(January 2) — The National Nordic Foundation (NNF) announced today the Board of Directors’ approval of $106,000 in funding allocations for cross-country sport development, education, and competitions for the 2016-2017 ski season. Five “Pillar Projects” have been identified by the Board for funding:
U18 Nordic Junior Countries Competition: $20,000
This year’s U18 trip will take athletes, ages 15-17, to Orkdal, Norway, from January 22-February 1. A joint project between the NNF and U.S. Ski Team, the trip will be led by Loppet Nordic Racing Development Director, Chris Harvey. Harvey is joined on the coaching staff by University of Alaska Anchorage Head Nordic Coach, Andrew Kastning and Jason Hettenbaugh of Rochester Nordic Racing.
New for 2017, Bruce Adelsman of skinnyski.com, will be on hand to provide a firsthand account and photos of the trip and will act as an additional chaperone.
U23/World Junior Skiing Championship athlete support: $25,000
This year’s U23/World Junior Skiing Championships will take place on American soil, for the first time in more than three decades; with events held in both Midway and Park City, Utah. The NNF is proud to provide funding that will help to lower the expenses of each athlete in the U.S. contingent, partially covering costs of coaching, infrastructure, wax, lodging and more.
The Championships begin January 30 and runs through February 5. More information about the event can be found at utah2017.com.
Support for Unfunded U.S. Ski Team members on the World Cup: $24,000
B Team athletes on the U.S. Ski Team are able to take advantage of the coaching and race support infrastructure put in place by the U.S. Ski Team; however, these skiers need to cover many additional expenses, including travel and lodging.
The NNF works in partnership to compliment the investment, resources and efforts of the U.S. Ski Team and its coaching staff by helping to offset the costs incurred by B Team members as they strive to improve their race results at the World Cup level and seek a fully-supported A Team position.
Support for Unfunded, Non-U.S. Ski Team Athletes at World Championships in Lahti, Finland: $12,000
To support competition experience at the highest level, any athlete who is selected to represent the United States at World Championships, and is not a U.S. Ski Team A or B Team member, is automatically qualified for NNF funding. For these athletes, competing at World Championships will involve covering many of their own trip expenses. NNF financial support is in place to lower barrier of entry to compete.
Perhaps most notably, in 2015, Caitlin Gregg was not planning on attending World Championships for financial reasons, though she had been named to the team. Upon receiving support from this Pillar Project, she made the trip and went on to win a World Championships Bronze Medal.
Much like the support in place for B Team athletes on the World Cup, the funding from this Pillar Project is designed to complement the resources that the U.S. Ski Team provides such as coaching and race support infrastructure.
Live-streaming coverage and educational video content at U23/World Junior Championships: $25,000
The NNF is teaming up with XcountryLIVE to provide live streaming of all competitions during the U23/World Junior Ski Championships in Midway and Park City, Utah. In addition to event coverage, an educational video series will be produced, taking advantage of having access to some of the top coaches and young racers in the world.
All competitions and educational content will be archived and available on the National Nordic Foundation’s website, www.nnf.ski, for viewing at any time after the event, free of charge.