Nordic News: Johnstone to coach Canada, U.S. combined team takes shape


Spanning the Nordic World

Nordic Combined Canada has just announced that American ski coach, Scott Johnstone has been hired as the new Nordic Combined coach, with just over three months to go until the Olympic Games. Johnstone was a nationally ranked nordic combined skier in the mid-1980′s in the United States. The team was most recently coached by former Finnish junior coach Ilkka Jylhankengas.  Two members of the national team have already qualified for the Vancouver Games; Jason Myslicki and Wesley Savill. The Canadian Nordic Combined team has just inked a new sponsor, Canada Brokerlink Insurance.

Project X jumpers in Park City were within one cold night of starting jumping this past Monday, but now our winter turned to summer and it’s been consistently been in the 60′s since, “we might get another cold night Sunday”, reports Alan Johnson. Project X will send their first international jumping group to Kuusamo, Finland for the World Cup start
Americans Johnny Lyons, Mike Glasder, Nick Fairall and Nick Alexander will all compete in the team event and the top two men will compete in the individual since the USA has a quota of two athletes. Following that first weekend, depending on results, plans will be formulated to compete on either the COC or the World Cup. Holiday plans call for most of the group to be staying in Hinterzarten, before the start of the Four Hills Tournee.

The USST Head cross country skiing coach Pete Vordenberg was in Europe, driving a van two days ago to Mora, and  gathered skis and gear, and then heading to Beitostolen, Norway. The National Team will arrive there on November 9th.

The Austrian combiners are in Rovaniemi, Finland for training, where they will be for the next 10 days. Head Coach, Bard Elden told me, “The last testing was good, so it will be interesting. I am keeping an open mind to the performances prior to Xmas, and I won’t guess anything.”

The US Nordic Combiners will skip the first event in Kuusamo and Head Coach Dave Jarrett reports things are looking up for the squad.”Billy [Demong] is recovering nicely, Johnny [Spillane] is back in business, albeit not in the olace he wants to be in November…but we are focused on February not December. Todd [Lodwick] is doing well and Eric [Camerota] is training pretty much full time again with the team.” Jarrett said that Brett Camerota and Bryan Bryan Fletcher will attend the first Word Cup events in December with Demong and Spillane. Lodwick will start in Park City and then go to Ramsau.

Finnish coach, Magnar Dalen reported yesterday that they are in the northern part of Finland in Saarisalka training, where they have great conditions and an 8km track open, with temps around minus five degrees cel. The first important competition will be next weekend in Muonio, which will be a qualification race for his charges for the World Cup in Beitostolen.

Norwegian cross country coach Sportssjef Age Skinstad also checked in this week to say that things are going well with his charges. They are at their final tune-up camp in Gala, Norway. Then they will travel to Beitostolen for a sprint on Nov. 11. Skinstad said the Norwegian distance skiers will hold their pre Olympic camp in Sun Valley, while the sprinters will go directly to Whistler. He said that Oystein Pettersen is just out of training because of a small, unnamed injury, but will be back to workouts next week.

By Peter Graves

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