In the past year, a number of North American skiers posted unprecedented results in cross-country skiing. A gold medal for Chandra Crawford. Four World Cup victories, nine podiums and overall World Cup second place for Beckie Scott. Silver medals for Scott and teammate Sara Renner. US Olympic and World Cup bests for Kikkan Randall. A podium and three consecutive top-ten finishes for Andy Newell.
Now, as we begin another four year cycle leading up to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, FasterSkier.com takes a look at how North American skiers stack up against the other nations on the World Cup, and what to look for this season.
The Nations Cup
The Nations Cup is given to the top overall country on the World Cup circuit. The Nations Cup points are determined by adding up all the individual World Cup points earned by a country’s skiers during the season. Individual World Cup points are given to the top 30 skiers in each World Cup race. The winner gets 100 points; second place gets 80 points and so on, down to 1 point for 30th place. World Cup points are not awarded at the World Championships or at the Olympic Games.
Norway (8728 points) was first on both the men’s and women’s Nations Cup lists last season to easily win the overall. Sweden took second overall (5435 points) with their men in second place and their women in 5th, just enough to beat third place nation Germany (5287 points) which had both their men and women in third place. Russia, Italy and Finland followed next.
Canada was 7th with 2117 points and USA was 17th with 563 points. The Canadian men were ranked 14th (276 points) and the Canadian women 6th (1841 points) while the US men were ahead of Canada in 12th place (446 points) while the US women were 17th (117 points).
A look at Canada’s numbers shows that, not surprisingly, Beckie Scott was Canada’s biggest point collector with 1020 points (48% of Canada’s total points). She was 2nd in the overall World Cup and 3rd in the sprint World Cup. Sara Renner was 10th in the World Cup with 446 points. Combined they captured 1466 out of Canada’s 2117 points (70 %).