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CXC Skier Gala event

Thu, Mar  20, 2008 - By CXC Skiing

The Silent Sports Foundation of Minneapolis, in conjunction with Central Cross Country Skiing, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, and University of Minnesota Alumni Association cordially invites all skiers to join the entire Midwest cross country ski community on Sunday, April 6, 2008 for the inaugural SKIER GALA celebrating the great past ski season and anticipating many exciting years to come. Co-Masters of Ceremony include two Minnesota Greats; cross country ski legend Chad Giese, past Minnesota state high school champion, six time winner of the Mora, Minnesota Vasaloppet, and Factory Team member; and running legend Dick Beardsley, two time winner and course record holder of Grandma’s Marathon.

The program will incorporate a tribute to Ahvo Taipale, recognizing his past accomplishments as the Head Coach of the University of Minnesota two time National Championship Teams. Introducing Ahvo and members of his historic team will be U of M Athletic Director, Joel Maturi.

Keynote speaker will be Pete Vordenberg, Head Coach of the US Ski Team. He is concluding his 2nd year as the Head Coach of US Ski Team and his 6th year coaching the US Team. He is a two time Olympian, NCAA Champion while a member of the Northern Michigan University Ski Team and former US Ski Team Member.  Pete is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, where he coached after graduation.  He was born in 1971 in Rota, Spain to Lloyd and Sue Vordenberg. Pete and his new bride Barb Jones of Stillwater, MN, live in Salt Lake City, UT. Pete will speak about current directions and projects for USSA and the US Ski Team, recent World Cup highlights, and who to watch as the count down begins for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Guest speakers will include Garrott Kuzzy, wrapping up his second year of training and racing with the Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC) Olympic Development Team. He grew up in Minneapolis, the son of Jim and Beth, attended Hopkins High School where he was MN state high school XC pursuit champion, and is a 2006 graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in geography and German. This season he was crowned US SuperTour Sprint Champion and is the Overall SuperTour Leader. Following a 9th place finish in the Canmore World Cup Garrott joined the US Ski Team on his first tour of the Central European and Scandinavian World Cups. Garrott will relate inspirational stories of racing in North America and Europe and highlight the CXC Elite Team and Junior Development Program; and Caitlin Compton, a Minneapolis resident and Northern Michigan University graduate. She trained last year with the CXC Olympic Development Team and represented the US at the World Championships in Sapporo, Japan, was the 2007 Overall SuperTour Champion, and is currently competing in Europe and the Far East as a member of the US Biathlon Team in World Cup and World Championship competitions. Caitlin will share the wealth of information she has collected as an Elite cross country and biathlon athlete.

The SKIER GALA dinner program will take place at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, Memorial Hall.  300-400 people are expected to attend. This event kicks off a grass-roots support for our US Ski Team in pursuit of podium finishes at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, and also highlight our own CXC Junior Olympic Development Team for it’s education and development of healthy lifestyles for our young local talents as future US Olympic medalists.

On behalf of USSA and USST, the CXC Junior Olympic Development Team, and the SKIER GALA Organizers, thank you in advance to all participants, volunteers, sponsors, and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, for helping to make this event a great success.

3:30 PM Reception

4:15 PM Dinner

5:00 PM Speakers

6:30 PM Walking tour of the U of M new TCF Football Stadium site

Dinner cost: $50 per person, $25 under 20 years old, or $600 per sponsor table seating 10 people; payable to SILENT SPORTS FOUNDATION, P.O. Box 2827, Minneapolis, MN 55402; or on-line at .  Silent Sports Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation supporting athletic educational programs and services. Dinner proceeds benefit the CXC Junior Development Program and the US Ski Team. Please reserve space by March 30.

Door Prizes and Silent Auction for World Cup memorabilia and other XC related items.

McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak St. SE, Memorial Hall
Minneapolis MN 55455