Media Release

Nordiq Canada Welcomes Return of Eric de Nys as New Next Gen Coach

June 25, 2021

CANMORE, Alta.—Experienced cross-country ski coach, Eric de Nys, will return to Nordiq Canada to help develop Canada’s aspiring Olympic athletes into podium performers as the organizations new NextGen coach, the governing body for cross-country skiing in Canada announced on Friday.

De Nys, who was the Senior Development Team and Women’s World Cup coach on the National Ski Team from 2004-2014, will leave his head coach and program director position at Sovereign Lake Nordic Club that he has held over the last four years to take over Nordiq Canada’s Next Gen coaching reigns beginning August 13.

“Eric’s extensive coaching experience and positive track record working with developing cross-country skiers in Canada speaks for itself so we are thrilled to have him back working with our National Ski Team program,” said Stéphane Barrette, chief executive officer, Nordiq Canada. “World-leading coaching is core to the rebuild of our national program on the trail to 2022 and beyond. Eric is an extraordinary talent whose athletic background, coaching acumen, from the club to Olympic level, and leadership skills will play a critical role in developing our athletes into medal contenders internationally.”

De Nys’ experience is deeply rooted in Canada’s Nordic sports – from coaching and athlete development to creating a positive team environment at major international competitions including the Olympic Winter Games and program logistics – the resident of Vernon, B.C. rejoins a high-performance environment with Nordiq Canada that he is very familiar with.

After developing a group of Canadian women into medal winners on the World Cup and to the Olympic Winter Games in 2014, de Nys took on head coaching responsibilities with Winsport’s Junior Cross-Country Academy for one year before leading the redevelopment of Biathlon Canada’s National Team as the organization’s high-performance director (2015-2017).

Regardless of the role – club coach, national program coach or high-performance director, de Nys has been responsible for all aspects of program delivery including: goal setting; monitoring daily training; developing long-term performance planning; budgeting; managing the Integrated support teams; relationship building and team leadership.

“I am very excited to return to Nordiq Canada to help build a strong high-performance pathway for our young athletes across the country,” said de Nys, who got his start in the coaching ranks at Foothills Nordic Ski Club. “I believe my knowledge of the system, along with my experience and tremendous passion for coaching athletes at all levels across the country will be valuable in working with the staff in place, and all of our high-performance partners, to shape a promising future for the sport in Canada. These athletes deserve a strong pathway to support their pursuit of excellence. My first priority will be to meet, and develop relationships with the athletes and coaches in the system, to immediately start working together as a team to establish a program that will provide us with a road map guiding us back to the Olympic and World Championship podiums.”

An athlete for most of his life, the British Columbia native has represented Canada as a coach and technician at three Olympic Winter Games, seven World Championships, and seven U23 and Junior World Championships. He also represented Canada as an athlete at the 1994 Junior World Championships. De Nys has experienced the sport environment at both ends of the spectrum: from struggling to deliver results to celebrating medal-winning performances.

De Nys, who is the final piece of Nordiq Canada’s recently restructured high-performance department that has been designed to better support the organization’s long-term performance goals, will travel to daily training environments across Canada while continuing to reside in Vernon, B.C. with his family.

“Our plan is to create a Canadian-made system with our partners that will deliver a pool of resources for our athletes and coaches to develop to their full potential at all levels,” added Stéphane Barrette. “We are 100 per cent committed to getting Canadian cross-country skiers back onto the international podium and levels. This starts from the ground up. We believe this new high-performance structure ensures the technical delivery of our National Ski Team programs at all levels. It ensures alignment with the National Training Centres in an effort to deliver a collaborative approach focused on delivering results in 2022, while also not losing sight of the critical work that needs to be done to develop a culture from the ground up that prides itself on sharing knowledge, information and skillsets in a tight-knit program across the country that pushes each other to be better every day and is driven to succeed. I am confident with this team in place, and the passion for winning across Canada, we will achieve our goals together.”

Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para-nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and World champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at