Team USA to Ac­quire Wax Truck

De­liv­ery in Septem­ber 2017

SkiTrax - - Out In Front - By John Sy­mon

Team USA will take de­liv­ery of its new wax truck in Septem­ber 2017. Fundrais­ing for the $500,000 project was spear­headed by Liz Arky and Kikkan Ran­dall.

Arky is a mem­ber of the USSA Board of Direc­tors and chair of a U.S. Nordic Ad­vi­sory group she formed. Well-con­nected in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., she is also the prin­ci­pal at Arky Group Con­sult­ing, a spe­cialty firm pro­vid­ing strate­gic, gov­ern­ment re­la­tions and de­vel­op­ment ad­vice to cor­po­rate and non-profit clients.

“We've been talk­ing about this for per­haps five years, but needed to get some other fun­da­men­tals in place first,” said U.S. cross-coun­try team head coach Chris Grover. “The U.S.A. is only team ranked in the top-nine last year with­out a wax truck.”

“We're work­ing with the same Swedish com­pa­nies as the Cana­di­ans – Sca­nia and SKAB. Our wax truck will be sim­i­lar to Canada's, but it will open in three di­rec­tions, in­clud­ing a cov­ered-porch op­tion for out­door wax­ing.”

Oleg Rag­ilo, the team's head of ser­vice, was very help­ful in the project, and Grover stressed that “team ef­fort” was part of the process.

Ran­dall was the per­fect part­ner for Arky as a vet­eran star of the U.S. team who is now sur­rounded by a very tal­ented group of women coached by Matt Whit­comb.

“[Liz] brought me to the USSA Board of Trus­tees meet­ing last year in Vail, and I just got to talk about our team and what we do. I shared my story from Sochi, and stressed that it not only takes the world-class phys­i­cal and men­tal prepa­ra­tion to win medals, it also takes a world-class ser­vice team and get­ting the right skis on the right day,” com­mented Ran­dall.

The mes­sage hit home and things be­gan to fall into place. “With USSA CEO Tiger Shaw's Foun­da­tion, we ap­pealed pri­mar­ily to in­di­vid­u­als,” said Arky, but added that com­pany an­nounce­ments are com­ing.

For Grover, safety and com­fort of the team are al­ways top of mind, and the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment of the wax crew is cru­cial in de­liv­er­ing con­sis­tent top-level skis at ev­ery race site. “It's amaz­ing and re­ward­ing to see it come to­gether. The plan is to take de­liv­ery on Sept. 1 next year as we head into an Olympic sea­son,” con­cluded Grover.

For Ran­dall, the wax truck adds ad­di­tional kick to her swan-song sea­son in 2018: “I also was se­cretly hop­ing it would ar­rive be­fore I re­tire so I could get a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the truck for my fi­nal sea­son,” quipped the leg­endary triple sprint-globe win­ner.

Team USA'S wax truck will open in three di­rec­tions, in­clud­ing a cov­ered-porch op­tion for out­door wax­ing.

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