The National Nordic Foundation & Developing Athletes
For nordic athletes in the U.S. there is are big expectations to live up to. In recent years the success of all nordic sports has skyrocketed to a level where not only do we have a chance to win medals in World Championship, Olympic, and World Cup events, but we are expected to. This is an amazing time in our sport and for developing athletes to see the possibilities of future medals it is inspiring and extremely motivational.
When we look at the support that successful athletes have gotten over the years it becomes clear that the development of champions takes time. Most of the athletes who have gone on to win World Championship and Olympic medals in nordic combined didn’t get their first World Cup podiums until they were in there early to mid twenties. The years between leaving high school and World Cup success prove to be the breaking point for most athletes in our sport. When developing athletes look at their options they can either try to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars a year to be able to train and compete, or put that money toward a college education and give up skiing.
The chance to become a World or Olympic Champion is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we have seen that we have the right program to achieve the highest level of success. But the only way we can keep producing champions is to give them the opportunity to develop and continue skiing in the years where they will receive little or no support from the U.S. Ski Team. The NNF is the program that keeps the development pipeline of the U.S. nordic sports running.
I have personally received support from the NNF for the last couple competition seasons. The NNF has allowed the “B” team to go to the competitions that are necessary to move up in the sport. By funding training camps and competitions the NNF has had a huge direct impact on the success of my teammates and I. As a result we have seen a large change in the entire nordic combined community. Developing athletes don’t feel as much pressure to give up the sport they love and excel at because they know that there is a chance to get the support they need.
Please take a look at the NNF website, and the annual “Drive for 25” push to allow the NNF to be able to keep supporting athletes like me for generations to come. There are so many athletes with so much potential in the U.S. and all they need to succeed is support through the years that they will make their transition from athletes to champions.