With the coming together of men’s and women’s Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined, USA Nordic is excited to announce another step in the process of developing the best athletes in the world: the establishment of a women’s Junior National Team. This team uses very similar criteria as the men’s Junior National Team and is part of the effort develop parallel pathways for both women and men and giving them the best opportunities at age appropriate levels to develop into world class athletes.
Athletes named to the team:
We believe this will be a step in the right direction allowing for improved communication, continuity between men’s and women’s teams, and equity with regards to support and opportunity for advancement. The overall feedback has been positive with regards to the changes that were implemented earlier this summer for the men. Beckett Ledger recently stated, “I feel like we are more of a team than ever before. We have more guidance and structure with everything from coaching to training plans, which is insanely helpful.” At the same time we recognize that there are still many improvements that need to be made in the years to come with regards to sport and athlete development, but we feel that we are headed in the right direction.
Blake Hughes has already been working with athletes and families on winter plans and we will have six athletes going to the FIS and Continental Cups in Whistler, Canada, and four athletes attending the Continental Cup in Notodden, Norway. Cara Larson is one of the athletes attending these competitions, and she said “I am excited, especially with USA Nordic and WSJUSA joining as one. I think it is a really big step for us. I can’t wait to get on the snow and compete!” In addition to Ski Jumping competitions, Gabby Armstrong and Tara Geraghty-Moats also plan on competing in Women’s Nordic Combined Continental Cups later this winter, which we are thrilled about.
Congratulations to all women, and we look forward to working with them as one team as we continue to improve our system of developing the best athletes in the world.
By: Jed Hinkley