PARK CITY, UT (Oct. 17) – FIS World Cup sprint champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) leads a talented group of 13 athletes named to the 2013 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. The announcement was made during a final pre-season training camp at the USSA’s Center of Excellence in Park City where the team has been mixing conditioning with roller skiing on the nearby Olympic trails of Soldier Hollow. The 2012-13 season, which opens Nov. 24-25 in Sweden, features the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Val di Fiemme plus the team’s first look at the Sochi Olympic trails with a World Cup in February.
Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) leads 13 athletes named to the 2013 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.
Newcomer Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN), who had a stellar debut World Cup season, moved up to the A Team as did Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO). They join Randall along with Liz Stephen (Montpelier, VT), Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) and Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT).
Diggins and teammate Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) are coming off first time World Cup podiums, each of them pairing with Randall in team sprints last year.
New to the team this year is veteran Holly Brooks (Anchorage), a 2010 Olympian who had a breakout season on the World Cup.
Hamilton and Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO), are coming off stellar seasons. Hamilton had a pair of top 10 World Cup sprints while Hoffman took silver in the U23 World Championships.
A strong summer and fall of training focused on more frequent access to snow and partnerships with top World Cup national teams.
A key camp for women on Alaska’s Eagle Glacier featured Olympic and World Championship medalists from Canada and Finland plus a camp in Sweden with the Swedish women’s team.
The men’s team was on-snow on Austria’s Dachstein Glacier and the indoor ski hall in Oberhof, Germany.
The season kicks off Nov. 24-25 in Gaellivare, Sweden and will be highlighted with FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 20-Mar. 3 in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team will send another full squad to the Tour de Ski stage race, Dec. 29-Jan. 6 at sites across Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Kikkan Randall, World Cup sprint champion I am really excited to build off the momentum from last season both for my individual goals and for what we can achieve as a team during this upcoming year. The confidence on the women's team is at an all-time high and with the depth we've created, we are focusing on relay success at the World Championship in February. I have been impressed with the high level of preparation seen across the team this summer and fall, and I believe we can turn some heads this winter!
Chris Grover, Head Coach The team had an excellent summer and fall of preparation focusing on more frequent access to snow and partnerships with top World Cup national teams in order to add value to our team that is emerging as a serious World Cup contender.
Our focus for the winter is identifying individual athlete performance strategies for major championship events like this year’s World Championships in Val di Fiemme and the Olympics next year in Sochi.
The Team is coming off a season of strong performance. Kikkan Randall had six individual and two team podiums and was backed up by rookie Jessie Diggins and veteran Liz Stephen who each had breakout years. The men's team is led by veterans Andy Newell and Kris Freeman who have both demonstrated that they will be entering the 2012-13 season in top form, plus rookie Simi Hamilton who broke through with several top-10 World Cup performances last season as well as U23 silver-medalist Noah Hoffman.
2013 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Roster Name, Hometown, Club (Skis, Boots, Bindings, Poles, Eyewear) Date of Birth * Denotes Olympian ** Pursuing degree in Westminster College partnership program
A Team Jessie Diggins, Afton, MN, Stratton T2 (Salomon, Salomon, Salomon, One Way, Rudy Project) 8/26/1991 Kris Freeman, Andover, NH, Maine Winter Sports Center (Fischer, Alpina, Rotefella, Swix, Oakley) 10/14/1980 * Simi Hamilton, Aspen, CO, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (Fischer, Alpina, Rotefella, Swix, Rudy Project) 5/14/1987 * Andy Newell, Shaftsbury, VT, Stratton T2 (Fischer, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Rudy Project) 11/30/1983 * Kikkan Randall, Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (Fischer, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Rudy Project) 12/31/1982 * Liz Stephen, East Montpelier, VT, Burke Mountain Academy (Rossignol, Rossignol, Rossignol, One Way, Rudy Project) 1/12/1987 * **
B Team Sadie Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (Fischer, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Rudy Project) 11/21/1989 Holly Brooks, Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (Salomon, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Rudy Project) 4/17/82 * Tad Elliott, Durango, CO, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (Salomon, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Oakley) 7/2/1988 Noah Hoffman, Aspen, CO, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (Madshus, Madshus, Rotefella, Madshus, Oakley) 8/1/1989 ** Ida Sargent, Orleans, VT, Craftsbury Green Team (Fischer, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Rudy Project) 1/25/1988
Development Team Erik Bjornsen, Winthrop, WA, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (Fischer, Fischer, Fischer, Swix, Rudy Project) 7/14/1991 Skyler Davis, Jericho, VT, Stratton T2 (Fischer, Salomon, Salomon, Swix, Smith) 12/22/1991
Coaching Staff Chris Grover, Head Coach, Head Men’s Coach Matt Whitcomb, Head Women’s Coach Jason Cork, Assistant Coach Bryan Fish, Development Coach
World Cup Service Team Peter Johansson, Head of Service Randy Gibbs, Head of Glide Oleg Ragilo, Head of Kick Cory Wubbels, World Cup Service
Official Cross Country Suppliers Uniforms Bjørn Dæhlie
Equipment Alpina Atomic Bolle Briko Fischer Madshus Oakley One Way POC Rossignol Rudy Project Salomon Swix
Wax, Tools and Training Devices Bosu Dominator Holmenkol Kenwood Radios Sun Valley Ski Tools Swix Toko Tools4boards Wintersteiger World Cup Supply