OpinionProduct NewsHistorical Statistics: Top North American Male World Cup Skiers

FasterSkier FasterSkierNovember 17, 2005

Most nations have an all-time best list of their retired cross country skiers. In Sweden and Norway they call them skikings. Here is the first attempt to create a North American top-ten of all times list based upon top-20 World Cup results. We are starting with men.

Rule #1: Active skiers will be eligible for the list when they retire.

It’s hard to find complete statistics, so bear with us and help correct errors since we might have overlooked skiers from both the last three decades and very likely from the decades before that. It was also harder to find Canadian statistics (help needed). Also note that the World Cup started in the seventies and it’s hard to (but not impossible) to judge skiers from the “Pre-World Cup period”.

Give us names and top-20 results from the big “old” races and we will make adjustments if we agree. Nominate names based upon results not emotions. A special thanks to World renowned sports writer Paul Robbins, USA for helping with statistics.

The final list: We’ll ask a group of past and current coaches to be involved in the selection and the order of the final top ten later this season.

Draft only (we are trying to find more Canadian candidates):

1. Bill “Kochie” Koch
'76 Olympic 30K silver, '82 Overall World Cup title, five World Cup wins (4 in '82, 1 in '83 at pre-Olympics), '82 Worlds 30K bronze, 16 top 10 World Cup races (9, 3, 8, 4, 1, 2, 4, 1, 4, 1, 3, 3, 1, 1, 6, 2), 8 individual U.S. titles, 4-time Olympians ('92 U.S. flag bearer). Revolutionized skating on the World Cup

2. Pierre Harvey, Canada — 32 top 20 World Cup results (!) including 3 victories, one third and 14 top ten World Cup results.(1,1,14,3,1,7,14,4,4,6,10,4,4,15,15,17,11,7,8,18,20,18,20,14,6,15,20,15,10,16,6,16).

3. Jim Galanes – 13 top 20 World Cup results (15, 5, 18, 10, 9, 18, 8, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 12)Best World Cup result 5th in Murmansk (SOV) 1984 15k) – 3-time Olympian ('76 '80, '84), 3 Worlds teams, 5 U.S. titles (2 cross country, 3 Nordic combined)

4. Tim Caldwell – 9 top 20 World Cup results (20, 2, 14, 19, 19, 14, 7, 12, 15), Best World Cup result 2nd in Anchorage in 1983 (Gunde Svan’s first win), 4-time Olympian, 3 Worlds teams, 7 individual U.S. titles,

5. Dan Simoneau — 9 TOP 20 World Cup results, (15, 18, 17, 14, 11, 9, 2, 11, 15) best World Cup result: 2nd in Falun in '82 30K (7th overall that inaugural World Cup season, two top-10s)
3-time Olympian, 3 Worlds teams, 2 U.S. titles,

6. Audun “Duner” Endestad – 9 top 20 World Cup results (11, 14, 13, 15, 11, 20, 13, 15, 18) Best World Cup result: 11th in Cogne, Italy in 1984 and 11th in Canmore in 1989, 50K Classic. – 1984 Olympian, 5 Worlds teams, 13 U.S. titles. A number of top 6 World Loppet results.

7. Justin Wadsworth – 3 top 20 World Cup results (16, 11, 8), 3-time Olympian, 6 Worlds teams, 4 U.S. titles, best World Cup result: 8th at Soldier Hollow in '01 30K freestyle. Also 8 place in World Cup sprint relay in 00.

8. John Bauer – 3-time Olympian, 5 Worlds teams, 11 U.S. titles, best result: 12th in '02 Olympic 15K Classic.

The “Need More Information” category (we are currently trying to find results from big races like Holmenkollen, Falun and such for this group:
Mike Gallagher – 3-time Olympian, 4 Worlds teams, 9 individual U.S. titles (pre-World Cup days)
Bob Gray – 2-time Olympian, 4 Worlds teams, 3 U.S. titles (pre-World Cup)

Other top ten candidates:
Ben Husaby – 2-time Olympian, 2 Worlds teams, 3 U.S. titles
Marcus Nash – 2-time Olympian, 5 Worlds teams, 9 U.S. titles
Todd Boonstra – 3-time Olympian, 5 Worlds teams, 5 U.S. titles

Top active skiers
Kris Freeman – 7 top-20 World Cup/Worlds including (15, 5, 6, 20, 17, 4, 19), Top result 4th in '03 Worlds 15K classic.'03 U-23 30K classic champion, 2002 Olympian, 2 Worlds teams,

Carl Swenson — 8 top 20 World Cup results (13, 11, 13, 5, 11, 14, 11, 18), Top result 5th in '03 Worlds 50K freestyle, 2-time Olympian, 4 Worlds teams, 11 U.S. titles.

If you have information or suggestions to add to this discussion, add your comments below. You are welcome to make a case for the athletes that you believe should be listed, but please do not negatively attack other candidates or users. Lets keep it civil.

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