On Friday, USSA announced the names of those athletes who will be officially supported by the US Ski Team during the upcoming season. Insufficient funding has forced an already-small team to become even smaller. USSA hopes this will at least allow for very focused cross country program going into an olympic year.
Source: US Ski Team
Friday, May 13, 2005
2006 Team Focused on Success
PARK CITY, Utah (May 13) – Five athletes, four of them Olympians and all five on the 2005 World Nordic Ski Championships Team, will form the 2006 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said the five included: Kris Freeman (24; Andover, NH; 2002 Olympics), Andrew Johnson (27; Greensboro, VT; 2002 Olympics), Torin Koos (24; Leavenworth, WA; 2002 Olympics), Andy Newell (21; Shaftsbury, VT) and Carl Swenson (35; Park City, UT; 1994, 2002 Olympics).
â€œThis elite group is 100-percent focused on achieving international success this season,â€ said Bodensteiner. â€œOur staff has total focus on this squad as well. In addition, we have an very strong group of young men and women who are poised to move into the World Cup arena, and we are expanding our development system to help them achieve their potential.â€
Freeman, who was hobbled by sickness last season, was fourth in the 15K classic race at the 2003 World Championships — the best U.S. result at Worlds since 1982 — and had the best World Cup results in more than two decades with fifth- and sixth-place finishes during the 2004 season. Newell turned-in the best-ever U.S. sprint result last season, finishing 12th at the World Championships.
â€œThe men were fifth in the relay at the 2002 Olympics and these athletes have shown they have the ability to challenge for the podium in a variety of competitions in Torino next February,â€ Bodensteiner said. â€œKris and Carl had to fight a lot of illness last winter, but Andrew wasn’t immune to problems either. Andy’s got the speed to contend and he’s making a name for himself, and Torin’s got some outstanding speed which will start to pay off this year. Their progress shows that the whole team continues to get stronger.â€
Bodensteiner said early season World Cup races in Canada will be an advantage for the U.S. squad because it will mean less travel in November and December, â€œwhich will be key to staying healthy and to bringing the team to a peak at the Olympics.â€