The Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) is pleased to announce the expansion of its Athlete Development Program. Beginning in the spring of 2011, CXC will be offering full support to America's top junior skiers through the addition of an Elite Development Team. Those selected juniors for the Elite Development Team will train side-by-side with CXC's top senior athletes throughout the year at camps held around the United States, and will continue to work with their local clubs and coaches during the time between camps. The ultimate goal is to merge our senior and junior programs, excelling in development while maintaining the highest level of racing excellence. The programs will be coached by CXC Team coach Jason Cork, coach Gus Kaeding, and Junior Development coach Igor Badamshin.
CXC Junior Development Team is led by Igor Badamshin. Igor is a former Olympian and bronze medal winner at World Championships. Since Igor has taken lead of the Junior Development Program, it has more than doubled in participants. Further junior program expansion will allow juniors to work more closely with CXC Elite Team members to foster development towards national and international success. Currently, the CXC Junior Development Team has 15 members with some of the top juniors from around the Midwest. Those juniors represent nine different ski clubs, come together for monthly training camps and races. Igor has established additional outreach programs in Wausau and Minocqua, Wisconsin, exposing over 50 junior skiers in the surrounding areas to year-round training.
"It's great to see so much interest in cross-country ski racing. It couldn't be done without the support of their coaches and clubs. CXC has provided over $12,000 in scholarships to offset training camp and coaching expenses to committed, talented athletes. CXC's Community Olympic Development Program [CODP] is a great mechanism for talent identification and we will see proof of that in the upcoming year." - Igor Badamshin, CXC Junior Development Team Coach
Starting in the spring of 2011, CXC will provide 100% support for qualifying athletes to cover training, coaching, camps and racing expenses associated with the CXC Elite Development Team. CXC will encourage club/school coaches of participating athletes to attend training camps, and bring along any other top athletes from their programs. CXC will subsidize the coach's expenses during these training camps.
"We are committed to taking this large step in order to provide the best opportunity to each of the most talented junior athletes. These athletes will now have every opportunity towards athletic excellence on the national and international level. Jessie Diggins is a great example within our current program. Jessie has been an inspiration for us to make this happen and we hope to develop a dozen of athletes of similar caliber so they can push each other to the next level!" - Yuriy Gusev, CXC Executive and Athletic Director
This year CXC is making a commitment to fully support two juniors to compete at the U.S. National Championships in Rumford, ME. These two athletes qualified to receive this support by showing outstanding performance last season at the Junior World Championships and Junior Olympics.
Tentative qualification criteria to receive full Junior Development Team support from CXC will be up to 3 athletes per gender subject to application:
J2 - Top 3 finish at JO's
J1 - Top 3 finish at JO's or top 10 finish at J1 Scando Trip
OJ -Top 30 finish at Junior World Championships
The CXC Junior Development Team will continue be open to juniors that do not qualify for the Elite Development Team by utilizing the current criteria and program fee structure.