Attend the 2017 Igor Legacy Camps!

Three weekend camps in three exciting locations across the Midwest:  Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan are set to host U12 and U14 skiers (ages 10-13) for an unforgettable three days of fun outdoor activities.

The Igor Legacy Camps are filling quickly, and some athletes are making plans to attend more than one camp. Each camp has a space allotment for only 50 athletes.

The goal of each Igor Legacy Camp, is to promote the growth and development of junior cross country ski racers and expose young athletes to the fundamental building blocks required for high-level cross country ski racing.

WISCONSIN June 16-18, 2017 / Standing Rocks County Park

MINNESOTA July 14-16, 2017 / Mora Vasaloppet Nordic Center

MICHIGAN August 11-13, 2017 / Gogebic Community College

* Coaches and parents are welcome to apply to attend the Igor Legacy Camps.

Each camp will offer special features and activities including outdoor games, dry-land training, roller skiing, and cross training activities. The intention the Igor Legacy Camps is to inspire and excite youth in Igor Badamshin’s honor because his positive and playful approach to coaching has touched and inspired skiers of all ages.

The Igor Legacy Camps are made possible by: Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC), Wisconsin Nordic Development Group (WNDG), and the American Birkebeiner Foundation (ABSF), along with two ski shops: FinnSisu (St. Paul, MN) and Out There Nordic Sports (Rice Lake, WI).

Igor Badamshin

(by Bruce Manske)

For further information regarding the Igor Legacy Camps, contact Bruce Manske, 651.304.0647.


Igor Legacy Camps: Making a Difference and Helping Young Skiers Learn the Sport

by Bruce Manske

The inaugural Igor Legacy Camp was held over Father’s Day weekend (June 2014) at the Iola Winter Sports Club in Iola, Wisconsin. Over sixty young Midwest athletes, along with more than twenty coaches, parents, and collegiate skiers from the central region attended the camp. The athletes who participated were mostly 10-14 years of age, with a few exceptions above and below that group. Unlike most junior camps, the Igor Legacy Camp was shorter, and provided a simple introduction to ski training. In the typical style of Igor Badamshin, the camp was centered on fun and physical movement. It was purposely designed to get youngsters, who are relatively new to Nordic skiing, engaged in rollerskiing and Nordic technique activities. Other aspects of this unique summer training camp included running, soccer, swimming, and strength training activities.

On a chilly winter afternoon in January 2014, the ski community lost a good friend; as a result, the concept of the Igor Legacy Camp became a reality thanks to Minocqua ski enthusiast Dr. Jim Mullen. Igor Badamshin was 46 years young when he died from a heart attack while testing wax for the Seeley Hills Classic. In his few short years, Badamshin became a strong advocate for youth skiing in the Midwest; and, almost single handedly, he recharged the adult skiing community wherever he went in Wisconsin.

According to Mullen, “Badamshin made an impact on a lot of kids. Although he did not know most of the kids at this camp, through his work with others, he let these new Nordic athletes experience a little of the joy and happiness, that he brought to everyone around him before and now.”

While Mullen had lost a dear friend, he knew that the creation of something in Igor’s honor would be the best way to recognize his countless contributions. Mullen put together a coaching staff of many talented Nordic coaches and Nordic enthusiasts; including, Diane Mullen, Bill Pierce, Steve Myrland, Yuriy Gusev, Jake Barnes, Mike Young, and Gordy Bartholomew; plus, three guest collegiate skiers, William Frielinghaus, Seth Mares, and Thomas Bye, to help focus on refining and sharpening athletic development. The camp featured a mixture of movement patterns: jumping, hopping, skipping, running, bounding, spinning, and swinging.

“If I were to give the camp a theme, it would be simple,” stated Pierce, “Enjoy moving and enjoy life!”  Pierce continued, “Igor’s goal was not to be a great trainer or skier, but to teach the love for the outdoors and skiing; his Russian accent could often be heard encouraging young skiers, to keep moving, moving, moving…”

The Igor Legacy Camp concept continues to grow, not just at summer camps, but also as a lifestyle and a celebration of athleticism throughout the entire year.

The Igor Legacy Camps are now offered in three states:  Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, providing opportunities for young skiers to learn about teamwork, training, and outdoor fun with their peers and coaches from across the Midwest. 

Each camp offers something special, depending on the geography of the venue, but the highlights will stay the same: a tribute to Igor, lots of movement activities and games, meeting new Nordic friends, and enjoying time in nature. One thing each participant can be guaranteed, during the three days and two nights of camp, they will only stop moving to eat and sleep.

Igor Badamshin was known mostly as a long distance skier; he won his only major international medal in a relay, as a member of the Russian relay team that won bronze at the 1993 World Championships. His best individual finish at a major international tournaments was fifth, which he achieved twice: the 50 km freestyle at the 1989 World Championships and the 30 km classical style at the 1993 World Championships. During his career, Badamshin also competed at the 1994 Winter Olympics, and the 1991 and 1995 World Championships. He had one podium position in a World Cup event, earning a silver medal in the 50 km classic at Calgary in 1989. His best overall World Cup finish was 15th during the 1989-1990 season.

In Russia, Badamshin won the Soviet 50 km title in 1988, 50 km, 70 km, and relay titles in 1989, a 15 km title in 1990, and CIS 50 km title in 1992. Badamshin retired from sports in 1997. In the early 2000s, he and his wife, Nina Gavrylyuk, a three-time Olympic gold medal winner in cross-country skiing, moved to Wisconsin in the United States.  Together they coached many cross-country skiers.  Igor joined the coaching staff at CXC from 2009-2014.

Each Igor camp continues to promote the growth and development of junior cross-country ski racers, with the goal of exposing young athletes to the fundamental building blocks required to advance up the Nordic pipeline. Athletes will be inspired and excited about skiing in the same manner Igor seized the sport, while participating in games, rollerskiing, hiking, swimming, and much more.

The Igor Legacy Camps are primarily aimed at U12 (ages 10-11) and U14 (ages 12-13) athletes; these age categories are guidelines, and have room for flexibility, depending on the needs of an individual athlete and athletic development. This is an age when athletes need to focus on sharpening their skill development for general athletics; whereas, once an athlete reaches 15 years old, focus will be geared more toward a specific sport. In addition, it is a great age for youngsters from different teams and clubs to come together to share skiing stories and training opportunities.

Thanks to the support of great sponsors, including the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, the Wisconsin Nordic Development Group, Out There Nordic Sports, FinnSisu Ski Shop, Boulder Nordic Sports, Gear West and Central Cross Country Skiing the Igor Legacy Camps continue to grow and expand the scope of cross-country skiing and youth development.

Get Training for Masters World Cup

Although another CXC Marathon Cup season has come to a close, there is plenty to get ready for with the 2018 Masters World Cup coming to our backyard on January 19-26 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The event will be the culmination of five years of planning by local organizers, The Loppet Foundation, and the American XC Skiers non-profit masters association.

The Masters World Cup is an annual event hosted at different ski venues around the world. The last time the series was in the United States was at the 2008 Masters World Cup in McCall, ID.

Minneapolis is expecting to bring over one-thousand competitors (over 30 years old) from all around the world to the eight-day competition series.

Skiers ranging from 30 to 90+ years require no qualification process, and the series welcomes all abilities. Racers can expect three individual races and a national team relay for all age/gender categories.

With less than a year until the races commence many masters skiers have begun dry-land training for this prestigious event.

Central Cross Country Skiing offers a variety of programming options to help master skiers prepare for race season including:

For further information or details regarding available training opportunities with Central Cross Country Skiing please feel free to contact CXC Executive Director, Yuriy Gusev


Our Staff Is Growing!

Central Cross Country Skiing is happy to announce our new Director of Athletics, Joe Haggenmiller.

Haggenmiller comes from Michigan Tech University (MTU) where he has been coaching cross-country running, Nordic skiing along with Track and Field.

Over the past fourteen years, Joe has coached over 40 national qualifiers, several Junior All-Americans and seven NCAA All-Americans. Additionally, Joe has coached three skiers on to Junior/U23 World Championships and two onto the USATF Junior National Championships.

Before coaching, Joe himself was a standout skier and runner at Northern Michigan University from 1988-91. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from NMU, Joe went onto the University of Utah, receiving a Juris Doctor Degree. Aside from coaching Joe is a licensed attorney and even taught sport law at MTU.

“I would like to thank CXC Skiing for this new opportunity. I’m excited to continue my passion for skiing in my new role with CXC. I look forward to working with our region’s race organizers, volunteers, clubs, coaches, officials and athletes to help continue to move our sport forward here in the Central region.” – Joe.

After his successful tenure at MTU, Joe will be continuing his passion for skiing and his involvement in the central region’s ski community with Central Cross Country Skiing where he will be working out of Duluth, Minnesota.

CXC Membership is Open!

As a regional organization, the Central Cross Country Skiing has over 2,000 members. These members are the backbone of our organization, representing many important roles and positions in our sport.

There are 10 different membership categories to cater to every type of ski enthusiast. Whether you are at the beginning stages of skiing, a high level competitor, a weekend warrior master skier, a coach, a club, or someone who wants to support the sport through volunteering, CXC has a membership for you!



Your membership fee will provide one pair of “Nordic Rocks!” Skis to an elementary ski program! At least 10 unique students will use YOUR pair of “Nordic Rocks!” skis on an average of 50 times in one season.

Yuriy Gusev

For further information or details regarding CXC membership structure, please feel free to contact CXC Executive Director, Yuriy Gusev.

Bay Nordic Ski Club First Biathlon Event

Hello  Coaches….. Skiers, Runners, and Mountain bikers!

There is a new summer event for you and your team! Bay Nordic Ski Club will be hosting our first Biathlon event on June 24th. Participants can choose to run or mountain bike between shooting. We will have instructors and all necessary shooting equipment on site for you. Come on out and give it a try! See the flyer below for event information. Please forward this on to your athletes and help us get the word out.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather!
Catherine Egelhoff, cathegelhoff



2017 CXC Award Recipients

The CXC Awards Dinner recognized four of the central region’s outstanding ski community members at the inaugural CXC Congress weekend in Eau Clair, Wisconsin this past weekend.

The honored members of the ski community who have persistently committed their time to the sport of Cross Country Skiing each gave inspirational accounts of their experiences as participants of the ski culture in the central region.

Ben Popp, American Birkebenier Ski Foundation, Hayward (WI)

John Hugus was remembered for his commitment to skier development as Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebenier Ski Foundation (ABSF), was honored for his own leadership. Ben’s charismatic manner and general enthusiasm for skiing and the ski culture has been evident throughout his time at ABSF and did not slow as he accepted his Leadership award. Ben’s dedication to providing ski opportunities to skiers’ of the central region goes beyond the winter months and the famed Birkie with events and programming that instill the Birkie spirit everyday.


Kris Hansen, Stillwater Nordic Ski Team, Stillwater (MN)

The Igor Badamshin Coach of the Year came to a well deserving recipient from Stillwater (MN), – Kris Hansen. Kris’s lengthy list of statewide success with the Stillwater High School Girls Team has been a true testament of a coaching philosophy that works. Upon receiving the award Kris recalled the importance of core values of the Stillwater ski team (team work, respect for others, personal accountability and the love for the process) and how these values are part of the success Kris has witnessed over the past 20 years (including, but not limited to 16 of the last 20 Section Championships and 15 of the last 20 Conference Championships and, of course, fostering Jessie Diggins at the start of her skiing career).


Joe Kelsey, Cable (WI)

The Wayne Fish award was presented to Joe Kelsey of Cable, Wisconsin. Joe’s unyielding commitment to volunteering at events in the Cable area are fundamental to the central ski community at large. Joe, considered the ultimate “behind the scenes hero” is a man who arrives at a race venue before the sun rises and leaves well after the sun sets. Joe has volunteered at countless events including Junior Nationals, Junior National Qualifiers, IPC World Championships, IPC World Cups and the American Birkebeiner.


Ahvo Taipale, Finn Sisu, St. Paul (MN)

The recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award was Ahvo Taipale of Finn Sisu in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ahvo accepted the award from longtime friend and last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dennis Kruse, who honored Ahvo for his consistent generosity and tireless talent in providing educational opportunities to anyone interested in cross country skiing. Ahvo, who has operated in numerous roles within the ski community since moving to the U.S. was recognized for his frequent contributions to the central region’s ski community that have allowed it to excel.