Out In Front

Pierre La­fontaine Moves to Cy­cling Canada

SkiTrax - - Contents - by John Sy­mon

In late Novem­ber, Cross Coun­try Canada (CCC) named Shane Pearsall its new CEO as of Jan­uary, re­plac­ing Pierre La­fontaine, who stepped down, cit­ing fam­ily rea­sons and will be re­turn­ing to Ot­tawa full time. He has ac­cepted the role as CEO/ secretary-gen­eral for Cy­cling Canada, an­nounced on Nov. 18.

Chef de mis­sion for the 2006 Cana­dian Olympic Team, Pearsall was the CEO of Bob­sleigh Canada Skele­ton (BCS) for three years be­fore re­turn­ing to his ca­reer in the oil-and-gas in­dus­try in 2006.

A mem­ber of Canada's Na­tional men's hockey team in 1980, Pearsall is most rec­og­nized in the sport com­mu­nity for his work at BCS, where he de­vel­oped a cor­po­rate strategy de­signed to build ex­ten­sive re­la­tion­ships with the or­ga­ni­za­tion's ma­jor govern­ment and cor­po­rate part­ners that con­tinue to­day. He mo­ti­vated a team of ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als and man­aged a fi­nan­cially sus­tain­able bud­get – all of which con­trib­uted to pro­vid­ing a path­way for ath­letes to de­liver count­less World Cham­pi­onship, World Cup and a record-set­ting four Olympic medals for the sports of bob­sleigh and skele­ton in Turin, Italy.

“We were for­tu­itous our lead­er­ship op­por­tu­nity aligned with Shane's avail­abil­ity in or­der to move quickly and get him on board to lead our pas­sion­ate staff. Shane is a proven per­former in sport and busi­ness, and is driven to suc­ceed in steer­ing our sport's fu­ture,” said Jamie Coatsworth, chair of CCC.

In 2007, Pearsall played an in­stru­men­tal role in con­nect­ing CCC with one of its long-stand­ing cor­po­rate part­ners, Al­t­a­gas.

“Sport has be­come big busi­ness, and has many syn­er­gies with the cor­po­rate sec­tor. Suc­cess starts within our own walls. It is crit­i­cal we work to­gether as a tight-knit com­mu­nity that is aligned and be­lieves in the brand, is com­mit­ted to the long-term strate­gic goals, and is re­lent­less in the pursuit of ex­cel­lence if we truly want to cre­ate more Olympic and Par­a­lympic cham­pi­ons for Canada in cross-coun­try ski­ing, and, in turn, put more kids on snow. I am ab­so­lutely hon­oured to have the op­por­tu­nity to join the Nordic com­mu­nity,” said Pearsall.

La­fontaine will now suc­ceed Greg Mathieu as Cy­cling Canada's CEO and secretary-gen­eral in Jan­uary. “I am ex­tremely grate­ful for Cross Coun­try Ski de Fond Canada's open­ness and flex­i­bil­ity to al­low me to lead my team from afar, but I per­son­ally strug­gled with be­ing away from both my fam­ily and the of­fice in Can­more. I can't thank the Board enough for their sup­port of this de­ci­sion – one that is best for me,” said La­fontaine.

He brings a wealth of in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence with him to the cy­cling com­mu­nity, hav­ing served as CEO and Na­tional coach of Swim­ming Canada from 2005-13, fol­lowed by two years as CEO of Cana­dian In­teruni­ver­sity Sport. A medal-win­ning per­former, La­fontaine has achieved suc­cess work­ing in all lev­els of the sport sys­tem in Canada, the U.S. and Aus­tralia.

John Tolkamp, pres­i­dent of Cy­cling Canada, said that La­fontaine “will be counted on to lead our ex­cep­tional staff to­wards re­al­iz­ing the vi­sion of be­ing a lead­ing cy­cling na­tion by 2020.”

Claude Laramée Re­ceives Award for Gatineau Lop­pet, Ski Tour Canada

Claude Laramée, race di­rec­tor at the Gatineau Lop­pet and pres­i­dent of the lo­cal or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee of Ski Tour Canada 2016-Gatineau, re­ceived an award in Novem­ber from the Que­bec govern­ment. At a cer­e­mony in Que­bec City, Stéphanie Val­lée, the min­is­ter of jus­tice and min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the Ou­taouais re­gion, pre­sented Laramée with the Dol­lard-morin Sports and Leisure Vol­un­teer Award.

“Some peo­ple stand out for their gen­eros­ity, pas­sion and know-how. These qual­i­ties make them lead­ers in their com­mu­nity,” said Val­lée.

The awards cer­e­mony hon­oured 23 lau­re­ates who dis­tin­guished them­selves by the qual­ity of their com­mit­ment to re­cre­ation and sport in one of the fol­low­ing ar­eas: re­gional, na­tional, succession or vol­un­teer sup­port. (Edi­tor's note: The Ou­taouais re­gion of Que­bec is lo­cated just east of Canada's cap­i­tal city, Ot­tawa.)

Biathlon Canada Part­ners with Halti Outer­wear

In Novem­ber 2016, a new agree­ment was es­tab­lished be­tween Halti and Biathlon Canada. The Fin­land-based clothing man­u­fac­turer ce­mented its role as Biathlon Canada's of­fi­cial outer­wear and com­pe­ti­tion-clothing sup­plier for Canada's Na­tional team ath­letes through the 2017-18 sea­son.

“Biath­letes spend count­less hours out­side in a va­ri­ety of weather con­di­tions, so we un­der­stand the im­por­tance of hav­ing ac­cess to high­tech ap­parel to sup­port our goals for de­liv­er­ing podium,” said Eric de Nys, high-per­for­mance di­rec­tor at Biathlon Canada.

A partner with many high-per­for­mance snows­port teams around the world, Halti has de­vel­oped and pro­duced high-qual­ity out­door out­fits and equip­ment for more than four decades. Halti will sup­ply all warmup gear, race suits and outer­wear for the Na­tional biathlon teams. Over the term of the spon­sor­ship, Halti will also pro­vide tai­lored rac­ing gear

and an as­sort­ment of prod­uct de­signed to en­sure the Cana­dian team is fully pre­pared to win.

“The Cana­dian sport com­mu­nity and the leisure mar­ket have played an im­por­tant role for Halti for many years, and it is our goal to be even more prom­i­nent with Cana­dian re­tail­ers in the fu­ture,” said Sami Ki­iski, CEO of Halti.

Halti de­signs and man­u­fac­tures clothing col­lec­tions for var­i­ous sports, in­clud­ing hik­ing, climb­ing, alpine and cross-coun­try ski­ing and ac­tive life­style. It is dis­trib­uted in Canada through Whistler, B.C.'S Di­a­mond Head Sports.

NNF Drive for 25 To­tals $190,088

The fi­nal Drive for 25 num­bers are in, and as of Dec. 7, 2016, 1,000+ do­na­tions from 45 states raised more than $190,088 for cross-coun­try, Nordic-com­bined and ski-jump­ing de­vel­op­ment.

“It's hard to say a big enough `thank you' to a com­mu­nity that be­lieves in ski­ing enough to pro­vide such an as­tound­ing level of sup­port. We'll try any­way: THANK YOU!!!” wrote the U.S. Na­tional Nordic Foun­da­tion (NNF) in a re­lease.

“The U.S. cross-coun­try, Nordic-com­bined and ski-jump­ing teams have been op­er­at­ing on a flat or di­min­ished bud­get for years. Pow­er­house Nordic na­tions, our com­peti­tors, have bud­gets over 25 times that of the US Ski Team. . . . We have stepped in to fill a part of that void; to make sure that to­day's up-and-com­ing skiers have the high-qual­ity rac­ing and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties re­quired to be suc­cess­ful in our sport, year af­ter year,” reads the NNF web­site.

Some $158,787 is ear­marked for cross-coun­try, while the re­main­ing $31,301 is des­tined for Nordic-com­bined and for ski jump­ing. A map of the U.S. in­di­cates that 154 do­na­tions were re­ceived from Utah, 108 from Alaska and 81 from Idaho.

Nb­cu­ni­ver­sal to Launch Do­mes­tic Olympic Chan­nel

In mid-de­cem­ber, Nb­cu­ni­ver­sal an­nounced a ground­break­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion to con­nect fans to the Olympic move­ment. The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC), the United States Olympic Com­mit­tee (USOC) and Nb­cu­ni­ver­sal have cre­ated a com­pre­hen­sive Olympic TV chan­nel con­tent-and-dis­tri­bu­tion part­ner­ship for the United States to launch in 2017 prior to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

United States Ski and Snow­board As­so­ci­a­tion (USSA) of­fi­cials an­tic­i­pate the new chan­nel will be a vi­tal out­let for cov­er­age of ski­ing and snow­board­ing in Amer­ica and a key part of the USSA'S ef­forts to raise the vis­i­bil­ity of its sports.

“We ap­plaud Nb­cu­ni­ver­sal's con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to ex­pand­ing the reach of ski and snow­board pro­gram­ming and the part­ner­ship with both USOC and IOC,” said Michael Ja­quet, USSA Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer.

Ac­cord­ing to Ja­quet, the new Olympic Chan­nel will play a key role in the evo­lu­tion of the USSA'S mu­tual ef­forts with Nb­cu­ni­ver­sal, the USOC and In­ter­na­tional Ski Fed­er­a­tion's (FIS) World Cup rights-hold­ers In­front and EBU to ex­pand dis­tri­bu­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties for ski­ing and snow­board­ing in Amer­ica.

“Ac­cess to our ath­letes as they com­pete around the globe has been one of the core goals of the USSA to grow the vi­a­bil­ity of our sport,” said Tiger Shaw, USSA pres­i­dent and CEO.

FIS Launches Of­fi­cial App

In mid-de­cem­ber, the In­ter­na­tional Ski Fed­er­a­tion (FIS) an­nounced the launch of its new of­fi­cial mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion – the FIS App. Avail­able on An­droid and IOS de­vices, the FIS App will be a one-stop shop for all the news, in­for­ma­tion, live-timing and data for all FIS dis­ci­plines at all com­pe­ti­tion lev­els.

It fea­tures, in part, ex­clu­sive video con­tent, in­clud­ing near-live video­clips five min­utes af­ter World Cup races; easy-to-use fil­ter­ing and se­lec­tion fea­tures for ath­letes, events and key data; the abil­ity to favourite ath­letes and na­tions and to cus­tom­ize the user ex­pe­ri­ence; and all his­toric data in a user-friendly find-and-fil­ter for all FIS com­pe­ti­tion lev­els.

Master­power Wax­ing Sys­tem Be­comes CCC Of­fi­cial Sup­plier

Cross Coun­try Canada (CCC) an­nounced in De­cem­ber that the Master­power Cold Ap­ply Ski Wax­ing

Con­tin­ued on page 14

Sys­tem is the ex­clu­sive cold-wax sys­tem of the Cana­dian Na­tional Ski Team Of­fi­cial Sup­plier Pool pro­gram.

Master­power was the first new cold-ap­ply wax sys­tem to be launched in the Euro­pean mar­ket in 2008. It has gained pop­u­lar­ity and is used by some of the best na­tional ski teams. Fast, ef­fi­cient and safe, the Master­power Wax­ing Sys­tem buffs on a spe­cially for­mu­lated high­grade glide wax.

Master­power ap­proached Cana­dian Win­ter­sports, one of Canada's lead­ing Nordic-prod­uct dis­trib­u­tors, to tackle the North Amer­i­can mar­ket.

“We know that this new sys­tem will give an edge to our ath­letes, and we are proud to grow our sup­port for cross-coun­try ski­ing in Canada,” said Peter Roz­movits, pres­i­dent of Cana­dian Win­ter­sports.

Canada to Host 2019 Para-nordic Worlds in Prince Ge­orge, B.C.

World Para-nordic Ski­ing, Cross Coun­try Canada and the Cana­dian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee are pleased to an­nounce that the Cale­do­nia Nordic Ski Club in Prince Ge­orge, B.C. has been cho­sen to host 2019 World Para-nordic Ski­ing Cham­pi­onships.

Ap­prox­i­mately 140 ath­letes from more than 20 coun­tries will com­pete in Para cross-coun­try-ski­ing and biathlon events.

The event will mark the first World Cham­pi­onship held in the city of Prince Ge­orge. In 2015, the city suc­cess­fully hosted the 2015 Canada Win­ter Games, the coun­try's largest do­mes­tic mul­ti­sport event.

“Thank you to World Para-nordic Ski­ing for rec­og­niz­ing that Prince Ge­orge of­fers world-class venues, vol­un­teers and ex­pe­ri­ences for ath­letes,” said Lyn Hall, mayor of Prince Ge­orge.

“Less than a year af­ter the Pyeongchang 2018 Par­a­lympic Win­ter Games, the 2019 World Para-nordic Ski­ing Cham­pi­onships in Prince Ge­orge will be a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to ex­pose Cana­di­ans to world-class com­pe­ti­tion,” added Karen O'neill, CEO of the Cana­dian Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee.

Canada has a rich his­tory in Para-nordic ski­ing. Brian Mc­k­eever has won 13 Par­a­lympic medals in three Games, in­clud­ing a record 10 gold. His brother and orig­i­nal guide, Robin, is now a Na­tional coach in the sport.

“This is a ter­rific mile­stone for our club, our mem­bers and vol­un­teers,” said Kevin Pet­tersen, chair of the Lo­cal Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee. “Hosting this World Cham­pi­onship in 2019 is a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion from hosting the Canada Win­ter Games and the fa­cil­ity im­prove­ments at the Cale­do­nia Nordic Ski Club.”

For­mer chef de mis­sion for the 2006 Cana­dian Olympic Team, Shane Pearsall has been named ad CCC'S new CEO.

Claude Laramée

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