Greetings NENSA Community ~

Championship March is drawing to a close, but here at NENSA we are in full swing both wrapping up this season and making plans for 2019-20. Bid sheets are now open for venues and clubs to bid on hosting Eastern Cup weekends, Zak Cup races and Marathons for 2020, and U16's and EHS Championships for 2021. See full story in box below for links to submit your bids.

This past weekend, I had the wonderful pleasure of attending my first every World Cup races in Quebec, and they did not disappoint! What a fun and exciting weekend! Thank you to the Stowe Nordic Club for letting me join them! I met some wonderful new people, saw many old friends, skied (yes, skied - a cruel irony of this job - we staffers do not get to ski nearly as much as we'd like to...), and got to cheer on all my favorite USST heroes up close and personal. And, see greats like Alex Harvey, Kalla, Nilsson, Klaebo and Pellegrino race!

Last Saturday night, in Quebec City, there was also a gathering of both past women Olympians, and the current woman's USST. Trina Hosmer was kind to share some photos with NENSA - see below. You can also read all about Rosie Brennan receiving the first Inga Award from U.S. Nordic Olympic Women (US NOW).

Looking to squeeze in a few end of season races or events - you are in luck, and there is still tons of snow up North! Supertour Finals are currently going on in Fort Kent Maine, today through April 2nd. This Saturday March 30th is the Prospect Mountain Black Fly Citizen Races in Woodford VT, and a Girls with Guns biathlon clinic in Jericho VT. This Sunday March 31st is the Trapps' Race to the Cabin in Stowe, VT.

Save the Date: Next Sunday April 7th, for both the Cochran's Nordic Cross fun race, AND our NENSA Masters End of Season Awards for our Zak Cup, Club Cup and Marathon Challenger winners.

And as always, be sure to check out all the NENSA NEWS from the Field below ~ lots of great photos and stories, links the TODAY Show video of Kikkan and Jessie, links to photos galleries from Junior Nationals, as well as all the great races and events coming up on our full NENSA Calendar of Events at the bottom of this eNewsletter.

Best,
Amie

Amie W. Smith
Executive Director
New England Nordic Ski Association
Amie@nensa.net

NENSA does a lot of social media posting and updates on our social media platforms ~ be sure to follow us on
Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram @nensa_nordic
NENSA News from the Field
Highlights and Notes from NENSA and the Nordic World
2019-2020 NENSA Event Bidding is Open!
Venues and Event Organizers – please take note that bidding for the 2019-2020 season is now open (closing May 1). Please read through the following link for detailed information about bidding and help with selecting potential dates. Our Eastern Cup calendar will be finalized during NENSA’s May meetings and folks who want to host are... for bid sheet links and to read more click HERE
Awesome Past & Present Women Olympians at World Cup Finals in Quebec City
Former Olympians at the World Cup Finals taking an afternoon ski!
Women’s from left to right:
Trina Hosmer, Sue Wemyss, Betsy Haines, Tessa Benoit, Dorcas Wonsavage, Leslie Krichoff, Brenda White, Judy Rabinowitz, Laura Wilson 
Past women Olympians and current USST members gathered for a lovely dinner in Quebec City on Saturday night
Links to some great current news,
recent videos and photos:
This is a short and sweet reminder that SuperTour Finals are happening now! Tune in to the live stream at: http://www.facebook.com/usskiandsnowboard or live timing HERE at Bullett Timing

Jessie Diggins And Kikkan Randall Open Up About Health And Skiing
Since bringing home gold, cross-country skiers Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall have opened up about their personal struggles: Diggins battled an eating disorder; Randall was diagnosed with breast cancer. The two share their stories on TODAY. ...Watch the Full Video at TODAY.com

Bjornsen Wraps Up World Cup Finals In 11th
Read full story HERE

Bjornsen Siblings Ski To 18th in Quebec City Distance
Read full story HERE

Bjornsen Leads U.S. In Sixth at World Cup Finals Sprint
Read full story HERE

LINKS to PHOTOS from US Junior Nationals in Alaska:


ROSIE BRENNAN FIRST RECIPIENT OF U.S. NORDIC OLYMPIC WOMEN'S
INGA AWARD
The first Inga Award was presented to Rosie Brennan during the FIS World Cup Finals
in Quebec City, Canada. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Reese Brown)
(Thank you to US Ski & Snowboard for this article!)

Since women’s cross country skiing was added to the Olympic Winter Games in 1972, a passionate group of 50 American women have been named to Olympic teams. Those women have come together under the banner of U.S. Nordic Olympic Women (US NOW) to begin recognizing the stars of today with a new award. The Inga Award draws on noted cross country skiing heritage dating back to the 13th century.

The Inga Award is named in honor of Inga Varteig, the legendary mother of the Norwegian child prince Haakon IV who was carried to safety on cross country skis by Birkebeiner soldiers, known for their birch bark leggings, during a civil war in the winter of 1205-06. The first Inga Award was presented to Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah/Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center) during the FIS World Cup Finals in Quebec City to close out the 2019 season. Brennan was honored during a reunion of women’s Olympians.

Brennan had a career-best season coming back from a bout with mononucleosis that wreaked havoc with her a year earlier. She was a unanimous selection, being cited for her diligent and patient efforts working back from illness, showing courage, fortitude, grit, determination and raw talent to achieve an extremely high level of success on the international ski racing circuit this season.

“This is extremely special to me,” said an emotional Brennan. “This group is incredibly accomplished and has been through so much.To be recognized by them is incredibly meaningful to me - it means much more than any race result could mean.”
What’s really cool is starting a plan to get this group together and recognizing the great history we have in women’s skiing. A lot of it has been this perseverance spirit. Marty Hall came up with this idea of the Inga Award and presented it to Alison a year ago. We thought this should be a revolving tradition.

“As we thought about performances this year we right away honed in on Rosie,” said recently-retired Olympic champion Kikkan Randall (Anchorage). “Rosie bounced back from frustration last year - having to change the way she came into the season not being on the national team, having to find support. “She really came through with some fantastic performances. That really embodies the Inga Award.”

The legend of the Birkebeiners is well known across the sport of cross country skiing. The rescue of the child prince is re-created each year with the Birkebeiner Rennet between Lillehammer and Rena, Norway, and was the inspiration for American visionary Tony Wise when he started the American Birkebeiner in 1973.

Legend has it that the child prince was the son of Inga Varteig and King Haakon III, who died before the child’s birth. During a brutal civil war between Bagler and Birkebeiner factions for control of Norway, Inga showed the courage and grit to entrust her baby boy to a group of Birkebeiner soldiers and to ski along with them during a brutal winter from Lillehammer over the mountains to safety. He went on to become one of Norway’s most beloved kings.

The concept of the award came from Olympian Alison Owen Bradley, who won the very first FIS Cross Country World Cup in December, 1978. She presented a photograph of Inga from Varteig to U.S. Cross Country Ski Team coach Marty Hall to celebrate his induction into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in April, 2018.

“Marty played an enormous role in getting U.S. nordic women racing in international events and onto training programs that would make it possible to compete with the best women in the world,” said Bradley. “The Inga Award represents the spirit and grit that our coach instilled in us.”Hall was the U.S. head coach in the mid-70s, playing a significant role in the birth of the FIS World Cup and increased prominence for U.S. women on the international circuit.

Hall, his wife Kathy and Bradley established the basis of an award to continue honoring U.S. Nordic Olympic Women with the presentation of an Inga photograph, and monetary gift, each year. “Alison and the entire group of U.S. nordic women in the 70s were inspirational,” said Hall. “This award will be a great way to bring together generations of skiers who keep that spirit alive.”

Owen Bradley, a native of Wenatchee, Wash., made history winning a FIS World Cup in December, 1978 at the Telemark Ski Area in northern Wisconsin. Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) opened new doors winning three season-long World Cup sprint titles. Randall combined with Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) to win Olympic gold in 2018. In the past decade, the depth of the U.S. women’s program has expanded dramatically, with today’s female stars very cognizant of their nordic roots dating back to the 1970s.

“I think it’s so awesome that we can finally be able to more publicly recognize that women’s cross country skiing didn’t just pop up out of nowhere,” said Olympic champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.). “All of these women paved the way for us. Their hard work and perseverance are why we get to be here today. Rosie winning the Inga Award is so well deserved.”

Around 30 of the 50 Olympians attended the first reunion, where they watched current stars like Diggins and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.). Leading into the 2018 Olympics, U.S. coach Matt Whitcomb organized a project where current team athletes reached out to those of the past to develop a sense of history. So for the current team, it was an opportunity to get face-to-face with their own heroes of the past.
 
U.S. NORDIC OLYMPIC WOMEN
Listing of all U.S. women who have competed in Olympic Winter Games
Morgan Arritola, 2010, Bend, Ore./Ketchum, Ida., Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
Leslie Bancroft-Krichko, 1980, 1988, Paris, Maine, Oxford Hills High School/Univ. of Vermont
Tessa Benoit, 2002, South Pomfret, Vt., Mansfield Nordic Club/Univ. of Vermont
Sadie Bjornsen, 2014, 2018, Winthrop, Wash., Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Rosie Brennan, 2018, Park City, Utah, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Barbara Britch, 1972, Anchorage, Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage
Holly Brooks, 2010, 2014, Redmond, Wash., Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Ingrid Butts, 1992, 1994, Denver, Crested Butte Nordic Council
Sophie Caldwell, 2014, 2018, Peru, Vt., Stratton Mountain School
Caitlin Compton Gregg, 2010, Duxbury, Vt.
Dorcas DenHartog-Wonsavage, 1988, 1992, 1994, Hanover, N.H., Ford Sayre Ski Club
Jessie Diggins, 2014, 2018, Afton, Minn., Stillwater High School/Stratton Mountain School
Rebecca Dussault, 2006, Gunnison, Colo.
Nancy Fiddler, 1988, 1992, Schenectady, N.Y., Bates College
Sue Forbes, 1992, Fairbanks, Alaska
Rosie Frankowski, 2018, Minneapolis, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Betsy Haines, 1980, Anchorage, Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage
Twila Hinkle, 1976, Denver, Summit Nordic Ski Club
Jana Hlavaty, 1976, Keystone, Colo.
Trina Hosmer, 1972, Watertown, N.Y., Kongsberg Ski Club
Kristina Joder, 2002, Springfield, Vt., Mansfield Nordic Club
Barb Jones, 2002, Stillwater, Minn., St. Paul Central/Dartmouth College
Nina Kemppel, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Suzanne King, 1994, 1998, Bend, Ore.
Sarah Konrad, 2006, Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth College
Abby Larson, 2006, Saint Paul, Minn.
Susan Long, 1984, Mountain Lakes, N.J., Stratton Mountain School/Middlebury College
Margie Mahoney, 1972, 1976, Anchorage, Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage
Laura McCabe, 1994, 1998, Bozeman, Montana
Kelly Milligan, 1984, Livingston, Montana
Alison Owen, 1972, 1980, Wenatchee, Wash.
Caitlin Patterson, 2018, McCall, Ida., Univ. of Vermont / Craftsbury Green Racing Project
Beth Paxson, 1980, Burlington, Vt.
Aelin Peterson , 2002, Unalakleet, Alaska, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks
Karen Petty, 1994, 1998, Townshend, Vt.
Terry Porter, 1976, Cambridge, Mass.
Judy Rabinowitz, 1984, Fairbanks, Alaska, Harvard University
Kikkan Randall, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Martha Rockwell, 1972, 1976, Putney, Vt., Putney Ski Club
Patricia Ross, 1984, Middlebury, Vt., Univ. of New Hampshire
Ida Sargent, 2014, 2018, Barton, Vt., Craftsbury Green
Liz Stephen, 2010, 2014, 2018, East Montpelier, Vt., Burke Mountain Academy
Leslie Thompson, 1988, 1992, 1994, Stowe, Vt., Stratton Mountain School/Dartmouth College
Lynn von der Heide-Spencer-Galanes, 1976, 1980, 1984, Anchorage, Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage
Wendy Wagner, 2002, 2006, Park City, Utah, Western State College
Lindsey Weier, 2006, Saint Paul, Minn., Minneapolis Ski Club
Brenda White, 1992, Burlington, Vt., Univ. of Vermont
Lindsay Williams, 2006, Saint Paul, Minn., Northern Michigan University
Laura Wilson, 1994, 1998, Montpelier, Vt., Sun Valley Ski Club/University of Vermont
Betsy Youngman, 1988, 1992 , Cleveland, Ohio, Bowdoin College
Looking for more current Cross Country Ski News?? Check out these links on our NENSA.net website for the latest Social Media, Ski Community News, News at NENSA and back issues of KickZone
SafeSport Program

NENSA has always urged ALL New England coaches, parent volunteers, venue volunteers and anyone working with youth to take the SafeSport on-line course and get certified. NENSA has been requiring this of all our staff and volunteer coaches and wax techs at JN's and REG Camps for several years now. So please take time this season to be sure all your club volunteers and coaches are SafeSport certified. Do it today.
Save the Date: Sunday April 7th
Our skiing fun and celebrating is not yet done!
Cochran's Nordic Cross AND, 
NENSA's Masters Season End Awards!
Join the fun with Cochran's and NENSA on Sunday April 7th for the fun Nordic Cross Race for all ages, pancakes, plus,
our NENSA Season End Masters Awards.
Celebrate Citizen racing and the New England skiing community.
Zak Cup, Club Cup and Marathon Challengers winners!
Full details in KickZone next week!
Sponsored by SWIX and TOKO - refreshments TBA
Renew  your NENSA Membership today, and THANK YOU!

Take pride in joining the New England Nordic community with your NENSA membership and in knowing your dues are coming right back to you in the form of NENSA programming and our ongoing support of venues, clubs, athletes and coaches across the region. 

There are more reasons than ever to re-new your NENSA Membership! We now have  NENSA Members Only Benefits & Offers  on our website ~ Check back often as we will be adding more from our wonderful sponsors as the season progresses! Go to our "NENSA Members Only Benefits and Offers" tab, under Membership, on NENSA.net to see the latest offers!

Questions about renewing your membership?? Email  preston@nensa.net  or call (207-688-6503) Preston in our NENSA office - he is there to help you! 

Upcoming Events
A Look Ahead at the NENSA Calendar
Upcoming Events:

Save these Dates ~ more to come soon!
May 4 & 5: NENSA's Spring Board Meeting weekend in Hanover NH
June 24-28: Eastern REG Camp in Lake Placid NY
August 3: The App Gap Challenge Rollerski Race in Waitsfield VT
February 29 & March 1: New England BKL Festival (location TBD)
March 6-8: U16 Championships, Mountain Top, VT
March 7-15: 2020, US Junior Nationals in Truckee CA
March 13-15: EHS Championships, Gore Mountain, NY
March 17: 2020 World Cup Race in Minneapolis MN - USA!!!

Full NENSA.net Calendar Listing HERE
New England Nordic Ski Association
49 Pineland Drive, Suite 301-A, New Gloucester, ME 04260
Call: 207.688.6503 | www.nensa.net