Women and Men’s FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup Comes To Park City And Midway This Weekend
The Nordic Combined Continental Cup will bring athletes to the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow to compete in cross country and ski jumping this weekend.
KPCW talked with two athletes excited to participate in the weekend competition.
Jared Shumate learned to jump and cross-country ski through the Youth Sports Alliance Get Out and Play program. He was in 5th grade when he signed up for the ski jumping program.
“It took me probably two or three weeks of being in the program to just totally fall in love with the sport. I did one season just as a ski jumper and then the following season, when I was fully enrolled in the Park City Nordic ski club was in the Nordic combined program.”
Tess Arnone is competing this weekend. She’s from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She says it’s not possible to podium unless you do both events well which requires skill and speed. If the jump isn’t good enough, the athlete is pushed back in the start for the cross-country skiing portion of the competition.
“I think they’re equally as important because you can't do one without the other in Nordic combined. If you're just a ski jumper you tend to be better at that, but with Nordic combined athletes you kind of have the two disciplines. I've a always been a little bit more natural in the cross-country skiing but recently I've gotten a good jump up on the ski jumping side."
Arnone has been named to the 2020 Youth Olympic Team where she’ll compete with athletes from all over the world. She’ll be attending the Junior Olympic Games in Lausanne Switzerland.
Shumate says the Continental Cup is slightly lower stakes and has less prize money or media coverage, but he says it is still high-level competition.
“This is essentially the level below World Cup. So, World Cup is top athletes in the world, and it travels on a circuit all winter and Continental Cup is just one step down from that. So, it's still some of the top athletes in the world.”
Shumate says he was going to college at the University of Utah full time while training and trying to qualify for the World Cup roster. Now he is part-time in school and has been to the Nordic Combined World Cup Team.
“It was definitely tough those two years that I was doing full time school. It kind of showed on the results side so once I realized that Nordic Combined was what I enjoy doing more, cut back to just doing part time online school then luckily that winter, qualified for the national team so it was the right choice to make.”
Racing and ski jumping events run Friday through Sunday. On Saturday night they’ll have entertainment, food and drinks from 5 to 9 during the jumping events.
Bands, food trucks, pancakes from Kodiak cakes. Beverages from Heber Valley Brewing Company, if you're twenty-one or over. So, it should just be really cool event.”
Friday and Sunday’s events are free with a $20.00 charge on Saturday at the door.
Details and the schedule of events: