Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Liked Your Stay

Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Liked Your Stay

By Amy Cheney-Seymour


The 2017 Junior National Cross Country Championships in Lake Placid is a wrap. Done. Arguably the most anticipated event, the dance, is on, with Eric Wilson at Good Guys, throwing it down for the athletes. The lights are low, and the floor is shaking. Success.

Tomorrow the medals will be packed, the skis prepped for travel, new friends firmly tucked into the social media rolodex. We delivered the “mixed bag” weather only the east can shake up: brilliant sunshine, balmy breezes, snow, ice, gale force winds and, wait for it, subfreezing racing temperatures. Skiing the east is a puzzle, you truly never know what is coming next, it’s the nature of our game.

You brought your game, your A game and the competition was fierce, but the faces friendly. From the Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, High Plains, Intermountain, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountain, New England, Mid-West and back to Alaska, Canada; eleven teams represented themselves, their clubs and the sport of Nordic skiing in wealth and taste, with sparkles and cut off jean shorts.  As our MC from across the sea, Stuart, would say “well done.”

The Olympic Regional Development Authority extends a sincere note of thanks to the ORDA employees and volunteers who made this year’s Junior Nationals a success. Mostly, we thank you, for visiting the Lake Placid region to cheer on your ski racer, and undoubtedly, skiers one and all. In Nordic Sports the connections created through shared experience, and fostering these bonds with our children, is what keeps us ringing cowbells. Today’s racer is tomorrows coach, volunteer, venue manager, or fan.  Our job was to provide a spectator friendly venue, world class trails, and a variety of activities so your experience in the Olympic Region was one to remember.

We hope your stay in Lake Placid was a pleasant one and that you will return to the area to bang out a few kilometers at Mt Van Hoevenberg, compete in the Iron Man or climb one of the scenic 46 High Peaks in the lazy days of summer, or during our famous fall season. The Adirondacks is a magical place year round.  

Thank you for sharing your children and your time with us. Who made this year’s Junior Nationals terrific? When you think back, after all, it was you and me.

Safe travels!

Athlete Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight

Lillian Fisher

School: Stratton Mountain/ Junior

Team: New England

Junior Nationals: 3

Interview by Amy Cheney-Seymour

I met up with the very articulate and vivacious Lillian Fisher today after her 10 K Classic.  Lillian is a wonderful representative for Nordic sports and her parents, school and team should be proud.

Now that the week is more than half over, can you reflect on your preparation for Junior Nationals? Do you think you were prepared physically, mentally and emotionally for a week long meet?

LF: I am pleased with my results this week. I have been doing pretty well. I was prepared coming in I put in a lot of training. I just remember those tough summer workouts and that is what got me here.

Today’s race was the 10k classic. How did you do out there?

LF: It was definitely hard, the course is basically a triangle, up then down. It was super fun, definitely, the tracks were good and I am happy with my 39th place.

What kind of pre-race routine do you follow?

LF: It is definitely different every time because life throws you different things and you cannot always do the exact same thing every time. I wake up about 3 hours before my race, have breakfast and jam out to some music and do a little dance with my friends. Glitter is a necessity, so lot of dancing and glitter just to get the spirits up. Then come to the race and a lot of visualization as well.  Then once we’re at the race, it is game time.

As an overall experience at your third Junior National Championships how is the meet here in Lake Placid going?

LF: I love it, there is a great vibe and there is lots to do after races. The chill zone is sweet, the courses are awesome and the snow it is holding up.

What is your hope for tomorrow’s relay?

LF:I am really excited about the relay. We are not sure what our teams are, but I want to be on a really good team. I of course want a top ten, but anything is awesome as long as I ski well. You’re with your teammates and you’re already here at JN’s.

Who is someone who had a positive influence on you during your ski career?

LF: Going to Stratton I get to ski with Sophie Caldwell and Jessie (Diggins) a lot in the summer. They have played a big role, especially in those tough bounding workouts when they are like “Come on, go, go you’ve got this!” They have done so much for cross country skiing, especially for young girls and women. It is just really exciting to know them personally.

What advice would you give to a young skier?

LF: Definitely keep with it, just go out there and honestly have fun, keep it fun, not to intense. Find friends to do workouts with, but at first just keep it fun.

Lastly, after the races are over and you are at the dance, what song do you wanna here?

LF: (laughs) That is a tough one! Um, definitely something by Kesha or Taylor Swift.


Best of Luck to Lillian and Team New England in today’s relays!

Athlete Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight

Evan Corson U18                                                                          

Capser, Wyoming

High school: NCHS

Team: High Plains

Junior Nationals: 1st !

Interview by Amy Cheney-Seymour

I had the pleasure to interview Evan after watching him race in the 10K Classic today. A more articulate and genuine young man you will seldom meet. Evan’s family and friends should be proud of his efforts here in Lake Placid

How are you enjoying the meet so far?

EC: This is my first Junior National Championships, I didn’t make the cut last year. It has been really cool.

Have you been to Lake Placid, New York before or have you skied the east?

EC: I have never skied in the east before, but I went to New York City when I was very little. This is a lot different from Wyoming, it is a really cool experience. The snow is different, I have never really skied on manmade snow before my first race. It’s new, I have only raced on man made three times now, and it’s new. The past few days the weather has been changing a lot, so it has been interesting with the wax.

How did you get involved in Nordic skiing?

EC: In my middle school some of my friends were doing Nordic skiing and they wanted me to, so I started and I really enjoyed it. My uncle use to ski and it was just a blast. My first time on skis I was just stumbling around, but, from there to making it to Junior Nationals …I am not placing too hot in the ranking, but just being here and having this cool experience is great. If I imagine a little kid and I could tell them keep at it, you’re going to make junior nationals that would be really cool. Just to see their face light up would be great.

Who is cheering you on?

My family is watching me on the live feed back home. They are pretty excited, they text me quite a bit. I have my team here, and my coaches are really supportive.

How has Nordic skiing influenced you most as a person?

EC: Humility. Humility and determination, I would say. Because back in Wyoming I place all right, in those standards, sometime I do bad and sometimes I do really good. But you just have to be humble and stuff because that is part of racing. The discipline part is important, it is tough, it is hard. I had trouble with falling down, and I would literally have to just keep picking myself up and keep trucking. It’s been a cool experience.

Have you made any new friends from other teams?

EC: Yes, I have. High Plains is pretty close because we are small, and I have met some great people.

What are you looking forward to with the relay tomorrow?

EC: The relay is my favorite. I want to do good and put everything out there and finish the nationals with just knowing that I have nothing left to bring home. Leave everything out there.

Best of Luck to you Evan, and congratulations on your first Junior National Championship.

Athlete Spotlight

Athlete Spotlight

Jenae Rasmussen


Junior at the Winter Sports School

Park City Utah

Junior Nationals: 3

Interview by Amy Cheney-Seymour


Jenae, this is your first time in Lake Placid. What did you hear about the Olympic Region and skiing in the east?

 JR: I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it would be like Park City, but it is smaller and cuter. We mostly talked about how the oxygen level was different and how we would move differently here on skis.

How did you initially get involved in Nordic skiing?

JR: Our family was not really a ski family, but we found out about the Utah Nordic Alliance, and my parents forced me to go to the Wee Ski program on Sunday afternoons. I hated it. I am not sure when I stopped hating it, but I did.

What do you hope to accomplish at Junior Nationals in Lake Placid?

JR: I am hoping to make All American in something, but this year it is a lot of classis skiing and this year classic has been a little rough for me. I like classic skiing but I have just had some rough races this year.

You attend the Winter Sports School, do you think it is a benefit to have an alternative academic schedule?

JR: I think it is a benefit, but I also think you can make it work with a traditional school schedule. It is easier though.

Are you considering ski racing in college, and if so what schools are you looking at?

JR: Actually, I have a bunch of schools I am looking at in the east. I am spending another week visiting colleges with my Mom. I don’t really know what I want to study yet.

When you look back at your ski career thus far, when did you realize that you really wanted to go after it with some intensity?

JR: Well, I think it was when I was waking up at 5:30 before school so I could go to the gym. I remember thinking ‘Oh, I must really like this. Normal people wouldn’t find this fun, but I do.’      

At the end of the week, what is your take away?

JR: I hope that I will have a good experience racing, make some more friends here and not getting injured. The course is very hilly, it is a little sketchy.

What advice would you give a young girl wavering about becoming a nordic skier? What part of Nordic sport do you like the most the physical challenge or the social scene?

JR: Nordic is a life-long sport, no matter where you are, it is a lifestyle that sticks with you. It doesn’t matter what level you are competing at, it is just a great thing to do. Nordic skiing is a great group of people, and it is great to see what you have in yourself. It is fun always getting stronger and improving

Good Luck Jenae!

Proper Parent Protocol

Proper Parent Protocol

Congratulations. Your child participates in Nordic skiing. Wow, they made it to Junior Nationals, bravo!

How is your self-esteem?

That bad? Not surprising since unless you are part of the 1% of happy parents, your child is pretty much disgruntled, distant and disinterested in you. If you are not a one percenter, she or he hasn't hugged you after a ski race since the age of six.  Instead she or he complains, or swears when results are not as she or he imagined. Stop the madness, join the 1% of duck parents, who let results and emotional turbulence roll off their back.


Race day, 7 am. You are a short order cook. You would do anything to assist his nutritional performance. You spend an hour whipping organic free range happy hen eggs into a frenzy, pouring your homemade maple syrup on the multi-grain waffles you carefully kept warm, not dried out.  Skillfully browned organic turkey bacon, from farms where the turkey’s die of old age is on the platter. Cut fruit. A candle. Ta-dah!  Enter your cherub, who sits down, grunts, and takes out a yogurt from the fridge. You urge the steaming plate forward, on the place mat, next to the sparkling orange juice. He hastily eats the yogurt, leaves the dirty spoon in the cup, and begins the treasure hunt for his suit, socks, wind briefs.  You feed the pancakes to the dog.

A week ago the child decided she need energy gel. A specific energy gel that helps her propel tirelessly forward. All natural energy gel that friend Henry says is the best. You like Henry. You like all natural.  It’s a victory.  You commit yourself to finding this energy gel, which does not exist in stores, but the all mighty Amazon sends it right along.  It arrives with cardboard fanfare and you present the gels to your child, on race morning, with an expectant air of, well, expecting a thank you. Your child grumbles, thumbs through them and asks if they have strawberry-kiwi-mango-lime because that is her new favorite flavor as of one hour ago. She sighs, shut the box and wanders away. Your happy morning further crumbles. You do the dishes, pack the lunch.

Upon departure you notice the child has forgotten the water bottle, energy gel, and gloves, your new gloves she requisitioned without a so much as by your leave.  These items go into the Parents Emergency Back Pack, which contains enough food for a week, surgical kit, an array of clothing for weather from -10 to 50 and raining, nine feet of ribbons, twenty pounds of wax, an iron, a portable wax table and cowbells.

In the car you realize you forgot to eat your own breakfast and only had three gulps of tea.

As the child is in the zone, you let him plug in and listen to music. He doesn’t like your music. He is sick of you playing Pearl Jam in the car every day. This is against car rules, but you want happy.  So you let him plug in noticing on his phone that Given to Fly is currently playing. You say nothing, you say nothing, because you want harmony.

You experience this happy moment at drop off. Someone else can deal with your cantankerous brat, a brat you love, but one who is grating on your nerves.  Your child has a literal team of coaches to wax, urge, prep and direct his or her efforts. “Goodbye, honey. Good Luck.” Grunt.

You should wander down the hill, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the scenery.  You should chat with friends about your similar morning spent with an ingrate. You do not do this. You do not do this, because you do not understand Proper Parent Protocol. You don’t put your oxygen mask on first.  You miss the fleeting moment of solitude, instead you hover.

Admit it. Come on. I do it, I hover too.

Maybe you are a patient hoverer. You wait the appropriate 20 yards away trying to catch a glimpse of him so you can hand over the forgotten water, energy gel, and gloves (I barge right over. After 20 years of this skiing gig, I have no patience.) When you try and hand the forgotten items over, he doesn’t want the gel, but take the gloves and the water, and hurriedly commits himself single-mindedly to the pre-race anxiety routine (PRA).  PRA consists of pacing, leg swinging, changing head bands, braiding, unbraiding, and changes of hat, sunglasses and gloves. This can also include ski changes, including insisting the un-waxed skis are faster (which are not faster, and you will also pay for this poor choice later in the car ride home).  They may decide that 20 degrees is balmy, and to wear just a bib, or a bib and a jog bra. When you mention it is a bit nippy for such scantily foolhardy wardrobe changes, he glares at you like you are a very bad or very stupid person.  You are not bad or stupid, but you are the person who will be nursing him back to health in a week.

Now, feeling injured and unappreciated, you saunter down for that cup of tea, your heart weeping on your sleeve.

You stand in line for that tea, squishing the energy gel back and forth in your pocket, sick to your stomach. You recognize you are anxious. Why? Your child has successfully transferred their angst to you. You are stress sponge at saturation point.

Where do you put his nervous energy? You manifest into Crazy Ski Parent. Own it, go ahead, choose from the following:

All knowing: You know too much. Former coach, former ski racer, former super star. Every subtle nuance of the race day is weighing you down like retro doc martens.  You’re worried about the kick, or the glide, or ski. Have they double poled enough? Did they peak at the right time? You have checked the relative humidity, the humidity of the snow, the wind, angle of the sun, migratory patterns of native birds and placed all these factors into a mind bending Nordic skier algorithm that Will Hunting can’t solve.

The Organizer: You know all the players. You have a spreadsheet of all racers on your child’s team, what their average time is for each distance and discipline as well as their projected success on in varying conditions. You have told your child where he or she should finish. You spend hours collaborating the information after each race, in a color coded chart which you explain, at length, to your bored child. You play it super cool at the event, but you home crunching numbers until the wee hours.

NOTE: Danger Ahead


The Cheerleader: Woo hoo! Race time! You wear out three cow bells a season. As your child comes by, in Banshee like screech, you yodel the obvious statements such as:

a) Faster! Faster! Faster!

b) They are catching you!

c) You are ____ (insert random number) seconds out of ___ place.   

Or you run uphill, screaming incoherent instructions. I asked a real, live ski racer if he heard his parents yelling. “No, I tune them out.” Honestly, you're gonna pull a hamstring. Tone it down.  You are embarrassing me.

Super Parent: Food and party person, yup you’re the planner!  You organize the food table, bring hot coffee to coaches, and spend hours creating the right atmosphere so the skiers have yummy food after the race. You bake individual cupcakes for the gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. The names of each skier is on the cupcake.   You organize purchasing team hats and off season trips. You were going to send your child to college, but you just dropped $200 on oranges, banana bread and 7 crock pot dinners.


The Parent Coach: You didn’t ski race, but you were an athlete back in the day, and have a background in coaching. You spend hours creating analogies that will “sink” into your child’s brain. You create a mediation schedule, and a nightly visualization planner that are both ignored. You refer to these things often when you child is ensconced in the aforementioned pre-race anxiety routine (PRA). You arrange the salt and pepper shakers at breakfast to display proper drafting technique, with the forgotten maple syrup acting as a sharp corner, the crumpled napkin is the tuck. See how low it is, the napkin hand just in front of it’s napkin-like-body, but not out so far it is scooping in air and causing resistance. See? Are you listening?

Author’s Note: Guilty as Charged


Join the One Percent. The club is free. It is quick to join and there are no dues. Everyone will be happier if you join, but I warn you, it ain’t easy, but it is simple. Let your child grow up. Follow the protocol.


Walk Like a Duck

Become impervious to the drama.

Proper Parent Protocol has rules:

1.    You cannot make your child happy.

2.    Let it go.

3.    Have fun.

4.    Repeat #1

That is it. Welcome!

Let it go. Let it all go, the sleep, and wax and their time and just let your child own it. Ignore their habitual bitching, the complaints about why their crumpled, wet suit they left in a backpack didn’t get washed. Give them a map to the laundry room.

Continue the routine. Buy the food. Fold some clothes. Shake the cowbell. Remind yourself that your child is healthy and able to compete and the centrifuge of emotions involved in sport, puberty and life is a whirling you cannot control.

Ultimately you got into this mess because you want your child to be happy. You cannot make them happy, but you can get real. Set real expectations. If your son made it to JN’s by the newly sprouted hair on his chin, remind him he is 15 and he will probably not win the sprint final if he was 29th in qualifications. This is ok.

If your daughter is more concerned with her hair ribbons than her V2 on flagpole hill, buy her matching sparkles and celebrate her hard work that got her to this point. A glass slipper might not be in her future. This is also ok.

While you’re getting real with your child, get real with you. Make breakfast and leave the kitchen. Leave the gel on the table. Let them fall a little and forget a lot, so they become responsible. Finish your tea and take the dog for a walk and let them wash their own clothes.  

Set some boundaries. While you are letting it go, let yourself have fun.  Enjoy this fleeting time with your child, and try not to internalize his or her mood swings lest you be in traction. Plan something fun for after the race, and for the love of Skade, don’t bring his or her results up unless they do.  Be grateful they are dedicated to sport that requires them to put themselves on the line and they are surrounded by a really great community.

Finally, when they do come to you, panicked 14 minutes before start time asking for that energy gel they left on the table and didn’t want an hour ago don’t take it personal. This is not a time to lecture. Hand it over, say “have fun” and waddle away.


Amy Cheney-Seymour is a freelance writer who lives in Vermontville, New York.

Athlete Spotlight

Everett Sapp

Senior at Beekmantown High School

Mid Atlantic

Junior National Championships: 4

Interview by Amy Cheney-Seymour

How do you feel about competing at your hometown venue?

I think it is really exciting, especially because we get to train on it year round. We use the roller-ski loop in the summer and in the winter train here and at Mt Van Hovenberg. It is really fun to see everyone from all over the country come to Lake Placid and experience our town and our community which has  a deep passion for Nordic sports.


Think back to the feelings you had as a youth racer, do you experience any of the same emotions today?

I’ve been ski racing since I could ski at all. Growing up in an area that embodies Nordic skiing has been really fun. I guess the feelings are about the same, I am a little nervous, a little excited to just see how fast I can go today.


What is one goal you have for JN’s this year?

One hope I have is to possibly earn a top ten finish. I have been able to do it in past JN’s and a top result here would be really exciting.


Which event are you looking forward to most?

Definitely the classic sprint. Classic skiing is the most enjoyable for me cuz that is how I learned to ski on classic skis. That combined with the sprint and thinking about tactics are the most exciting, especially with the long downhill where ski speed and drafting will definitely play a huge role.


Do your friends at Beekmantown High School have any idea about this week’s competition?  

Not many of my friends are nordic skiers, but they are athletes. They do understand the level of competition and have been wishing me well. Hopefully some of them will have time to come over and watch some of the races.


What is your family background in sport?

My parents are from Tupper Lake and both ski raced at St Lawrence University and then joined the ARMY. The both skied for Biathlon while in the military.


What advice would you give to a youth skier?

Stick with it! Competing in Nordic skiing gives you such a huge sense of accomplishment. The amount of energy you put into it is really satisfying, and also the community of people you meet just as a skier is just unbelievable. I have made friends from all over the country. It is great to have a group of people who have the same values as you, they are really nice and they open their arms to you wherever you go.


Who was your greatest influence or support as a skier?

Really both my parents and coaches have been the ones to push me, but also encourage me to do what I wanted to do. They have been really supportive helping me through different channels I want to pursue.


Good Luck Everett!

Interval Start Freestyle Gallery


Interval Start Freestyle Gallery