PARK CITY, Utah (July 7) - Anchorage, one of the leading cross country ski markets in America, will host the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships at Kincaid Park for the next two years, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association announced July 7. The annual national championship races held the first week of January will challenge America's best cross country skiers as they compete for the title of best in the U.S.
"We couldn't be happier to be able to call Anchorage the home of the ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships for the 2009 and 2010 seasons," said Nordic Director John Farra. "Not only is Anchorage a center of cross country excellence, having the competition venue at sea level will help replicate expected conditions in the Callahan Valley for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. It will be an added benefit to our athletes headed to that competition."
The Championships will be held in Kincaid Park, within the city limits of Anchorage, which is known for being one of the best cross country venues in the nation. The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA) will host the event which is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3-8, 2009 and will help determine the 2010 U.S. Olympic cross country team.
"NSAA has a strong tradition of hosting high quality cross country competitions and Kincaid is an excellent competition venue," USSA Vice President of Events Calum Clark said. "Members of the Anchorage community are passionate supporters of cross country ski racing and strong advocates of their home town athletes like Kikkan Randall [Anchorage]."
"At ConocoPhillips, we believe in creating a positive impact in communities where our employees live and work. Supporting the United States Cross Country Ski Championships in Anchorage gives our Alaskan athletes a chance to compete on a national level right here at home," said Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. "And having over 450 athletes and coaches, plus their families, come to Alaska to compete is a real win for our local economy. We're proud to be involved and will be cheering the athletes on."
According to Clark, having the championships in such close proximity to a highly populated city will put an added focus on the excitement of cross country skiing.
"When we said we were in negotiations to host the event in Alaska, there was a huge sense of excitement from the cross country community," Clark said. "It's a great way to bring the sport to the public, by having it in a metropolis. It's going to be right on people's doorsteps in Anchorage." The 2009 ConocoPhillips U.S. Cross Country Championships schedule:
Jan 3 - Sprint (Classic)
Jan 5 - 10/15km (Freestyle)
Jan 7 - 5/10km (Classic)
Jan 8 - Team Sprint (Freestyle)