Attend CXC Masters Camps and Clinics!

Get ahead of the competition before the race season begins, by training and working on technique at the 2015-2016 CXC Masters Camps and Clinics!

CXC Team Coach Andy Keller, taking video of Masters Camp members

CXC Team Coach Andy Keller, taking video of Masters Camp members

About the camps:
The camps focus on drills and workouts that tend to be unique and different from most skiers’ normal routines. A fair amount of the work is drills and skills that break down technique to individual movements and that progression helps skiers understand what they must work on the most to improve.

Schedule of Camps:
Sep 23-27 – Park City Camp, UT
Oct 9-11 – Cable/Hayward Camp, WI
Nov 21-25 – Cable Camp, WI
Jan 1-3 – Cable/Hayward Camp, WI

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A CAMP! 

2015 August Masters Camp in Cable, WI

2015 August Masters Camp in Cable, WI

About the clinics:
These clinics are open to master/citizen skiers of all levels, from beginner to advanced. Skiers are divided in small groups based on their level to provide adequate personal attention. Rollerski equipment is available to borrow if requested. Every clinic is presented by two CXC Level 200 coaches.

Schedule of Clinics: 
Monday, September 7 – Rice Lake Clinic, WI (Out There)
Sunday, September 13 – Minneapolis Clinic, MN (BNS)
Saturday, September 19 – Milwaukee Clinic, WI (Bike Doc)
Saturday, September 26 – Chicago Clinic, IL 
Monday, October 5 – Rice Lake Clinic, WI (Out There)
Sunday, October 18 – Minneapolis Clinic, MN (BNS)
Sunday, November 8 – Minneapolis Clinic, MN (BNS)
Monday, November 16 – Rice Lake Clinic, WI (Out There)
Saturday, December 5 – Chicago Clinic, IL
Saturday, December 12 – Milwaukee Clinic, WI (Bike Doc)
Monday, December 21 – Rice Lake Clinic, WI (Out There)

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A CLINIC! 


Yuriy-Gusev

Yuriy Gusev, CXC Athletic Director

For further information or details on the CXC Masters Camps and Clinics please feel free to contact Yuriy Gusev at yuriy.gusev@cxcskiing.org 

The Triumph Games; a True Testament to Adapting and Overcoming

On August, 25-26th Central Cross Country Ski Association supported the Triumph Games in New York City. This event brings together wounded veterans who are elite level athletes to participate in multiple athletic events over the course of a month. Events include stock car racing, triathlons, virtual reality games and much more.

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An athlete practicing the shooting portion of the triathlon at the Triumph Games

Under the direction of Chris Diaz Triumph Games Coordinator, and Ernie Butler Paralyzed Veterans Sports Director, CXC helped coordinate the triathlon in New York City for the Triumph Games. This triathlon was not a traditional triathlon, the events included biking, kayaking, and a marksmanship (shooting). The event tested the athlete’s ability to transition from biking, a kayak obstacle course, and a marksmanship (shooting) challenge.

The first day, August 25th, was for athletes to familiarize themselves with the course and practice their marksmanship (shooting) at LeFrak Center Lakeside Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY. Wednesday, August 26th, – was competition day in the park. Athletes varied in ability, and the race was standardized as much as possible to push each of the 12 participant to their limits. The triathlon consisted of a 12 mile bike where athletes used a variety of hand-cycles, recumbent, and upright bicycles. After the bike, they plunged into the water to navigated a speed and agility course in their kayak. Once out of the water, athletes made their way to the firing line where the infrared rifles waited for the marksmanship competition portion. Once the athlete scored 15 hits down range, their race was over.

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Speed, agility and precision were put to the test as athletes were challenged to race and then hit fifteen targets as fast as they could. Not only was I inspired by watching the race, but getting to know each athlete and listening to their stories, from the battlefield to everyday life, was the most inspiring part of attending the Triumph Games.


Martin-Donegan

Martin Donegan, CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Triumph Games, Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

CXC Spotlight: It Takes a City to Build a Sit-Ski

An Interview with Don Becker 

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Eleven years ago, Adaptive Nordic Skiing was introduced to Madison, WI at the inaugural Capitol Square Sprints (currently Madison Winter Festival) by U.S. Paralympic Team with the support of Don Becker. Since that time, CXC has produced and donated over 300 sit-skis all around U.S., introduced over 1,000 individuals to recreational Adaptive Nordic Skiing and sent 4 athletes to the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Since its introduction, sit-skiing has become more than just an opportunity for adaptive athletes to try the sport of skiing. For most, it has brought life back into people who thought skiing, or athletics in general, would not be a possibility for them.

Jane Schmieding getting into a sit ski at the Madison Winter Festival

Jane Schmieding getting into a sit ski at the Madison Winter Festival

We caught up with Don Becker, Madison native and one of the fathers of sit-skiing, whose mission has been to create an affordable sit-ski to allow anyone an opportunity to try sit-skiing and partake in adaptive athletics.

Don first got involved in cross country skiing in 1975 with the Hoofers ski club, a student organization which is a part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“We took trips up north to the Upper Peninsula, where we used really old skis and skied around the various trails. Once I started skiing with the Hoofers club, eventually every weekend turned into a skiing weekend.”

Once Don got involved in skiing, he was hooked. Don continued recreational skiing and also became interested in ski racing as well.

“I’ve never been a competitive skier but I’m a competitive person. I started skiing the Birkie with people from work in the late 70’s and thoroughly enjoyed participating in the race. Once I explored cross country skiing in the Midwest, I also became interested in venturing to the Scandinavian countries such as, Norway, Sweden and Finland to race and tour. I also took a ski trip to Canada, to explore their skiing opportunities as well.”

Looking to expand the sport of cross country skiing and bring a fun event to Madison, Don became a sponsor of the first Capitol Square Sprints, known now as Madison Winter Festival in 2005. This was when Don’s inspiration for sit-skiing was first sparked.

“I offered Yuriy a sponsorship for the event and he said what he needed the most help with was, inviting U.S. Paralympian Team to Madison, WI for the Capitol Square Sprints. We thought it would be a great opportunity for them to get on snow in Madison and demonstrate sit-skiing to the community and participants.”

The invitation was successfully received by the athletes and coaches who attended the event in 2005. After the event, Don began brainstorming ways CXC could buy a sit-ski for locals and participants to demo at the Capitol Square Sprints the following year.

“Yuriy began researching prices of sit-skis and realized it would cost us $2,000 to buy one. The outrageous price forced me to think outside the box to figure out another way to get a sit-ski.”

Don Becker presents a medal to U.S. Navy Lt. Dan Cnossen of U.S. Paralympics Nordic Program at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup in Cable, Wis.

Don Becker presents a medal to U.S. Navy Lt. Dan Cnossen of U.S. Paralympics Nordic Program at the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup in Cable, Wis.

With the University of Wisconsin-Madison right in their backdoor, Don and CXC decided to use the University Recreational Sports Program and Engineering program as resources to create a sit-ski of their own.

“Not only did UW-Madison get on board, we also gained support from the U.S. Paralympics, UW-Madison graduate students and local Madison adaptive athlete Jane Schmieding. With support from multiple platforms, over the course of a couple years due to a lot of trial and error, one sit-ski was designed and built by the engineering students.”

After the first sit-ski was built, five additional sit-skis were built and taken to the Birkie by UW-Madison Adaptive Sports athletes, where the first sit-ski event took place.

“The Birkie was very supportive which helped the presence of sit-skiing became more established in the cross country skiing community and in the Midwest.”

After having success with the creation of the first sit-ski, Don and CXC began planning how the sit-ski could become even more efficient. This time, they turned to Duncan Bathe mechanical engineer, long time skier, and now CXC’s Sports Technologist and Veterans Program Coordinator along with Jeff Pagales, 1992 Winter Paralympic Games gold medalist.

“With Duncan and Jeff’s background and advice, the third generation sit-ski became more maneuverable, lighter and simpler, which is better for those individuals who want to compete. Some athletes still prefer the first generation because anyone can use it due to it’s rock solid and heavy frame.”

Adjustable Sit Ski

Once sit-skiing became more prevalent in the first few years after its creation, Don and CXC started seeing the impact it had on adaptive athletes.

Don’s most inspiring story was from Willy Stuart, a paralympian who shared a story of a woman who lost her legs and could no longer downhill ski.

“When she tried a sit-ski for the first time she said it gave her life back.”

Scott Bachmeier an avid skier, is another individual with an inspiring story that stands out in Don’s mind.

“Scott developed physical problems and thought he was done skiing because he could not stand up. We put him in a sit-ski and now he skis the Adaptive Birkie, and looks forward to skiing Kortelopet with his daughter in the future.”

Don’s hope for the future of sit skis is to be able to build 10,000 of them and distribute the sit-skis across the country in the adaptive world.

“Everyone who wants to try sit-skiing should have the opportunity to get out there during the winter. The best athletes should have the chance if they want. More competitive skiers, means more gold medals.”

Receiving a grant from the Gordon Flesch Foundation to benefit the CXC Adaptive Program

Receiving a grant from the Gordon Flesch Foundation to benefit the CXC Adaptive Program

His vision for sit-skis also goes hand in hand with the vision of the CXC Adaptive Program. There are two levels to the vision, one: to provide entry level experience to kids and adults, whether it be providing competitive opportunities to those who want to be competitive. Two: Give those competitive athletes the opportunity to train with professional coaches and able bodied athletes.


Help us grow CXC Adaptive Program for children with physical disabilities and visual impairment. Kent Eriksen Cycles is partnering with Central Cross Country Ski Association by giving away a dream bike. Donate to Win! 

 

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Testimonial from a CXC Adaptive Parent~

 

“Our daughter, who is visually impaired, began training at CXC about a year ago. With the vast experience and knowledge of the staff there, she has grown by leaps and bounds not only as a skier but as a person. CXC has supplied Mia with tools to conquer challenges on the trail and in the world of a young adult with a visual impairment”.

 

A Month of Big Training Hours and Camps

By: CXC Team Member, Kyle Bratrud

I finished July training extremely strong. However, the training load took its toll on my body the first week of August. It brought along a nice virus that left me with a fever and headache for 9 straight days. I suppose the sickness was my body’s way of telling me I needed to rest after training 100+ hours in July.  

Following a less then comfortable recovery week, I hopped on a plane and headed out East to Vermont to meet up with Stratton Mountain for a nice training block. I am currently on the second week of that training block, with an easy week on the horizon, before we head into a mini camp with Sun Valley and then over to Lake Placid, New York for the U.S. Ski Team (USST) camp.

Vermont rainbows, loving the scenery and terrain here at SMS.

Vermont rainbows, loving the scenery and terrain here at SMS.

Training with the Stratton Mountain guys has been extremely productive. Having my old training partner and one of my closest friends, Ben Saxton, around; has been super helpful in my attempt to build sprinting speed. It’s also really nice to have a skier like Paddy Caldwell who can push me in any workout where endurance is required. I consider Paddy to be one of the best skate skiers in the country, it’s awesome to have someone to push me in my favorite discipline. It’s really no surprise to me that SMS is constantly spitting out World Cup skiers. Their program is simple and straightforward and has a bunch of motivated athletes that love to ski fast.

1.I have had a lot of fun with my new Garmin 920XT watch. I can view my workout via Bluetooth on my smartphone seconds after finishing it!

I have had a lot of fun with my new Garmin 920XT watch. I can view my workout via Bluetooth on my smartphone seconds after finishing it!

From Vermont I will head to Lake Placid, New York for a week long camp alongside the U.S Ski Team (USST) and then I will fly back to Marquette, MI. I’m excited to continue to improve my classic skiing alongside my roommate from Northern Michigan University and 2015 NCAA National Champion in the 20K classic, Fredrik Schwencke. Freddy and I always seem to have very productive workouts and I look forward to putting in a really solid fall training with him and building up to West Yellowstone. As this blog is posted, I will be enjoying my recovery week!

Progress Continues at August Adaptive Camp

August 14-16.  The CXC Adaptive Program held their August Camp, the last camp of the Summer period. We had great weather, a new participant and made awesome progress.

Mia Zutter and Steve Baskis practicing VI biathlon

Mia Zutter and Steve Baskis practicing VI biathlon

Kent Kakugawa, Navy Veteran, was CXC August Adaptive Camp’s newest participate. Kent participates in paratriathlon for Dare2Tri during the summer months, and is now expanding his horizons to stay fit in the winter. During the camp, Kent was fitted for a sit ski and will be testing out his new way to roll!

Adaptive Athletes at the CXC Center of Excellence

Adaptive Athletes at the CXC Center of Excellence

Brenden Ojibway CXC Adaptive Athlete, had more trail time this past camp then previous summer camps. The opportunity for Kent to get out on the trail and sit ski with Brenden and I was a good learning experience for everyone. Brenden and Kent had fun with every ski and worked off each others energy and competitiveness, pushing each other to try new experiences. The three of us sit skied every day after a comprehensive strength and conditioning workout and discussion. Overall, Brenden and Kent were able to put some beneficial miles on their sit skis that will pay off in winter.

Mia Zutter, CXC Adaptive Athlete, focused on practicing her visual impairment (VI) shooting for parabiathlon during the August Camp. Steve Baskis, CXC Adaptive Athlete, who is also visually impaired, was able to work with Mia to become a more efficient shooter. It was beneficial for both Mia and Steve to work together and learn from one another. After an indepth shooting practice provided by U.S Parabiathlon Coach BethAnn Chamberlin, they were able to get out on the trails and rollerski with guide Duncan Bathe, CXC Veterans Program Coordinator.

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Overall, the August Adaptive Camp was a success for all athletes involved. Everyone was focused on their goals and worked hard to get one step closer to reaching their goals for the winter. I am looking forward to seeing the athletes progress during the September Adaptive Camp; September 18-20.


Martin-Donegan

Martin Donegan, CXC Para Nordic Coach

For further Information or details on the Adaptive Program or Adaptive Camps please feel free to contact Martin Donegan by email at martin.donegan@cxcskiing.org or 610.217.8836.

August Aquatic Adventures

By: CXC Team Member, Andy Brown

This month I took a short break from “official” training to go on a Quetico canoe trip with my Dad and sister. Neither of them had been on a canoe trip before and I was excited to step up into the role of “guide” for the trip. I have some great friends who have taught me the “right” way to travel by canoe (dry foot landings, bent shaft hut paddling, and single portaging), and I was eager to pass the knowledge on. We paddled across Big Saganaga into Cache Bay and checked in with the Canadian Ranger before paddling to the Falls Chain.

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Before the trip, one of my friends warned me that at least one person has died on every portage on the route we were traveling, so I proceeded to each of the falls conservatively to make sure we didn’t get swept downstream. As a further reminder of why to not take a canoe over a waterfall, we saw half of a kevlar canoe wedged midway through one of the falls. Hopefully everyone made it out of that one okay.

The portages were a nice change of pace from all the paddling across the big lakes. I got stuck carrying the canoe for all the portages, but it was a good way to build character and I could definitely tell my overhead presses in the weight room have improved. By the end of a 130 rod portage, your shoulders start to go numb from the portage pads digging in. Best to just keep moving until you see the next blue lake shining through the trees.

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I had been on a previous trip to the Quetico early in May of this year, so having warm water to swim in was a nice change. Swimming in 50 degree water is very exhilarating but this was far more enjoyable. The views from our campsites were amazing and it was great to have such beautiful lakes all to ourselves.

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We took a bit of a gamble in packing food and planned a couple of fish dinners that required us to catch fish or go a bit hungry. On the last night it was looking pretty grim as all we had caught was a tiny bass that I had snagged, but my sister came through just in time, reeling in a nice big bass to complete our meal.

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It was the perfect end to our trip. Great scenery, good weather, and excellent company came together to make a memorable experience.

Head Wax Coaches Announced for 2016 Junior Nationals

The Midwest Junior National Team is happy to announce the selection of the head wax coaches for the 2016 Midwest Junior National Team who will be competing at the 2016 Junior National Championships which take place this March in Cable, WI.

Head Kick Wax Coach – Scott Putman, Ashwaubenon Nordic Ski Team
Head Glide Wax Coach – Jason Kask, Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club (DXC)

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Applications for the remaining six coaching positions will be filled in the fall. Coaches on the Midwest Junior National trip volunteer their time, to coach the best in the Midwest at the Junior National Championships competition. Any USSA and CXC licensed coach is invited to apply for the trip.

The trip time frame is March, 4-13 2016 at Mt. Telemark in Cable, WI hosted by CXC Skiing. Applications are online in the link below, applications are due September 20th.

ONLINE APPLICATION


Andy K

Andy Keller, CXC Head Coach

For further information or details about Coaching for Junior Nationals feel free to contact Andy Keller, Midwest Team Trip Leader at andy.keller@cxcskiing.org