PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. – USA Nordic has a new partnership with Paul Smith’s College, the lone four-year institution in the Adirondack Mountains. Paul Smith’s College will become the East Coast Training Center for USA Nordic. The school will offer four scholarships per year to developing nordic combined athletes.
College education is an important component of any athlete’s life. USA Nordic’s partnership with Paul Smith’s College will allow its athletes to pursue both sport and education simultaneously. The announcement comes as USA Nordic embarks on an ambitious initiative to establish similar training centers across the entire United States.
Ski jumping and nordic combined are growing at a rapid rate in America as numbers continue to rise and facilities are being upgraded across the nation. USA Nordic will take advantage of the college’s educational curricula, natural environment and proximity to Lake Placid’s recently upgraded Olympic site to attract members of its future male and female teams.
The East Coast Nordic Training Center at Paul Smith’s College will officially open and begin accepting student/athletes for the fall 2020 semester.
“The creation of this eastern Nordic skiing center will put the college in touch with many elite-level student/athletes,” said Jim Tucker, Paul Smith’s College Athletic Director. “It’s crucial that we take advantage of our assets, namely to offer a quality education and world-class ski trails for training.”
Currently, Paul Smith’s College has created an additional five miles of cross country and mountain biking terrain. The existing complex at the Visitor Interpretive Center is only used in the winter months.
“My vision is to have a full-time home base for college age students in one location that offers education and training,” said Billy Demong, an Olympic gold and silver medalist in Nordic Combined and CEO of USA Nordic. “If we can base some of our best elite athletes in a location with great training and educational opportunities, there is no doubt in my mind that other aspiring athletes will join them. Paul Smith’s College could be a template for this education and sports training center in the U.S.”
Demong, who grew up in nearby Vermontville and trained in the Lake Placid region, said other long-ranged goals are to grow women’s Nordic combined, believed to be in the cue for inclusion in the 2026 Winter Olympics.
“Given the vast improvements to the Lake Placid ski jumps and these new initiatives at Paul Smith’s College, I believe that the college would be a perfect partner to do this with,” added Demong.
Paul Smith’s College is located 20 miles from Lake Placid. It offers associate and bachelor’s degrees. The sprawling 14,000-acre campus is one of the largest college campuses in the world, and has an enrollment of less than 1,000 students.