Team USA to Acquire Wax Truck
Delivery in September 2017
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.