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Frozen Thunder: North America’s Early Snowfest

It is not just Norway and Sweden that are opening their early snow tracks these days: last weekend was the kick-off for Frozen Thunder in Canada, with the entire national team in place.

Photo: Graeme Williams

Frozen Thunder opened last weekend at the Canmore Nordic Center in Canada.

Frozen Thunder opened last weekend: North America’s informal season kick-off. Both elite and recreational skiers meet for the early snow bonanza in Canmore, Canada, the place that hosted the Olympics in 1988 and countless World Cup stages. 

True to tradition, there will be several informal competitions, and test races in the early snow track as more and more athletes from Canada and the USA add their camps and training to the Frozen Thunder facility. 

Despite an unusually warm autumn and still high temperatures, the Canmore Nordic Center has managed to prepare an early snow trail of 1.6 kilometers for this year’s edition of Frozen Thunder. 

However, the fact that the course is a little shorter this year did not seem to put a damper on the start-of-season atmosphere when the facility opened on Friday. All of Canada’s cross-country and biathlon teams were on hand, as well as snow-hungry active and recreational skiers.

The article continues below:

Frozen Thunder at the Canmore Nordic Center offers spectacular scenery in addition to annual early snow races. Photo: Graeme Williams

Optimistic National Team Coach

Canada’s new cross-country head coach Robin McKeever is delighted with the national team’s skiers a month before the formal season opener. 

“The run-up has been very good. We have had two very successful high-altitude training camps, one in Park City, Utah, and the other in Mammoth, California, and we have now had many more weeks together at altitude,” he tells Langrenn.com

Generational Change

The Canadian national team has gone through a generational change in recent seasons, and it’s been a while since Beckie Scott, Sara Renner, Chandra Crawford, and Alex Harvey wreaked havoc on the podium in the World Cup and Championships. 

But now things are developing well in Canadian cross-country skiing. McKeever points out several of his athletes took medals and top-5 positions in the Junior World Championships. The expectations for the coming season are to continue developing these young, promising athletes. 

“The ambition for the coming season is for the team to continue to climb the World Cup rankings and get more top-10 positions. Last year we had one,” says McKeever. 

“Canadian cross-country skiing is facing exciting times as these talents are allowed to develop.” 

This is Canada’s 2022/23 National Team

Canadian national team skiers Katherine Stewart Jones (left) and Dahria Beatty were two of the many skiers who took advantage of the early snow during the opening weekend of Frozen Thunder 2022. Photo: Graeme Williams
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