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.

Camps for Skiers Ages 14-15

Pursue the Next Level of Skiing

Now in its second summer the CXC U16 Camps are designed to specifically meet the needs of the skiers ages 14-15.

Three weekend long camps will be offered at exciting locations in Wisconsin and Michigan, and will occur in the first three-days of each CXC Open Camp.


The goal of each U16 Camp​ is to further promote the growth and development of junior cross country ski racers and to expose young athletes to the fundamental building blocks required for high-level cross country ski racing.


WISCONSIN May 26-28 / Fitness Testing, Madison (WI)

WISCONSIN June 10-12 / Cable (WI)

MICHIGAN July 16-18 / Marquette (MI)

MICHIGAN August 4-5 / Ironwood (MI)

Camp activities will include outdoor games, dry-land training, roller skiing, and cross training activities. The intention of each camp is to inspire and excite youth to further pursue the next level of skiing following the experiences gained at the Igor Legacy Camps, and before joining the ranks of the CXC Junior Development Team.

For further information regarding the U16 Camps, contact Karmen Whitham, (802) 733-6362.


Midwest and Great Lakes Division Junior National Recap

The 2017 XC Junior National Championships held in Lake Placid, New York, is a competition series regarded as the pinnacle of the competition season for many junior skiers ages 15-20. The event has come to a close as skiers travel back home and settle into the spring season.

The National event encompasses 10 divisional teams from different areas of the country. Each team brings their best athletes to compete for the Alaska Cup and individual best performances.

Photo Credit: courtesy of

After a lively opening ceremony at the Ice Arena where “The Miracle on Ice” happened at the 1980 Winter Olympics, the racing week began on Monday with an individual skate race, followed by Classic Sprints on Wednesday, a Classic Individual start on Friday and a Skate Team Relay event on Saturday.

This year, Great Lakes Division had outstanding top ten performances in the U20 Female category with skier Sarah Goble place 4th in the 5km Skate and 7th in the 10km Classic events. On the men’s side, U18 skier Mitchell DeLong placed 6th overall in the classic sprint event and helped the GLD team toward their 5th place in the team relay.

Photo Credit: courtesy of

The Midwest team brought nearly 60 athletes to nationals this year, and was awarded numerous top-ten finishes.

Throughout the week special mentions go the Midwest’s top 10 finishers Alexander Nameth, Peter Moore, Sara Olson, Luci Anderson, Kelly Koch, Luc Golin, Xavier Mansfield, Margie Freed, Hannah Rudd, Abby Jarzin, James Schneider, Libby Tuttle, Mara McCollor, Erin Moening and Jenna Parent. In the relay event U16 Boys took home silver with 2nd place, U18 Boys and girls both received bronze with 3rd place finishes and the U20 girls took home gold with their first-place performance.

Photo Credit: courtesy of

I felt the Mid West results got better every race-  with some really exciting results on Relay Day.   The Lake Placid JN’s organizers really did a great job managing the tricky snow conditions and weather.  I think the athletes REALLY enjoyed themselves outside of the racing time-  there were lots of fun social activities right across from our hotel.  This trip will be very memorable for the Minnesota/Wisconsin athletes.  JN’s represents an important goal for any junior xc skier- and the goal of qualifying and competing at JN’s provides a great carrot for our top juniors in the Mid West region.  Many are fired up to start preparing right away! Piotr Bednarski Midwest Junior National Head Coach

A special thanks goes out to the organizing committee, volunteers and coaches for their hard work and dedication in making a high quality event that the athletes will regard as one of the most outstanding opportunities in their skiing career!


2017 NENSA U16 Championship Weekend Recap

Last weekend marked the 2017 NENSA U16 at Titcomb Mountain in West Farmington, Maine. For the Midwest that meant sending a total of eight (four boys and four girls) qualifying U16 athletes.

This race series proves to be an integral building block for the development of Midwest U16 skiers.

“The NENSA U16 trip provides the athletes with the opportunities to learn how to race, eat, recover and travel as a team. I believe this trip is a great building block for any skier’s career. Racing on new trails and other snow conditions is a great learning experience.” – Bjorn Hanson

The Championship weekend began on Friday March 10th with a 5km Freestyle race, followed by a 5km Classic race on Saturday and the series wrapped up on Sunday with the Team Relay event.

As a whole, the group did exceptionally well. Of special note were top 10 results from athletes Alice House, Lauren Lackman, Anni Skillicorn, Matthew Clarke, Cooper Lennox and Nick Parent. Podium finishes went to Alice House who got 2nd in the 5km freestyle race, Lauren Lackman just behind her in 3rd and on the men’s side Matthew Clarke stepped up on the podium with the 3rd place finish in the 5km freestyle as well.

“The NENSA organization is very inviting, friendly and helpful. In the two years I have attended this trip, they have had challenging weather conditions. In both cases they have made good choices regarding the course and skier safety. I believe they have the best interest of the U26 skier in mind. They ensure a high level of competition in a relaxed setting” – Kris Hanson Midwest NENSA Team Head Coach

The Midwest put forth two team relays, placing in first in the guest division was Midwest Team Alice House, Nick Parent, Anni Skillicorn and Cooper Lennox. Though separated into the guest category, this team from the Midwest raced a time that put them 2nd overall. Midwest skiers Ellie Munger, Matthew Clarke, Lauren Lackman and Garrett Walters raced together in the relay placing 2nd in the guest category with an overall time that placed them 5th overall.

CXC Marathon Cup Standings Announced

Final Point Rankings Released

With the conclusion of the CXC Marathon Cup Series presented by AVANT Techo, come the final point rankings.

After an unseasonable warm winter with questionable snow, the grand finale weekend proved a relative success at the UP Health System Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon in Calumet, MI.

The Series which includes races within each of the three main central states (Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota) is sanctioned and scored by Central Cross Country Ski Association.

The Marathon Cup Series awards four competition categories, Individual Overall, Individual Age-Indexed overall, Individual Age Class and Team.



Matt Liebsch
Chris Pappathopoulos
Krystof Kopal


Isabella Howden
Felicia Gesior
Alice Flanders




Matt Liebsch
Michael Mandli
Chris Pappathopoulos


Isabella Howden
Felicia Gesior
Jan Guenther



MEN 0-29

– Kristof Kopal

– Kieran Jones

– David Joda

MEN 30-39

-Matt Liebsch

-Chris Pappathopoulos

-Daniel Luoma

MEN 40-49

– Jacob Kjome

– Terrence Maag

– Eric Brandt

MEN 50-59

– Ray Johnson

– Piotr Bednarski

– Allen Hanson

MEN 60-69

– Michael Mandli

– Terry Tansey

– Randal Bladel

MEN 70 +

-Donn Christensen

-Ernie Brumbaugh

-Charles Duede

WOMEN 0-29

– Isabella Howden

– Felicia Gesior

– Alice Flanders

WOMEN 30-39

-Nicole Harvey

– Kathleen Dewahl

– Elaine Nelson

WOMEN 40-49

– Sherry Martin

– Kim Rudd

– Bonnie Weiskopf Albrecht

WOMEN 50-59

– Jan Guenther

– Leslie Hale

– Sandra Pera

WOMEN 60-69

– Melissa Behr

– Maddie McAlister

– Carol Markham-Cousins

“Despite all of the weather related challenges thrown at event organizers and volunteers this year, it was great to see the Avant Tecno CXC Marathon Cup grow and mature.

The level of competition definitely increased with more appearances from skiers with World Cup and World Championship experience, as well as college skiers and skiers coming down from Canada.

Fortunately the ability of some events to hold races on man made snow has grown dramatically in just the last year allowing for safe and competitive races where previously they might have been canceled or held on much less than ideal courses.

Due to the commitment of the Midwest skiing community the future looks bright for the series regardless of what Mother Nature has in store.”

– Chris Pappathopoulos BNS 


4th Annual CXC Online Auction

We have wrapped up our ‘Spring Cleaning’ and we are offering lots of terrific options for you this year! The 4th Annual CXC Online Auction is officially open! Make sure to bid early and check back often because the auction is only active until Thursday, March 23rd at 9pm CST!

“Winning bids and donations will directly support CXC Skiing programming and events. Thank you!” – Yuriy Gusev, CXC Skiing Executive Director