training and technique tips, ski club, personality, and event features; and high performance and racing for the more competitive members of our audience.

Online Journal

Nordic Nation

Compiled and Edited by Allison Slavick

If you plan for a more adventurous way to strap on your cross-country skis this winter, the Canmore Ski Fest 2014 should appeal to the sport’s more hard-core participants. To be hosted in Canmore, Alberta, on April 5 and 6, the competition, in its fourth year, offers to race for  6-, 12- or 24-hours. Solo skiers and teams of two or four will ski on a three-kilometer loop through the Canmore Nordic Centre to see how far they can ski in this 6-,12- or 24-hours period. There’s even a world record up for grab if 24 hours solo female competitors can ski more than 333 km within 24 hours, while solo male racers should overcome 433km. For more information, go to canmoreskifest.com or email canmoreskifest@gmail.com.

Jessica Jerome of Park City, Utah, jumped into the top five on March 22, taking advantage of the second large hill competition of the year and making a statement at the final World Cup of the 2014 season. Jerome soared to 117 and 124 meters, scoring 232 points behind the day’s winner and World Cup champion Sara Takanashi of Japan. Jerome finished the season 10th in the season-long World Cup standings, her third consecutive season ranked in the top 10 in the world.

David Carter, 65, of Bethel, Maine passed away peacefully on March 2, 2014 from cancer with his wife and family by his side. David and his wife, Anne have owned and operated Carter’s Cross Country Ski Center in Oxford and Bethel as well as Carter's Farm in Oxford for over 35 years. Among his greatest accolades was his recent induction into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame. Cross country skiing was Dave’s true passion. He was dedicated to getting as many people on skis as possible, and believed wholeheartedly it could change the world. He will be remembered for his charming smile and mischievous twinkle in his eyes.< ... ... read entire story here...

Paralympics Update

Canada's Brian McKeever, with guide Erik Carleton, raced to his third Paralympic title at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on Sunday, March 16, winning the men's 10km visually impaired cross-country skiing event in a time of 23:18.1.

Russia's Stanislav Chokhlaev (23:25.1) and France's Thomas Clarion (24:14.9) finished second and third behind McKeever, who claimed his 10th-career Paralympic gold in Nordic skiing.

McKeever, who became the first Winter Paralympian from Canada to win 10 career golds, has yet to make up his mind about whether he will retire before the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

"We're going to leave the door open," McKeever said. "We're getting a little long in the tooth, but now is not the time to make those decisions. We're still having fun, we've never been to Korea, so we'll take it one day at a time."

For the first time at Sochi 2014, Russia's Roman Petushkov failed to medal, finishing fourth in the men's 10km sitting competition in 31:22.5 after already winning six golds at the Games.

The race was won by Canada's Chris Klebl in 30:52.0, with Ukraine's Maksym Yarovyi (31:06.5) taking silver and Russia's Grigory Murygin(31:18.2) claiming bronze.

Dual-sport athletes Andrea Eskau of Germany and Oksana Masters of the USA both won medals in the women's 5km sitting race, with Eskau (16:08.6) taking gold and Masters (17:04.8) leaving with the bronze.

Anna Milenina of Russia picked up her second gold of the Games, winning the women's 5km sta ... ... read entire story here...

Growing the Sport Norway-Style

Heidi Hill

My daughter considered being Kikkan Randall for Halloween. The dilemma was that people wouldn’t know who she was. So she went as Red Sox baseball player Dustin Pedroia instead. The team had won the World Series the night before so her costume was well received.

In Norway, the country’s top skiers are household names. Sports celebrities. Being the country of origin for cross country skiing helps drive the sport’s popularity. But U.S. Cross Country Ski Team members are attracting attention with best-ever performances. What does it take to move the sport into mainstream visibility and grow its numbers, starting with our youngest skiers?

I spoke to Inge Scheve, a Norwegian-born skier, who moved to the United States to attend the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Scheve now divides her time between Seattle and Norway, the latter for the winter months, naturally. She is the editor of SkiAktiv.no, Norway’s online Nordic skiing news organization, and a perfect candidate for offering a perspective on how the U.S. might model Norway in growing the sport.

Play on Skis

Scheve grew up in Norway’s Rendalen Valley and started skiing as soon as she could walk; she says this is what all kids do in Norway. It’s a natural progression. Kids learn to walk and you give them a pair of skis.

Like her fellow classmates, Scheve took her skis to preschool. She attended a nature-based school, where she was outside all the time and on skis a lot. While she may have gotten more outdoor time than kids at other schools, she explains that, “Almost all preschool and kindergartens have ski classes,” adding that, &ldq ... ... read entire story here...

2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships to be held in Wisconsin

IPC Nordic Skiing has announced that the 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships will be held in Cable, Wisconsin, starting next January and will attract 180 athletes from 20 countries.

At a press conference on Thursday, March 13 during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, representatives of the Local Organizing Committee and IPC Nordic Skiing spoke of their desire for the competition to be the biggest and best world championships yet.

In addition, Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Here in Sochi we have seen some amazing performances by skiers in their quest for Paralympic medals.

“Cable 2015 will be the first major gathering of the world’s best skiers since the Paralympic Winter Games and I am confident that organizers can stage the best World Championships yet by providing the perfect conditions for athletes to inspire and excite the world.”

The competition will feature both cross-country and biathlon races and will take place from 24 January - 1 February. It is being organized locally by the Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC).

Yuriy Gusev, Executive Director for CXC will serve as the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee: “It is a privilege for our organization to host such an event and we are looking forward to welcoming the world, the athletes, coaches and officials to Wisconsin. We had the great honor of hosting two IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup events in 2012 and 2013, and we will do our absolute best to deliver the highest quality event in 2015 and to welcome the world’s best here.”

The venue for the world championships w ... ... read entire story here...

Maine Winter Sports Center Announces Major Gift

A little over three weeks ago the Maine Winter Sports Center announced a reorganization that would require it to secure a new source of funding for its programs beyond April 30, 2014. Since that time the Center has been working to secure that new funding and committed to ensuring the programs continue.

“The Libra Foundation has been a remarkable partner for 15 years,” said Andy Shepard, President and CEO of the MWSC. “The legacy of that support can be seen in the world-class venues that continue to bring the world to Maine and in the world-class programs that are impacting thousands of kids and their families across the state. The time has come for Libra to focus on other initiatives around the state and for the MWSC to define a new funding model for our programming. Mary’s remarkable gift is a major step in that direction.” 

Mary Smith is a Presque Isle native, now living in California and has made other significant gifts within the Presque Isle area over the years, including the soon-to-be-completed construction of Northern Maine Community College’s Rodney Smith Wellness Center. The Center is named in honor of Smith’s late husband, a pioneer in the semiconductor industry.  

“Mary has offered a $100,000 gift and an additional $400,000 matching grant,” said Shepard. “The steps are now in place to secure operations for next year. While this is a critical first step, it is just that – a first step. Mary is hoping this gift will encourage the entire state of Maine to embrace the importance of what we do and to understand that our future success will depend on a lot of helping hands. We will need to secure the matching gifts in the next two months to get th ... ... read entire story here...

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