Even by the standards of the Nordic ski world’s quiet corners and empty spaces, Washington State’s Methow Valley is serene. You would think that on the 220km stretching out from Winthrop, WA, the odds of running into another skier are slim on any given day. And you’d be correct, if it weren’t for the fact that the Methow Valley is where Laura McCabe, one of the busiest and most experienced skiers in America, calls home.
On skis, McCabe can cover distance better than just about anyone, and off skis, she’s proven to cover the variety of roles and opportunities in the Nordic ski world on that same level. For years, she was a fixture at the top of US women’s skiing, representing the US at the 1994 Lillehammer and 1998 Nagano Olympic games. In between those Olympic appearances, she began coaching the Methow Valley Nordic Competitive Team, where she is now 26 years in (and counting!). She raised two daughters, Novie and Dashe, and in the meantime still found time to pop up around the country to win some of the top ski marathons around the country. She can do it all, and now, she’s bringing her passion, experience, and intrepid attitude the charting the future of US Skiing as a member of the National Nordic Foundation’s Board of Directors.
“I believe in this organization and its positive impact on our sport. I have seen this organization make huge differences in the ability for athletes to pursue their dreams and goals,” says McCabe on her decision to get involved with the NNF.
McCabe views this as a perfect time to step into a formal role of leadership helping guide the direction of the US Ski Team program into its bright future via her own experiences and current circumstances.
Those circumstances include Novie, the oldest of Laura’s two daughters, being named to the US Ski Team A-Team this year, after racing in her first Olympics in Beijing (you can hear Novie reflect on her mother’s influence in an interview with our partner FasterSkier here), while younger daughter Dashe is busy skiing through the Junior Nationals ranks. Not only does Laura McCabe bring a whole career-worth of experiences to guiding the NNF’s work, but also the unique perspective of a parent whose own daughters are the type of athletes that the organization was founded to support. “NNF has been a significant help to my family as it has significantly reduced costs for my daughters for National camp costs, World Juniors, and World Cup starts” says McCabe.
On what she views as being key to continuing US Skiing’s successes through NNF McCabe identifies two areas: 1) “I would like to see the opportunities NNF funds be even more accessible, with a decrease in costs to families,” and 2) “Working on making our national coaching positions be truly sustainable so we can retain good coaches at the top level.”
“Excellence breeds excellence and we are seeing the fruits of [US Skiing and NNF’s] efforts at the World Cup level, and we have a opportunity to grow our community to become a truly successful competitive ski nation right now.”
With her wealth of experience, there’s no one better to trust on what makes US skiing tick on an individual, family, and national level than Laura McCabe. You can glean some of her wisdom in her own words here, and look forward to her influence on our work at NNF with her position on our Board of Directors!
Are you interested in charting the future of Nordic skiing in the US alongside people like Laura? The NNF is currently looking for passionate skiers from across the United States that represent the diversity and passion of the Nordic ski community in the country to join our Board of Directors. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.