After three successful seasons as one of the most dominate cross-country ski teams in Canada, it is with regret that the INDi2010 Racing Team announces that it will dissolve for the 2008-2009 season.
Editor's Note: This is the second top Canadian team to fold this spring, following in the footsteps of the X-C.com Race Team (read the article on the dissolution of X-C.com)
The decision comes after yet another successful winter, which saw the team qualify all six athletes for World Cup competition in Canada, collect numerous NorAm Cup and National Championship medals, and rack up an impressive 51 podium appearances. Tight team comradely and continued success makes the decision very difficult, but ultimately future international success has been given an absolute priority, and other opportunities for further performance have become available to much of the team.
The INDi2010 Racing Team was founded in 2005 by a group of athletes looking for a team structure that would allow them to achieve international excellence in the absence National Team support. Over three winters the team has seen a star-studded cast including Gordon Jewett, Rhonda Jewett, Jeff Ellis, Karla Mika, Adam Kates, Tara Whitten, Robin McKeever, Mark Doble, Skeets Morel, Tasha Betcherman and Dan Roycroft. The team was founded on the principle of an athlete managed program in which the athletes were directly responsible for running the team, and while this makeup allowed for great flexibility, it was also an additional burden for the athletes to compete at an international level while also managing the program.
The highlights of the INDi2010 program were numerous and included multiple World Cup and World Championship appearances, as well as dominance in North American events with US SuperTour, NorAm and Canadian Championships titles a common occurrence. For a self managed group of athletes the 190 podium appearances over three seasons are nothing short of spectacular.
“Its really sad to close the doors on the team. It was the best three seasons of my ski career, and what we achieved together is infinitely gratifying,” said Gordon Jewett, one of three team members who has been part of the INDi2010 program since it's inception. “At the end of the day we all have to make decisions that give us the best chance of reaching our ski racing goals, but it's very hard to split up a group of athletes that I felt were so mutually successful.”
Team cofounder Karla Mika added, “We achieved so much together as a team and although I am sad that we are not continuing, I also realize that change can be a very good thing. I honestly believe that it will be the catalyst that propels us towards our individual goals.”
While the initiative for the INDi2010 program came from the athletes themselves, the network of support behind the team was the cog that allowed the team to operate as a well-oiled machine. The athletes are grateful to all of the individuals and sponsors who made this initiative possible over the past three seasons.
Coaches and Technicians
Genevieve Renart, Mike and Judy Mappin, Zach Caldwell, Mike Cavaliere, Dave Morel, Ulf Kleppe and Mike Neary.
Fischer, Exel, Alpina, Digica Computers, Bow View Homes, Podiumwear by Bora, SkiTrax Magazine, SOLDA', Canmore Nordic Sport Services, Brooks Canada, Canmore Printcraft, CIBC Wood Gundy, Fresh Air Experience, Icebreaker, Start Ski Wax, Scott Manktelow Design, SOS Headwear, Cross Country Alberta and the Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks & Wildlife Foundation.
Jamie Coatsworth, Ann Gallie, Joan, Chris, David McDonald and Gary Gilles, Brenda Gallie, Paul, Wendy and Amy Kates, Jack Cook, Rich McKenzie, Jennifer Groundwater, Scott Manktelow, Dougal McCreath, Dale and Nianne Foley, Deborah dePass and Ian McQueen, David Guttman, Patty Glover, Silvia Stettler, Alex and Lorraine Sandau, Bulkley Valley Ski Club, Harry Vanderlugt, Don and Dianne Ellis, Will and Sheila Davis, Jane Gallie, Nancy McFadyen, Jerilyn Roycroft, Greg Goodwin, Philip Betcherman, Teresa White, Cindy Sandau, The Wiercinski Family, Jeannie McBroom, Dominic Bradford, Michael Jewett, Jana Mika, Dan Gilligan, Rick Morson, Robin Sandau, Chuck and Mary Whitten, Nuno Borges and Franny Jewett, Angus Doughty and Sian-Lee Leyshon-Doughty and Richard Lemoine and Debbie Friendly.
Without the support of these individuals and organizations the INDi2010 concept would have died a quick death. All of the athletes that have been a part of this program are grateful beyond words for the helping hands that pushed them along the trails and up the mountains over the past three seasons.
The current members of the INDi2010 Racing Team, while scattering, continue to pursue their Olympic dreams in the coming seasons. Gordon and Rhonda Jewett have joined the new Alberta World Cup Academy, Dan Roycroft and Tasha Betcherman have joined the Callaghan Valley Training Centre, while Skeets Morel and Karla Mika continue to chase international results with individualized programs.
The Independent Nordic Development Initiative, which is the non-profit organization behind the INDi2010 Racing Team, will continue to operate under the guidance of many of the current team members. The intention is for this organization to continue to support the Canadian ski community in pursuing grassroots development opportunities in the future, in an effort to ensure that Canadian ski racers have the necessary support to pursue their international dreams.
The INDi2010 Racing Team at the 2010 Olympic venue for the 2008 Canadian Championships in March (left to right: Skeets Morel, Tasha Betcherman, Gordon Jewett, Karla Mika, Dan Roycroft, Rhonda Jewett).