The National Nordic Foundation (NNF), Women Ski Coaches Association (WSCA), and Olympic Women’s Cross-Country Book Project are excited to announce the selection of the inaugural Trail to Gold Fellows. The selection committee determined that the following Fellows represent extraordinary coaching talent, and will have the opportunity to gain international experience and credentials while working with the US Ski Team coaching staff over the course of the upcoming 2022-23 World Cup season:
Trail to Gold Fellows:
- Naomi Kiekintveld (Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center), Ruka and Lillehammer.
- Annika Martell (Williams College), Beitøstolen and Davos.
- Liz Stephen (Park City Ski and Snowboard Club), Tour de Ski.
- Caitlin Gregg (Team Birkie), Milano and Les Rousses.
- Lizzie Larkins (Montana State University), Tallinn and Lahti.
Each Trail to Gold Fellow will receive a grant to complete a two-week immersive internship with the US Ski Team this World Cup season. This hands-on professional development program is designed to introduce Fellows to all aspects of World Cup coaching; including waxing, logistics, and race preparation with US Ski Team athletes. Funding is provided by the Oly. Women’s XC Book Project, who invested $10,000 of proceeds from the sale of Trail to Gold towards the inaugural Fellowship, and through the National Nordic Foundation.
The Trail to Gold Fellowship is designed to help address a historical gender inequity in US coaching. Fellows were selected from an exceptional applicant pool that represented the diversity and extensive talent of American women coaches at all levels of the US skiing development system. The depth and talent present in the applications points towards a bright future for US skiing, and an ongoing need to invest in exceptional coaching development programs.