Midwest Adaptive Nordic Festival

December 27 & 28, 2017

The goal of this clinic is to introduce those that are interested in Paralympic Adaptive Cross Country skiing and provide an opportunity to try out equipment, ski with other adaptive athletes and learn about more opportunities to enjoy this awesome sport, and, of course, to have fun!

  • Lunch is included
  • Free hat for all volunteers and participants
  • We will provide equipment – but if you have your own please bring it.

Any interested person in Paralympic sit, standing or visually impaired cross country skiing. ALL ages welcome!

Hyland Park Visitor’s Center – Jan’s building; 10145 Bush Lake Rd. Bloomington, MN 55438. NOTE: we will be based out of Jan’s building, located in the back parking lot of the visitor’s center.

Because haven’t you always wanted to learn how to cross country ski? This a perfect opportunity to try it out!

There is NO cost to this clinic, but it is requested that you register ahead of time so we can be sure to have enough volunteers and equipment for everyone.

Register here: https://www.zapevent.com/reg/personalinfo/15265

BethAnn Chamberlain with any questions: Bethann.chamberlain@gmail.com ; 720-627-9290

Please contact BethAnn if you are interested in helping out at this event.

U.S. Paralympics Nordic Coaches Education Clinic

Join U.S. Paralympics Nordic Development Coach, BethAnn Chamberlain, at her Paralympic Nordic coaches clinic, aimed to facilitate growth of Paralympic Nordic athletes and programing throughout the Midwest.

Who: Nordic Coaches, volunteers, adaptive sport coordinators/instructors, parents, Nordic skiers interested guides and those interested in learning more about Paralympic Nordic Skiing

Date/Time: Sunday, November, 5th 3 pm. –5 pm
Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

Boulder Nordic Sport, 8929 Penn Ave S.
Bloomington, MN 55431

Please register at https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/122649
* There is no cost to this event, but registration is appreciated.

Contact BethAnn Chamberlain with any questions: 720-627-9290, Bethann.chamberlain@gmail.com

Purpose and Goals of the Training:

• Provide best practices for coaching sit skiing and visually impaired adaptive athletes in Nordic skiing, including guiding visually impaired athletes

• Provide an opportunity for local and regional coaches to become familiar with the latest developments in equipment and technique in adaptive skiing

• Provide a networking opportunity for Nordic programs, adaptive sport organizations, rehab facilities & potential athletes and coaches

There will be an opportunity for all those who attend this clinic to test equipment out on snow at a later date in December. Details on this will be provided at the clinic on the 5th.

**If you are interested in learning more about adaptive Nordic and how to integrate athletes into your programing but are unable to attend, please contact BethAnn to discuss alternative opportunities.

Harford Ski Spectacular Adaptive Race Camp Recap

Last week CXC adaptive ski coach Martin Donegan traveled to Colorado with CXC adaptive skier Brenden Ojibway to attend the Hartford Ski Spectacular Race Camp.

The camp is an opportunity for athletes and coaches to learn and perfect their skills in a variety of winter sports including snowboarding, skiing, hockey and curling. Athletes across the country come to for training and to forge new bonds with other athletes as they continue their pursuit of excellence.


To see and listen to such motivated athletes has helped me understand how to coach such a diverse population of abilities. The bond of friendship and sportsmanship is strengthened at events like these. We hope to participated next year and continue to grow our involvement in The Hartford Ski Spectacular Race Camp.

– commented Martin Donegan, CXC Adaptive Ski Coach


Brenden, who attended the camp for the first time, was not only able to train twice a day on snow, but learned countless information regarding the sport from U.S. Paralympic Coaches BethAnn Chamberlain and Rob Rosser.

On the fourth day a time trial and a 4-person biathlon relay were held to showcase “in race” skills. Athletes completed a set of sharp turns over a short loop at high speeds into the range completing two laps. Paralympic hopefuls from Great Britain’s Ex Service Members Para-Nordic team participated and helped push athletes to their best during the trials.

– commented Martin Donegan


A typical day at the camp for Marty and Brenden consisted of a 9am morning workout with a focus of on-snow drills. Drills included agility courses, handling speed and navigating turns in the sit-ski. After a midday break for lunch athletes headed back out for a second session followed by a recap on drills learned throughout the day.

Once the programmed workout sessions were over athletes had the option to free ski or test their biathlon skills.

“Athletes were encouraged to do a short circuit and come in to shoot under the watchful eye of Rob Rosser. Learning techniques for breathing and stance, which is not especially easy in a sit ski.” –Martin Donegan


For any inquiries or questions regarding CXC Adaptive Program, please contact Martin Donegan

U.S. Paralympics Nordic Education Clinic

Join U.S. Paralympics and U.S. Paralympics Nordic National Team coaches at an adaptive coaches clinic aimed to facilitate growth of Paralympic Nordic athletes and programing throughout the Midwest.

Sunday, December 11 / Bloomington, MN


Nordic Coaches, volunteers, adaptive sport coordinators, instructors, parents, Nordic skiers and anyone interested in learning more about Paralympic Nordic Skiing are welcome to attend.


For any inquiries or questions regarding this clinic, please contact BethAnn Chamberlain

Ski for Light Seeking Skiers and Guides

Annual Event at Snow Mountain Ranch

Ski for Light (SFL) is a 40+ year old program that provides an annual week long event for Blind, Visually and Mobility impaired skiers.


SFL is actively seeking skiers (Blind, Visually & Mobility impaired) and guides (experienced XC skiers) to participate in its annual event on February 5-12, 2017 at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, near Winter Park, Colorado.

Both skiers and guides pay the same amount for the event, which is all inclusive (trail passes, hotels, 3 meals a day, airport transfers). Airfare is NOT included. Also, some stipends are available, based upon need. Interested folks should apply by early November.

* If you have immediate questions regarding this event and/or application process, please contact Leslie Maclin.


CXC Athlete Living the Dream

Some dream of being a world champion in their sport, but claiming the title for the third consecutive time became a reality for Kendall Gretsch, at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, July 24, 2016. Gretsch is a Madison, (WI) resident who trains with the CXC Para-Nordic Team during the off season as another way to prepare for her triathlons.

“It was so amazing to win my third world championship, especially knowing the races are going to get more and more competitive each year.” Said Kendall Gretsch.


Kendall Gretsch crossing the finish line to claim the World Champion title for the third time. Photo courtesy of Janos M. Schmidt/ITU Media, triathlon.org.

At World Championships, Gretsch competed in a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and a 5-Kilometer run course where Gretsch proved once again that she is a force to be reckoned with among the PT1/wheelchair women. Gretsch dominated the competition, finishing over 5 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of silver medalist Lizzie Tench of Great Britain and Spain’s Eva Moral Pedrero who grabbed the bronze medal.

Gretsch’s first official year competing in triathlons was in 2014 when her winning streak began and there are no signs of her slowing down.

Gretsch grew up swimming with her neighborhood and high schools teams, but it wasn’t until college when she got involved in adaptive sports and triathlons. Gretsch joined the triathlon team Dare2tri, which has a big emphasis on youth programs and provides adaptive equipment and coaching to kids of all ages.

“Sports was such an important part of my childhood, so I know how important this is.” Recalled Gretsch. “I’ve seen how participating in triathlon and other adaptive sports can build a kid’s sense of confidence, especially when they are able to race side by side with their peers.”

With Gretsch’s determination and hard work along with the accessibility to programs such as Dare2tri, Kendall has accelerated in her sport in just three years and making it to the big stage at World Championships.

During Gretsch’s success in triathlons, she continued to explore other adaptive sports as well. Kendall began working with CXC’s Para-Nordic program where she tried sit-skiing. After nearly two years of learning, Gretsch caught on quickly and is now hoping to ramp up her training in skiing to start competing this winter.

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Kendall on the roller ski treadmill at the CXC Center of Excellence in Madison, (WI).

“Everyone knows what a positive impact sports can have, and that’s just as important for kids with disabilities.” Explains Gretsch. “Without adaptive sports programs, competing in sports wouldn’t be possible for a lot of kids.”


Kids trying out sit-skis at a Badgers Adapt Clinic hosted by the CXC Adaptive Program.

Gretsch is an inspiration to many, as she continues to work hard and chase her dreams.

CXC’s third annual Eriksen Bike Drawing fundraiser, going on now through October 3rd, supports the CXC Adaptive Program for youth with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Over 50 tickets have already been sold in just two weeks. Support adaptive youth through a purchase of a ticket to win a custom designed, hand crafted Eriksen titanium road frame. PURCHASE A TICKET! 



CXC Adaptive Athletes Compete in 2016 Paddle and Portage

The 37th annual Paddle and Portage took place in Madison, WI on Saturday, July 30th, where competitive canoers, kayakers, and stand up paddle boarders unite for a day of fun and racing.


Steve Baskis and Martin Donegan start the race on Lake Mendota. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

The Paddle and Portage starts at James Madison Park on the shore of Lake Mendota where paddlers race a one mile loop, jump out and portage their boats less than a mile across the isthmus to Lake Monona, to paddle the final two and a half miles across to Olbrich Park. Jane Schmieding, Brenden Ojibway and Steve Baskis competed while representing Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) and proudly paddled their way through the Paddle and Portage, proving what can be done as an adaptive athlete.


Jane and Brenden competing on their adaptive paddle board. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

Jane Schmieding, a CXC Adaptive Master Skier, and Brenden Ojibway, CXC Junior Adaptive Skier, participated in the Paddle and Portage by using an adaptive paddleboard. Leslie Jackson and Kevin Carr of Creating Ability developed the adaptive paddle boards. Jane was the first person to use an adaptive paddleboard in the 2015 Paddle and Portage race.


Brenden portaging his paddle board across the isthmus to Lake Monona. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)


Brenden finishing the Paddle and Portage. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)        

Adaptive athlete and Veteran Steve Baskis was the first visually impaired athlete to complete the Paddle and Portage this year. Steve was guided in a canoe by CXC Para Nordic Coach, Martin Donegan.


Steve and Martin in the final stretch of the paddle across Lake Monona. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

“Guiding Steve from water to land was a unique experience. Even without sight, Steve has an amazing ability to acknowledge his surrounding through different means. Steve is familiar with visually impaired athletics from biathlon, to white water rafting and is always searching for the newest challenge. His ability to go into an “auto pilot” mode with little command directions needed is very impressive.”- recalled Martin.


Martin guides Steve in the portage portion of the race. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

For more information regarding the adaptive paddle board, contact Leslie Jackson

For more information regarding the CXC Adaptive Nordic Ski Program, contact our Para Nordic Coach Martin Donegan