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Junior/U23 Trials and Nordiq Cup just 60 days away

2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships host committee chair Kevin Pettersen talks to competitors on the course at Otway. Kelly Bergman/BergMedia
Kevin Pettersen. Kelly Bergman/BergMedia

This past week marked the 60-day countdown to the next national spotlight on nordic skiing in Prince George. The Caledonia Nordic Ski Centre has picked up right where COVID-19 left off, attracting major cross-country events to the local trails. From January 18-21 it happens again, when the CNSC hosts the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials & Nordiq Cup combo.

“This is a highly prestigious national competition awarded and sanctioned by Nordiq Canada and FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation),” said Kevin Pettersen, the Director of Competitions for CNSC. “It attracts top Junior (U20) and U23 cross-country skiers from all across Canada who will be competing for a coveted spot on the National team to represent Canada at the FIS World Junior / U23 Nordic Ski Championships which are being hosted in Whistler from Jan. 27 – Feb 5, almost immediately after our event in Prince George.” 

The nation’s top aspirational skiers will bring their A-race to Prince George, in hopes of cracking that Team Canada lineup, but they are also going for another kind of gold. The Prince George event has important points up for grabs in the prestigious Nordiq Cup standings.

The Nordiq Cup is a three-race series on Canadian soil (there is a complementary series in the United States) in which Canadian and American skiers can accumulate points towards North America’s Continental Cup. The Continental Cup is a competition process for earning spots on the World Cup circuit, all under the auspices of FIS, the world’s governing body for nordic, alpine and snowboard sports. Because the race technicalities are exactly the same as the U20 Selection Trials, these young Team Canada contenders will be potentially racing simultaneously with some of the best nordic veterans not currently on the World Cup stage. 

“FIS awarded Nordiq Canada three Continental Cups races for the 2022/23 season and Prince George will host one of them,” said Sally Connon, CNSC’s Chief of Competitions. “The combined Open and U23 categories will compete for top spot in the Continental Cup Series, which could lead to a spot with Team Canada on the World Cup circuit for the Period 4 races in Europe in March of 2023. The Continental Cup Series of races are a key part of the development of Canadian athletes to race on the World Cup circuit.”

Volunteers will be required in large numbers, and the CNSC takes great pride in ensuring a positive volunteer experience for their events. Many have, over time, climbed the certification ranks to become experienced officials, veterans at course maintenance or equipment preparation, coaches, and many other valued positions. Human capacity is as important to attracting national and international events as the physical structures the Caledonia facility offers. 

“It goes back to 1957, when we had nordic skiers looking to organize and have a club, and trails to ski on,” said Lance MacDonald, President of CNSC’s Board of Directors. “That’s where these things start: with a few passionate people who have a vision and want to build something out. Through the years, that’s happened through many club changes. In 1987 the nordic skiers formed the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and became stewards of this facility. So, humble beginnings, and with the help of our community stakeholders we are now a world-class facility.”   

The CNSC campus now has more than 60 kilometres of formalized trails, snow-making capabilities, lighted areas, and a membership of about 2,800 members. “We are the second-largest club in Canada and one of the most exciting clubs in Canada,” MacDonald said. 

Kate Boyd from Nordiq Canada confirms the national position the Prince George ski club and its facilities has earned.

“I’m personally thrilled to be back here in Prince George,” said Boyd, when the latest announcement was made. “I can personally attest. I was here in 2019 for the world championships that were hosted here, the ParaNordic World Ski Championships. You knocked it out of the park. Our international community remembers it quite fondly: your grooming, your trails, your volunteer spirit, the organization, access to tasty meals on site – the cookies are still talked about – you guys certainly left no stone unturned and ensured it was very memorable. Thank you from all of us.”   

If the national body is still graciously offering thanks for the past, just wait until the new experiences are unfurled, with all the advancements in infrastructure, amenities and experience that has happened in the past three years.

The Caledonia Nordic Ski Centre is not just gearing up for one event, but three. After the Junior/U23 Trials & Nordiq Cup festivities wrap up, attention will turn almost immediately to the next two functions coming a year later, the FIS Para Biathlon World Championships and the FIS Para Nordic World Cup Finals both coming to Prince George in March 2024.

To become a sponsor for the Nordiq Canada Selection Trials & Nordiq Cup event, please email Kevin at If you are interested in volunteering, contact Vonda at Get in on the national spotlight less than two months away. 

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