Lakehead Superior Nordic Association in Thunder Bay, ONT. to host 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals. Caledonia Nordic Ski Club in Prince George, B.C. to host Nordiq Canada Selection Trials and Nordiq Cup
CANMORE, Alta.—Clubs in Ontario and British Columbia will be counted on to host the nation’s best cross-country skiers this winter for two major events on the 2023 domestic race calendar. The cross-country ski community will stride into Thunder Bay, Ont. for the 2023 Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals while Prince George, B.C. will play host to the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials and Nordiq Cup, Nordiq Canada announced on June 8.
The governing body for cross-country skiing in Canada turned to Lakehead Superior Nordic Association
to host the most prestigious annual event on the 2023 domestic race calendar, March 11-19. Caledonia Nordic Ski Club will be the FIS World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships qualifying ground for Canada’s junior and Under-23 athletes, January 17-22.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our ski community together in Ontario and British Columbia, which are two areas of the country that are not only passionate about Nordic sport but have also played instrumental roles in the growth of cross-country skiing in Canada while developing many of Canada’s best athletes,” said Stéphane Barrette, chief executive officer, Nordiq Canada. “We look forward to working with the teams of committed officials and volunteers at Lakehead Superior Nordic Association and Caledonia Nordic Ski Club to stage another successful chapter in these history-rich events.”
More than 700 senior, junior and Para-Nordic skiers will compete for national crowns in sprints, distance races and team sprints on the trails at the Lappe Nordic Ski Centre which previously played host to the Nordiq Canada Ski Nationals in 2018 and 2015.
“We are extremely excited to have this opportunity to host the National Championships once again in Thunder Bay. We have a high number of volunteers that are super passionate and take great pride in upholding the “Lappe Standard” of excellence in race hosting,” said Werner Schwar, co –chair of the Local Organizing Committee in Thunder Bay. “We will have many experienced veterans returning and ready to serve as mentors to a whole new crop of volunteers eager to learn. The event will also provide Lappe Ski Centre the opportunity to unveil its newly renovated, fully accessible chalet equipped with a commercial kitchen, dedicated athlete/volunteer lounge, and timing room that is scheduled for completion in September 2022. Personally, I am also looking forward to seeing all our local athletes, compete at the highest level in Canada on their home course.”
Olympian Graham Ritchie headlines four athletes who train in Thunder Bay that will be hungry to lead the nation’s best on their home trails next spring. Ritchie, a fifth-place finisher at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, will be joined by Pierre Grall-Johnson. The Canadian duo are teammates at the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay. Grall-Johnson represented Canada at the Under-23 World Ski Championships last year. Two Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club athletes, who also competed at the 2022 World Junior Ski Championships – Max Hollman and Sarah Cullinan – will be equally anxious to hit the start line on familiar trails.
“I’m fired up that Thunder Bay is going to be hosting Nationals and I’m sure I can say the same for the Thunder Bay community! The volunteers put so much heart into these events, and the spring is beautiful here, so it’ll make for another great Nats,” said Graham Ritchie. “Hosting Nationals in Ontario is a huge bonus towards the growth of the sport provincially! It gives young skiers and families from Ontario a more accessible opportunity to come to the top event on the domestic calendar!”
Lakehead Superior Nordic Association is a partnership between the Lappe Nordic Ski Club and Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club that was created to bid for, and host, provincial and national level cross- country ski races and competitions, as well as to promote interest and participation in cross-country skiing in the Thunder Bay area.
Caledonia Nordic Ski Club to Host Canada’s 2023 World Junior/U23 Ski Trials in Prince George, B.C.
The nation’s next generation of cross-country ski stars will stride into Prince George, B.C. with hopes of earning a coveted spot on the Canadian team playing host to the 2023 FIS World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships in Whistler, B.C.
Caledonia Nordic Ski Club will host young Canucks from coast-to-coast-to-coast for the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials and Nordiq Cup, January 17-22.
“We are absolutely delighted and honoured to host the prestigious Nordiq Canada Selection Trials and Nordiq Cup,” said Kevin Petterson, director of competitions, Caledonia Nordic Ski Club. “Over the last decade we’ve been working to develop our Club and facility into a world-class Nordic Centre to allow for these opportunities. This vision started as we prepared to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games and has been further advanced through hosting the 2016 Western Canadian Championships, the 2019 World Para-Nordic Ski Championships, and most recently the 2022 Canadian Biathlon National Championships and the 2022 BC Provincial XC Skiing Championships.”
One of the largest clubs in Canada with nearly 2,900 members, Caledonia Nordic Ski Club will have a team of officials and volunteers ready to stage a world-class show. Under its new vision, the Club has invested nearly $4 million in an expanded ski stadium, enhanced technical building, improved FIS-homologated trail system equipped with snowmaking and lighting with the goal to host these international and national-caliber events.
A greater spotlight will be put on this year’s Trials as the event will serve as a final staging ground for Team Canada who will welcome the world’s best a week later at Whistler Olympic Park for the FIS World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships. The 10-day event will bring the best 16 to 23-year-old cross-country skiers, as well as athletes in Nordic combined and ski jumping, from 50 countries to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic venue, January 27 – February 5.
“Having the Trials in Prince George, and then the World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships on the same courses that I grew up racing on in Whistler is surreal. My goal is to qualify to have the honour and privilege of representing Canada at World Championships. Having the rare opportunity to race in front of family and friends will be even more special,” said Marielle Ackermann, a member of Canada’s 2022 National Development Team, who hails from Kimberley, B.C. “It’s so special to have these major events in British Columbia in the same year that Nordiq Canada has its first dedicated National Development Team. I hope it will mark a turning point in Canadian junior development. Now it’s a matter of training hard and doing everything possible to get myself to those start lines in Whistler.”