• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Request for Proposal

      August 15, 2018

      Our Mission and Vision

      Cross-Country Ski de fond Canada is the national sport organization that works with member clubs, provincial and territorial divisions, and other partners to coordinate and support the development of cross-country skiing from introductory experience to international excellence. We do this through leadership, education, promotion, and training. Our vision is to inspire a nation to international excellence and podium success, health, and participation.

      Cross-country skiing has a deep history in Canada and at the Olympic and now Paralympic Winter Games.

      Aside from Pierre Harvey’s successes in the 1980s, Canadian athletes skied relatively under the radar for many decades. That changed in 2002 when Beckie Scott blazed the trail to the first-ever Olympic podium for a North American cross-country skier. Canadians had a new sense of belief they not only belonged on the start line with the world’s best, but they could win.

      A major transformation in the sport unfolded with Beckie at the helm. Sara Renner quickly followed suit with World Cup and World Championships podiums. The two leaders of the sport captured the nation’s second Olympic medal by winning the silver in the team sprint at the Turin Olympic Games in 2006. Just days later they symbolically handed the torch to a new generation as Chandra Crawford sprinted to a gold medal at the same Games.

      Still in 2006, the men’s team began to emerge with Devon Kershaw winning his first World Cup medal. These series of breakthroughs launched a 10-year run with nearly every member of the World Cup Team taking a turn celebrating a podium performance.

      During a record-setting 2011-12 season, Canada’s National Ski Team athletes raced to 14 World Cup podiums, led by Devon Kershaw’s remarkable second overall finish on the FIS World Cup circuit. The team showed great depth, with five skiers hitting the podium. Canadians were now consistently a threat to win and had earned the respect of other top Nordic nations.

      That same year the Para-Nordic National Ski Team set a team record with 21 IPC World Cup medals, led by Brian McKeever with six golds. This was the breakout year for a then 22-year-old Mark Arendz, who finished second overall in the IPC World Cup standings.

      This success did not come overnight. Nor did it come without the generous commitment from the corporate, government and sport communities.
      Today the Para-Nordic Team is coming off its most successful Paralympic Games ever, having racked up 16 medals. While Opening Ceremony flag bearer Brian McKeever continues to pursue another Games, he has welcomed a new leader of the program in Mark Arendz who celebrated an unprecedented six medals in PyeongChang and was the Closing Ceremony flag bearer for Canada. Following the leadership of the two veterans is a group of talented young men and women who all climbed onto the Paralympic podium.

      On the Olympic side, things are not as rosy today. Canadian athletes have finished short of the Olympic podium in both Sochi and PyeongChang. Many of the top names of the sport, with the exception of Alex Harvey and Len Valjas, have retired and a new generation of skiers needs to be developed.

      Despite this success from the Paralympic team, much of the reputation of the sport in Canada is still largely driven by the performance of the Olympic-bound athletes.

      It is time for change.

      Cross Country Ski de fond Canada welcomed a new president and Board of Directors in 2018. In an effort to rebuild, Shane Pearsall was appointed as chief executive officer 18 months ago. A high-performance advisor joined the team this spring to guide the new era – just days before a significant staff restructuring, which included a new approach to setting up the communications and marketing team.

      The time is now to build a forward-looking strategy, rally and energize the team inside, and signal a positive change outside.

      CCC Long-term Strategic Goals

      Request for Proposals