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

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.

World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall skied into 13th Sunday, March 16,  in the 10k freestyle pursuit, closing the three-day Falun mini-tour and putting a stamp on another successful World Cup season. In addition to her third-straight World Cup sprint title, Randall finished sixth in the overall standings behind overall champion Therese Johaug of Norway, who also won Sunday’s pursuit. Noah Hoffman ... ... read entire story here...

Craftsbury to Hire Biathlon Coach

Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury Common, Vermonts is seeking to hire a Biathlon Coach to start in the late Spring/early Summer of 2014. This is a full-time position; the coach will also be expected to participate in other projects and activities at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center as time permits. Compensation includes most meals, and a place to live. 

Coaching responsibilities would include the following athlete groups:
o    Green Racing Project: developing senior athletes
o    Juniors: both introductory and experienced (aiming for Jr National Team)
o    Youth: development programming
o    Any possible collaboration with USBA on Development Programming or supporting visiting National Team biathletes

Oversee all biathlon programming at Craftsbury, including:
o    Above-mentioned training
o    Range maintenance (working with athletes)
o    Equipment inventory and care (with athletes)
o    Develop a regular schedule of races or time trials
o    Camps for all ages (weekend, or weeklong)

Coach would travel with athletes to appropriate racing opportunities to provide support, waxing, etc.

o    Previous biathlon coaching experience.
o    Prior experience as a competitive biathlete
o    Ability and desire to work well with all age groups and all levels of experience.
o    Strong communication skills

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; the interview process will likely begin by May 1. To apply, please send resume and cov ... ... read entire story here...

Maine Winter Sports Center Ready for May 1 Relauch

Since announcing in February that it was losing its funding, the Maine Winter Sports Center in Caribous has been actively engaged in preparing for a re-launch on May 1st, with a new funding model and new board. Those efforts include a $1.1 million fundraising campaign that is scheduled to end on April 30th.

"We still have a lot of work to do on the fundraising campaign in the next few weeks," said Andy Shepard, President of the Maine Winter Sports Center. "We have a total of $800,000 in funding at this point, but we're still short of the $1.1 million it will take to run our programs for the full year. We have 2 weeks to go in our campaign, so if there are people out there who would like to help ensure the MWSC continues to make a difference in Maine, now is the time to do so."

The MWSC announced in February that a Presque Isle native, Mary Barton Smith, was offering to match up to $400,000 in donations by April 30th. The MWSC has raised a little over $200,000 so far toward that matching gift. Add that to a $100,000 outright gift from Mrs. Smith, her matching our $200,000, and $300,000 in long-term sponsorship revenue, and the center is current at $800,000 in secured funding.

 As the MWSC approaches May 1st it will also have a new operating board of directors. "I'm proud and humbled by the quality ... ... 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...

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