Cross Country Skiing
The summer is over, the air is colder, and I look forward to snowfall again in a few weeks! I know that the upcoming weeks is important for all deaf winter sport athletes in their training and preparations for the 16th Winter Deaflympics 2007 in Salt Lake City, United States.
The venue of the cross country skiing competitions will be in Soldier Hollow! I visited this venue during my inspection in March 2006 with the ICSD and Winter Deaflympics Officials. I met Jeff Lewis, Director of Competition, GOC, Howard Peterson, General Manager of Soldier Hollow and John Peterson, Chief of Race at Soldier Hollow during my site inspection. I was very impressed with the courses, facilities and technical support at Soldier Hollow. I feel sure that the technical organization of the cross country skiing will be thoroughly professional!
For the first time in Winter Deaflympics cross country skiing competition, we have made a new schedule for women and men: 1.3km individual sprint, 10/15 km mass-start, 15/20 km pursuit and team sprint. 3x10 km relay for men will go as planned, but 3x5 km relay for women has been cancelled (only three countries signed up).
After receiving the final entry names I will make a starting order list based on ranking lists from previous results in 2003 Winter Deaflympics and European Deaf Championships.
I hope that this new cross country skiing competition schedule will give inspiration and more exciting feeling among the athletes and spectators. Also as a result from this, encourage more cross country skiiers within the National Deaf Sport Federations to compete.
Look forward to meeting and working with all of you in Salt Lake City next February!
Knut B. Kjøde,
ICSD Technical Director - Cross Country Skiing