Months removed from foreclosure, the Telemark Resort in Cable has added an International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup series event to its revitalization.
The resort will host the Nordic skiing and biathlon races Jan. 29 to Feb. 3. More than 100 adaptive sports athletes from 15 countries are expected to compete in six races in Cable, and the City of Lakes Loppet in Minneapolis.
"The United States hasn’t hosted a major international Nordic skiing event since 2005, and we’re excited to bring elite competition onto our home soil,” said John Farra, USOC director, High Performance, Paralympic Nordic Skiing. “This is an exceptional opportunity for many of our up-and-coming athletes to get some international experience two years out from the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.”
The local organizers received a $20,000 Ready Set Go! grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to help secure funding to bring the IPC World Cup races to northern Wisconsin. The goal of the $110,000 fund is to generate visitor spending from sports tourism in Wisconsin, and assist local groups secure competitive sport events that require an upfront cash or financial commitment.
State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett traveled to Cable on Thursday to announce the grant and celebrate the new event on the area’s international calendar.
“It’s an honor and a privilege for Wisconsin to host the IPC Biathlon and Cross Country World Championships” Klett said. “A winter sporting event of this caliber builds upon the success of other events like the American Birkebeiner that showcases the state to an international audience. In addition, the economic impact from this event reaches well beyond Cable into a much larger region of Northwest Wisconsin.”
The Central Cross Country Ski Association, a Community Olympic Development Partner with the USOC, will be the host agency.
CXC moved its training program to Telemark in June, when Telemark Properties LLC finalized a deal to buy the historic ski venue. The home of the American Birkebeiner, and once the training site for the U.S. ski team, the sprawling resort had been closed for much of the previous year.
James Bolen, executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce, touted the addition of the international paralympic races as a significant boost.
“The Cable Area is honored and excited to host this U.S Olympic sanctioned Paralympic event on the Telemark trail system," Bolen said. "Our area has the best trail systems in the U.S.
"It will be thrilling to see some of the top athletes in the World challenge themselves on those trails. The positive impact on our local economy is significant but even more significant is the fact that this competition has not been on U.S soil for many years and we have a front row seat to watch the Americans defend their home soil right here in Wisconsin. For those 7 days the Cable Area is on the Worlds stage. It doesn't get better than that!”