To be a premier elite development program for cross country skiers focusing on long-term personal excellence and mutually-supportive, Oregon-based, corporate and community partnerships.
XC Oregon offers a unique opportunity for promising post-high school U.S. skiers to work towards their dreams in national/international XC skiing. The program is built around a realistic, cost-effective and long-term approach that has proven success in developing both athletic as well as personal excellence.
Several key characteristics allow our program to help athletes reach for the sky with their feet planted firmly on the snow.
- Athlete Investment Instead Of Fees…Athletes are not charged a program fee to be part of XC Oregon. In lieu of monetary payments, athletes are required to make a personal investiture in the Bend and greater Oregon community. This investment includes volunteer time (of the athlete’s choice) with youth/junior groups, humanitarian and conservation organizations, as well as a variety of recreation/athletic programs.
- Regional Corporate Involvement…A team of elite Oregon-based male and female cross country skiers provides the perfect promotional vehicle for Oregon corporations looking for a unique alternative to â€œbusiness-as-usualâ€ sports marketing. Statewide focus avoids a dependancy on localized fundraising for financial support.As the program budget allows, XC Oregon athletes are provided with the necessary components needed reach the highest levels of domestic and international competitive excellence.In exchange for financial and product support, the XC Oregon sponsorship family benefits from local, regional, national and international exposure as well as individual comporate promotions.
- Start Early Enough To Make A Difference… As an elite development team, 18-26 years is the ideal age range for athletes joining XC Oregon. However, opportunities for slightly older athletes (27-35 years) do exist with the criteria for funding/sponsor support substantially increased for athletes outside the “ideal range”. Note: Athletes under the age of 18 are encouraged to rely on locally-based school and junior ski programs before moving up to the elite development level.
- 50% rule…By limiting the amount of funds directed to coaching/administration, XC Oregon guarantees that at least 50% of any available support dollars will go directly to support athletes while still providing for the essential leadership and operation of the program. Since 1998, XC Oregon has annually averaged closer to 75-80% of all support dollars going directly to athletes…arguably the lowest “overhead” of any comparable program…in any sport…anywhere.
- Self-Reliance…XC Oregon athletes are expected to be very involved in design and implementation of training and personal development plans. A wide variety of community resources as well as the XC Oregon staff greatly assist with this process…but in the end, responsibility for success lies with the athletes themselves.
- Emphasis on Personal Excellence…The need for any successful athletic program to go beyond merely training and racing is a priority with XC Oregon. Academic, career and personal development are recognized from the start as being integral to success and are continually evaluated as much as any training program.
- Long-Term Focus…In both athletic and personal development. Funded level athletes that are the “right fit” for this program should be able to commit to a minimum investment of 3-6 years to discover their personal potential in XC skiing. We also encourage our associate level athletes to have a similar timeline in mind.
- Systematic Training… Local resouces guarantee access to affordable year-round physiology lab tests, field lactates, field/gym trials, body composition testing, sports psychology/nutrition resources and more. XC Oregon athletes are able to develop the precise training volume, quality and specificity to maximize personal potential…and do so early enough in their careers to see such potential fully realized.
- World-Class But Realistic…Bend offers a unique opportunity to train as well as (or better) than any XC athlete in the world…continue a post-secondary educational program…and develop marketable career skills all in one beautiful location.
- Consistent 9-10 month on-snow season (longest with easy access in North America);
- Ideal local training sites for XC skiing at a mix of altitudes (3500 – 10,000 feet) with often perfect training temp/weather much of the year and typically moderate heat (low humidity) in the summer;
- Outdoor amenities second to none — the best spring XC skiing on the planet, 9-10 months of alpine and backcountry skiing, hundreds of miles worth of mountain bike/hiking/running trails, stellar road biking, in-town river paddling (loads of nearby white water rivers), mountain lakes, Smith Rock climbing, 3-4 hour drive to Oregon Coast;
- Growing Oregon XC ski event calendar (2 major ski events in Bend itself…Great Nordeen & Pole Pedal Paddle) and an incredible year-round endurance sport calendar to “fill in” between competition trips outside the area;
- Flexible academic resource for undergrad, vocational, and post-grad classes (Central Oregon Community College and the Oregon State Cascades campus);
- World-class exercise physiology lab and staff;
- Reasonable 6-12 hour drive to a dozen major regional events and national race venues;
- Daily air links to six major western hubs from Bend/Redmond (RDM) airport located <20 minutes from nearly all athlete homes;
- Growing economy with ample job opportunities and affordable housing…in many ways the perfect blend of mid-size city opportunities with resort area attractions;
- Vibrant year-round community cultural calendar with dozens of affordable (or free) festivals, concerts, and other events…..