[Thanks to Scott Ackatz for finding this interview]
The United States’ ability to develop Olympic level cross country skiers has been hampered by the lack of long term training programs. Cross Country skiers often don’t reach full potential until their late twenties. High School skiers need help reaching the collegiate level. College level athletes have difficulty maintaining a year round training program after graduation.
Since 2000, the Central Cross Country Ski Association has run a junior development program for high school athletes. In 2006 they added an “Elite team” to groom skiers who want to move beyond college programs. The association hopes the training will start to yield dividends in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In Wisconsin producer Art Hackett profiles athletes from the Junior and Elite teams at their training facility near Hayward: