Cross Country Ski Association Gets Olympic Grant

It’s official – the Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) is one of the grant recipients of the 2009 Olympic Opportunity Fund. The financial support provided by this facility will no doubt go a long way to helping the association with its Support Adaptive Ski Program efforts.

The Olympic Opportunity Grant Program was begun by the U.S. Olympic Committee in 2007 as part of efforts to give sport organizations in the U.S. financial aid. At the start of 2009, the decision was made to extend this program to Paralympic Sport Clubs, member organizations of the USOC Paralympic organization, and any veteran and military organizations that are currently working to help injured military personnel and veterans through the development of certain Paralympic programs.

According to CXC Executive and Athletic Director Yuriy Gusev, the organization has already been developing adaptive cross-country skiing programs for several years. Commenting on the grant, Gusev said: “Receiving this grant is a new and very exciting step for our organization. CXC is looking forward to offering free loaner equipment while partnering with ski areas, events and local ski clubs to provide the opportunity of cross country skiing for individuals with disabilities, including military personnel and veterans.”

One of the highlights of the CXC Adaptive Program is the putting in place of numerous Opportunity Centres in the Central Region. As part of these efforts, various ski clubs, parks and ski areas will be offered free stand up and sit skiing equipment on loan so that they can provide this service for paralyzed skiers. A number of instructors and coaches at each location will also be given additional instruction and certification in order for them to provide adequate instruction and help.

Commenting on the choice of CXC for the grant, Chief of Paralympics (USOC) Charlie Huebner said: “We are proud to invest in the incredible work of Central Cross Country Ski Association. Together we will have a tremendous impact on the availability of Paralympic sports programming and be able to provide more opportunities for persons with physical disabilities and injured service members to participate in Paralympic sport at the community level.” No doubt he is right and these efforts will go a long way to helping people with physical disabilities to adopt a healthier lifestyle.