Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - Information
New Generation XC-Events

By: Matthias Ahrens

It is December in Canmore - No Snow - my kids are biking on a "North Shore" trail in our backyard, created with planks, logs and teeter-totters. At the Nordic Center, they found little excitement on the 2 km manmade highway, until we found some bumps and banks in the artificial snow piles.

We all know how exciting XC-skiing can be, the equipment allows us to go uphill, downhill and even jump. These ski skills are developed at a young age when we practise in ski play areas or while ski touring in challenging terrain.

But are we loosing a lot of Youngsters (not just in Canada, but worldwide) in our XC-Skisport? Lack of snow is probably one reason, but an unexciting image of XC-Ski racing might be the other.

Freeride is the trend in many snow sports - why? - it is skill based fun [ tricks are the real challenge among kids] and it comes with coolness, music and fashion.

In XC-Skiing we can do it too!!


Sprints were the start, but beside the traditional races, we need new events to expose the XC-skier's whole repertoire.

This could be in individual skiathlon events, incorporating uphills, slalom gates and jumps with time penalties for missed gates or not making a jump.

Or a head to head skiercross [ see picture of Red Bull event in Austria] with uphill climbs, banked turns and jumps in heats of 4 after a preliminary qualification race.

Another format could be a ski criterium race [like in bike racing] with prime and bell laps.

These races could be held in downtown parks or streets with the spectators viewing the entire course and could attract TV and therefore more sponsors.

I know that kids have fun in these events and encourage everybody to try and organize alternative formats.

In the Bow Corridor between Canmore and Calgary we have successfully introduced races like skiercross, skiathlon and ski criterium in our Regional Race Series.

The only obstacle now is, we are waiting for snow.

With best wishes towards a great Winter,

I would like to thank SALOMON and CODA for their ongoing support of our Bow Corridor Challenge Cup.


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