Nordic Strategy MOU
July 30, 2020
Canada’s Four Nordic Sports Sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Explore Joint Opportunities to Achieve Performance and Operational Goals
New Steering Committee to guide Nordic Strategy research focused on evaluating opportunities to do more together
CANMORE, Alta.—Canada’s four Nordic sports have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin exploring ways they can work together to achieve their ultimate goals of putting more Canadian athletes on podiums and increasing participation in each of their sports.
Biathlon Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada, Nordiq Canada and Ski Jumping Canada will work together to lead the Nordic Sports Strategy process that will evaluate opportunities of having a more unified approach to developing and operating Nordic sports in Canada.
Each of the four sports have designated up to two representatives, along with a representative from the Canadian Olympic Committee, to sit on the Nordic Strategy Steering Committee. Over the next 10 months, the Steering Committee will be focused on forming and directing working groups to
analyze key functional areas of each national sport organization, including: administration; participation at the grassroots levels; membership; high performance/athlete development/coaching development; revenue generation; and governance.
Each working group will be charged with making recommendations and proposing solutions to the Steering Committee that will enable the goals to be reached: more Canadians on the international podium as well as putting more Canadians on skis, in the air and on the shooting range across the country.
“All four sports face challenges, some are unique to our individual sports, but we also see that many are shared. As leaders of our respective organizations, we believe we can meet many of these challenges through more cooperation and coordination,” said Heather Ambery, General Manager, Biathlon Canada. “The Nordic Strategy Steering Committee will explore and test the opportunities that we believe exist to make our sports stronger.”
To improve Team Canada’s performance in the overall standings at the Olympic Winter Games, it must deliver in the medal-rich Nordic sports which boast 93 medals across 31 events. Canada’s Nordic athletes have only won six medals since the 1924 Olympic Winter Games, and none since the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
“Our sports represent nearly 30 per cent of the Olympic medals available so we know that if Canada wants to be a world-leading winter sport nation, we need to consistently see the Maple Leaf raised above the podium multiple times at the Nordic venue,” said Jennifer Tomlinson, Chair, Nordiq Canada. “This MOU is the first critical step taken to investigate how we might grow Nordic sports in Canada both in profile and in participation. We need to have a deeper look at our development pathways, talent identification and overall high-performance programs to see how we might deliver more podium performances for Canada.
The clear objective of this joint initiative is to evaluate what framework is best-suited to maximize efficiency and resources to attract new participants into the Nordic sports and developing medal hopefuls within the Canadian sport system. The Steering Committee will examine the full spectrum of options to achieve this, from simple alignment of resources through to formation of a unified sport organization and will recommend the best way forward.
“Participating in this valuable exercise is extremely important for our community if we want to take our program to the next level,” said Todd Stretch, Chairman, Ski Jumping Canada. “Researching the potential opportunities for ski jumping in Canada to better align itself with each of Canada’s Nordic sports is a healthy learning process that is sure to benefit our organization regardless of the outcome. The key is the final recommendations need to work for all of us in Canada.”
Over the coming weeks, the Nordic Strategy Steering Committee will establish working groups of community experts who will produce reports back to the Steering Committee. Findings of the exploration will be reviewed by the Committee and reported back to their respective Board of Directors. Any recommendation or decision made by the Steering Committee will not be binding on any of the national sport organizations.
“I believe Nordic sport participation is an untapped market across the country due to our current limitation in resources,” said outgoing Chairman, Andy Mah, Nordic Combined Ski Canada. “It is exciting to think about the potential of creating healthier and more active lives for a greater number of Canadians who discover the enjoyment of Nordic sports in conjunction with striving for excellence in our Nordic Sports.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Nordic Sports Strategy Steering Committee
New Chairman of the Board Announcement – Nordic Combined Ski Canada
New Chairman of the Board Announcement
Calgary, Alberta, August 4, 2020 – Nordic Combined Ski Canada (“NCSC”) is please to announce that Jim Woolsey is the new Chairman of the Board for NCSC following the NSO’s Annual General Meeting on July 23, 2020, replacing former outgoing Chair, Andy Mah. Jim resides in Vancouver, B.C. and has a long history of involvement in sport development including involvement with Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Sochi 2014 Olympics, PyeongChang 2018 Olympics as sport staff for Jumping hill preparation and first President of the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society (Provincial Sport Organization). Jim has also chaired the organizing committees for several Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined events at Whistler Olympic Park.
As commented by former Chair, Andy Mah, “Jim Woolsey will help lead NCSC through the next phase of development where we are excited about the recently announced Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the exploration of ways in which the four Canadian Nordic sports of Nordiq Canada, Biathlon Canada, Ski Jumping Canada and NCSC can work together with the ultimate goal of putting more Canadian athletes on podiums and increasing participation in each of their sports. Additionally, we are excited with continued international competition developments for women’s Nordic Combined since we have a former highly accomplished women’s Olympic ski jumping athlete, Taylor Heinrich on our national team who we expect can do very well on the international stage for Canada and help mentor young athletes as well.”
Canada first participated in the sport of Nordic Combined at the Olympic games in 1928. Today we have grass roots Nordic Combined developments programs occurring in both the Whistler/Squamish, B.C. and also in the Calgary/Bow Valley/Red Deer, Alberta corridors from which we hope to invigorate many more young Canadian athletes to pursue their dreams in this exciting Olympic sport.
NCSC is the National Sport Organization which is the governing body of Nordic Combined in Canada. Please visit our website at www.nordiccombinedskicanada.com
For further information contact:
Jim Woolsey, Chairman
NORDIC COMBINED SKI CANADA
#388, 305 – 4625 Varsity Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 0Z9
Phone: (604) 250-1875
Web Site: www.nordiccombinedskicanada.com/
BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society granted Affiliated status by Viasport
September 11, 2020
“I am very pleased to provide this letter to confirm that the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society
has been granted Affiliated status at viaSport BC.
The history and growth of your sport is important to the story of sport in B.C. We look forward to
working with you to continue to develop ski jumping and nordic combined.”
Director, Sport Development
Taylor Henrich – Face-off to World Cup
Nordic Combined is a sport closely related to its Nordic neighbour disciplines Ski Jumping and Cross-Country Skiing. The close ties and common education, especially with the Ski Jumpers, will be an important factor in the premiere of the Women’s World Cup this season, as the Ski Jumping series have formed and developed many of the athletes who will now ultimately be a part of in the inaugural Nordic Combined World Cup series.
One of them is the current best female Nordic Combined athlete in the world: Tara Geraghty-Moats, who spent the seasons 2015, 16 and 17 on the tour. While we firmly count her in “Team Nordic Combined” these days, there are two other athletes we would like to cast a light on in today’s face-off: German World Cup winner and Team World Champion Svenja Würth and Canada’s two-time Olympian, World Cup podium athlete Taylor Henrich are both set to compete at the inaugural World Cup weekend in Lillehammer.
Both of them are prolific ski jumpers in their own right and have had their first close encounters with the complexity of Nordic Combined… with varying results.
After 58 Ski Jumping World Cup starts, for Henrich, that first encounter came in 2018, when she started in the Continental Cup in Park City (USA) and claimed two third places straight-away. Obviously, as an athlete with a strong ski jumping background, the 25-year-old was among the first to leave on the skinny skis and managed to hold her own on the track (even though a small bump on the track caused her to crash and give away an even better end result in the process).
The Canadian confirmed her results with a second place in a Mass Start event in the following year, again with very strong ski jumping results, even if her cross-country skiing times were among the slowest, a working point she shares with her face-off opponent Svenja Würth.
The 27-year-old German decided to make the switch to Nordic Combined just this spring but can look back on a 92-World Cup start Ski Jumping career, which lead her to the podium one time and to a Team Gold medal at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti.
Compared to Henrich’s five starts and three podium results, Würth’s Nordic Combined career is limited to one ill-fated Continental Cup start in Eisenerz (AUT) so far. She, predictably, impressed on the jumping hill but had to pay dearly for her inexperience in the cross-country race, which she was not able to finish due to starting too fast.
Nevertheless, Würth decided to put everything on the line and make the switch, now training together with the reigning FIS Junior World Champion Jenny Nowak and a strong group of girls, while bringing her experience in Ski Jumping to the table.
In contrast, Henrich returns from a time with few competitions over the last years with the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018 being her last high-level Ski Jumping event. She spent time away from the sport doing stunts but also helped with the training of young athletes in Squamish (CAN) over the summer. She is supported by former Nordic Combined athlete Wesley Savill as coach.
Both, Henrich and Würth, will certainly be among the ones to watch on the jumping hill this coming winter. Whoever manages to hold her own best on the cross-country track in addition to that will be a dangerous addition to the Nordic Combined group of women.
In the special Covid-19 situation, which makes competing all over the World and obtaining the required Nordic Combined Continental Cup points difficult, the Nordic Combined Committee decided to open up participation and allow female athletes who have taken World or Continental Cup points in Ski Jumping in the last two seasons to start in the newly formed Nordic Combined World Cup as well this winter.
So more Ski Jumping athletes might be trying their hand at being a Nordic allrounder – a situation which promises a lot of excitement to come on top of an already fantastic line-up of skills and characters in the group of longer-standing Nordic Combined women!
WHISTLER, B.C.—Canada’s bid to host the 2023 Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships at Whistler Olympic Park is a winner.
October 29, 2020
The International Ski Federation (FIS) declared the next generation of Nordic stars will be striding and soaring into Canada’s west coast for the first time since the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to bring this prestigious event for aspiring Olympians in the Nordic sports back to North America for just the fifth time ever in its 40-year history,” said Dave Pym, Managing Director & CEO, Canadian Snowsports Association, who led the Bid on behalf of Canada’s three Nordic national sport organizations.
“This 10-day event, that will bring together the world’s best athletes ages 16-23, in cross-country skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined is sure to restore the excitement and memories that brought Whistler Olympic Park to life during the 2010 Games.”
More than 700 athletes representing 50 countries are expected to compete for the World Junior podium on Whistler’s ski trails and jumping towers. A developing group of Canadian cross-country skiers, including Remi Drolet (British Columbia), Xavier McKeever (Alberta), Tom Stephen (Alberta) and Olivier Léveillé (Quebec), who shocked the world to win the nation’s first-ever silver medal in the relay event at the 2020 World Juniors, are expected to be in their prime in 2023.
“This group of athletes represent the future of our sport and share a common goal of winning medals at the 2026 Olympics and beyond,” said Stéphane Barrette, Chief Executive Officer, Nordiq Canada, who added The Resort Municipality of Whistler are world-leaders in event hosting.
“Providing our young athletes with home snow advantage at a major international event will provide a critical test along their journey to represent Canada at future Olympics. Just as importantly, our hope is that bringing these talented athletes to the west coast will also help foster Olympic dreams in Canada’s youth, inspiring them to try our sports and get on skis.”
Canada’s top ski jumpers have been flying above Whistler Olympic Park regularly since 2010. The venue hosted a NorAm competition in 2019 and welcomed more than 100 international athletes in 2017 for a Continental Cup event. The venue also hosted the 2012 Canadian Championships.
“This event will be an outstanding opportunity to elevate our exciting sport and showcase the next generation of Olympic jumpers on Canadian hills,” said Todd Stretch, Chairman, Ski Jumping Canada, who added the small jumps (K20 and K40) are used each winter at Whistler Olympic Park to introduce youth in the area to the sport.
“Holding an event of this magnitude will also assist with refreshing the jumping facilities at the venue to help ensure the future development of the sport in Canada.”
This will be the third time Canada hosts the Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships. The Canmore Nordic Centre welcomed the next generation of Olympians, in 1997. The World Juniors for ski jumping and Nordic combined were also held in Mont-Sainte Anne, Que. in 1979.
Canada’s Nordic sport organizations have worked closely with the newly formed Black Tusk Nordic Events Society to manage the 2023 edition hosted in the Squamish and Whistler region. Norm Laube, Chair, and Reid Carter, Vice-Chair, of Black Tusk both key parts of an experienced Canadian Bid group responsible for bringing the event back to Canada.
“Canada continues to be the model by which the world measures Olympic legacies. Whistler Olympic Park was built to host these high-calibre events for the community to enjoy well beyond the 2010 Games, so we are delighted to welcome the Nordic sports back to Whistler in 2023,” said Laube. “Not only will these championships be an important growth opportunity for these sports in the region, but it will also be a boon to the economy in the Sea-to-Sky corridor.”
In addition to both playing leading roles in engaging the community over the next two years to get behind the event, Laube, Carter and the local team of volunteers will prepare for the 2023 Nordic festival by hosting a series of domestic competitions including Nordiq Canada’s 2021 Nordic Junior/U23 and Senior World Championship Trials, January 7-10. The venue will also play host to a Nordic Combined Continental Cup and FIS Ski Jumping Cup in December 2021 as test events for 2023.
“Our volunteer team has already put a tremendous amount of work into ensuring we are ready for the Trials in January, and we are anxious to showcase Canada, British Columbia and the Sea-to-Sky Corridor to the world once again in 2023,” said Laube, who added the Committee is working with Nordiq Canada, Cross Country BC and ViaSport BC on ensuring a COVID-19 Safety Plan is in place for the January Trials.
“The safety of our athletes, coaches, and volunteers will always be our number one priority. This year will be extra demanding, but our entire team is ready for the challenge, and look forward to welcoming the cross-country ski community to Whistler.”
The winning bid comes as Canada’s four Nordic sports have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to begin exploring ways they can work together to achieve their ultimate goals of putting more Canadian athletes on podiums and increasing participation in each of their sports. Nordiq Canada, Nordic Combined Ski Canada, Ski Jumping Canada, along with Biathlon Canada, have been working together to lead the Nordic Sports Strategy process that will evaluate opportunities of having a more unified approach to developing and operating Nordic sports in Canada.
For more information on the 2023 FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships, please visit www.blacktusknordic.com.
Ski jumping in the city
November 2, 2020
A quarter of a century later, ski jumping wants to take off again in the Outaouais
Former international athletes are piloting an ambitious project to endow the region with a new club, Le Droit learned . Gatineau’s Jean Séguin and Czech Pavol Skvaridlo would like to open two training grounds, one in an urban environment on the former slope of Lac des Fées and the other in the rural sector at Camp Fortune.
The duo have been approached by the International Ski Federation (FIS) to revive the discipline in Eastern Canada. At the moment, there is only one recognized training site. He ended up in Callaghan Valley where the 2010 Olympic Games were held.
The sport has only about 50 registered athletes with Ski Jumping Canada, including seven members of the national team who hail from Alberta and British Columbia.
“The director of the FIS, Sandro Pertile, spoke to me. He also chatted with Nik Petrov (High Performance Director of Ski Jumping Canada), who knows me well. They wanted to know which places should be targeted to develop the sport, ”said Séguin, who represented Canada on the World Cup circuit in the early 1980s.
“I then discussed it with Pavol. Now, there are five provinces interested in getting on board (…) The Canadian federation is also behind us. She is ready to help us. “
Skvaridlo, he competed under the colors of former Czechoslovakia in Nordic combined. A sport that combines cross-country skiing and ski jumping events.
After his career ended, Skvaridlo led the national and junior team of his native country. Then, he worked at the National Ski Jumping Center in Canada in the mid-1990s in Alberta. He now lives in Chelsea.
In his eyes, the region offers an interesting pool of athletes. She is full of hopes in other sports that could make the jump to ski jumping. “In Europe, all young people start cross-country and alpine skiing before making the transition. You have to know how to be in balance before you jump, ”he recalls.
“We want to start with initiation programs called ‘ Bump to Jump ‘ in English. You build small hillocks with snow that will eventually lead to big jumps, ”explains Séguin.
The latter knows himself in coaching. He managed the Envol club after his career ended prematurely due to broken legs. The adventure lasted until the mid-1990s.
At the time, there were jumps at Camp Fortune, but also at the slope of Lac des Fées. There was also alpine skiing and cross-country skiing with the Ullois and Skinouk clubs.
But the former Ville de Hull had closed the place. The chalet has disappeared. The same goes for the ski lift. The National Capital Commission (NCC) has carried out the renaturalization of the site in recent years.
“It is certain that there would be a little clearing to do. But this is the perfect place. You are right in the middle of the city. “- Jean Séguin
Trees have been planted. A portion of rue Gamelin has been demolished.
Séguin and Skvaridlo would like to convince the NCC to make room for sport at this location. The slope may be steep for them.
The crown corporation has said in the past that Gatineau Park remains primarily a conservation park. Behind the scenes, we whisper that the vocation of Lac des Fées will not change.
“Look at this. You have a great natural slope, a great view, ”says Jean Séguin, revisiting his old training site earlier this week.
“It is certain that there would be a little clearing to do. But this is the perfect place. You are right in the middle of the city. “
He and Pavol Skvaridlo would like to eventually build a 20-meter ramp. “Even having a tower, you have room to make a 40 to 50 meter jump,” he says. Materials would already be available to make future ramps usable 11 months a year, whether at Lac des Fées or Camp Fortune.
“We’ll be able to use the plastic that was used at the Calgary 1988 ski jumping site,” Skvaridlo said. The old center is no longer in use since the opening of the Callaghan Valley site.
On the side of the NCC, it is said “to be aware of the idea of bringing back spaces to practice and train ski jumping at Camp Fortune”.
“It is far too early, for the National Capital Commission, to discuss this idea, however, notes a spokesperson in an email sent to Law. A first decision about the acceptability of this activity will first be up to Camp Fortune operators. If necessary, in accordance with their lease, the decision must be evaluated within the regulatory framework of the NCC in connection with the new master plan for Gatineau Park; Gatineau Park is above all a conservation park.”
FIND THE NEXT HORST BULAU
The president of Ski Jumping Canada believes that a return of his sport to the national capital is natural.
Especially if it’s done at Camp Fortune.
“One of the best jumpers in history in the country, Horst Bulau, had been trained there,” recalls Todd Stretch.
Bulau has won World Cup gold 13 times. Junior world champion in 1979, he competed in the Olympics four times before retiring in 1992.Horst Bulau ARCHIVES, THE CANADIAN PRESS / COC
“We are looking to expand our program in the east of the country. A former athlete will kick off a program this winter in Thunder Bay. And Quebec must be part of our plans, ”says Stretch.
Ski Jumping Canada wants above all to develop its succession for the 2030 Olympic Games. Its leaders want to cast a wide net quickly in order to find future members of the national team.
A bit like freestyle skiing did in the early 2000s with Nicolas Fontaine, who had recruited former gymnasts such as Gatineau’s Olivier Rochon.
“The population is dense in the east of the country. There is potential. And we don’t need a big mountain. A slope like you find at Camp Fortune would actually be ideal. “
Ski jumping is part of sporting history in the Outaouais. There was Jean Séguin, participating in the world junior championships and reservist at the 1984 Olympic Games. His father Rhéal was also a reservist at the 1960 Games, in Squaw Valley. He was then an international judge in this discipline.
“There are people who don’t know, but there was even a metal ramp at Château Montebello in the 1930s. It was 70 meters in length,” says Jean Séguin.
viaSport welcomes the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society as an Affiliated Provincial Sport Organization
viaSport welcomes the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society as an Affiliated Provincial Sport Organization
December 8, 2020 viaSport
Vancouver, B.C. – As part of its mandate to grow amateur sport in B.C., viaSport is pleased to welcome its newest Affiliated Provincial Sport Organization, BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society. As an organization serving the unique participants of this niche sport, Affiliate status enables BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society to benefit from a wider range of viaSport’s training, development and grant opportunities. Affiliate status is part of a viaSport recognition program to foster the development of sport and elevate sector excellence.
Ski Jump has a long history in B.C., from a World Record set by Nels Nelsen in 1916 in Revelstoke, to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics at Whistler Olympic Park. To expand the presence of the sport in the province, members of the Sea to Sky Nordics Club established BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society as a provincial sport organization in 2018.
“Awarding affiliate status to the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society is a meaningful way to provide the organization with additional support to enhance the development of the sport that will increase access and opportunity for participants,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO of viaSport BC, the province’s agency and champion for amateur sport. “Our goal is to build the capacity of a diverse sport sector, and recognizing these sports helps to expand our reach and build a high quality, cohesive sport ecosystem.”
The 2010 Vancouver Olympics provided the opportunity to reinvigorate recognition of this sport in B.C. Since 2010, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined events have been held at Whistler Olympic Park, including North American Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships, FIS Cups and Continental Cups. The completion of two training jumps at Whistler Olympic Park and a summer jump at Squamish Legacy Park has rejuvenated the development of local athletes and expanded the region’s capacity for event hosting for this unique winter sport.
“We are excited about achieving Affiliate Status with viaSport. The continued support of viaSport, Whistler Sport Legacy and Whistler Olympic Park is important for the development of a strong Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined program as well as developing a strong group of volunteers and officials in B.C.” said Jim Woosley, President of the BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society. “We are looking forward to a seeing many new World records set and Olympic Gold medals won by British Columbians in the future.”
About BC Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Society
After the successful conclusion of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, an informal group of interested Nordic Jumping enthusiasts started to rebuild Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in B.C., now the recognized Provincial Sport Organization in the province. Their work has been aimed at promoting and co-ordinating competitive and non-competitive development including a provincial team and province-wide development program. Learn more at http://www.seatoskynordics.ca/
viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization created with the support of the provincial government as a legacy of the 2010 Games. viaSport leads the province’s sport sector to build a stronger, more effective system that brings more families to the field of play and more fans into the stands. viaSport’s work supports amateur sport organizations in delivering safe, inclusive and meaningful sport experiences for all British Columbians while working closely with the Province of B.C. to administer sport funding and grants. Learn more at www.viasport.ca
Photo by: Brian Aikens