Cable Wis. prepares for Paralympic Nordic Ski World Champs

By KBJR News 1

May 28, 2014 Updated May 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM CDT

Cable, WI (NNCNOW.com) -- While winter has just wrapped up here in the Northland, the season was on the minds of several people in Cable Wisconsin Wednesday afternoon.

Representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee are planning for the Paralympic Nordic Ski World Championships.

The race has not been held in the United States since 2005 but now organizers are getting ready to host the event in Northwest Wisconsin.

"I don't think we necessarily realize the international stage we are on, but it is clear from talking to the other countries and hearing what is being said about us from an International Paralymic Comittee (IPC) and U.S. Paralympic standpoint that this is a world class venue," said James Bolen, Executive Director for the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce.

The games will be held on the grounds of Telemark Lodge in Cable and the group is planning everything from transportation to how best to utilize the trials.

While it may be hard to imagine what the grounds will look like come winter of 2015, just imagine thousands of spectators and racers throughout the Telemark grounds.

"It will be white with lots of beautiful snow of course, but also we will host a finish area, a start area, timing, penalty loop, the shooting for Biathlon races will happen in this area," said John Farra, U.S Paralympics Nordic Ski Director. He is also the coach for Team USA, and is optimistic about having the home field advantage.

"It's nice to be able to come as a coach and think how is this going to look for us and be able to report back to the athletes. Here is the kind of terrain to expect that you should be training this summer if you want to have your best performances," said Farra.

There are seven different races organizers have to map out, and they also have to take into consideration how the course is going to work for athletes with disabilities.

"Most venues are designed for standing athletes," said Eileen Carey, Development Coach on the committee. "What we will often do is look at existing courses and say, 'ok, lets change this here to make it a little bit better for these sit skiers and lets change this corner because an athlete who is blind might have a difficult time getting around that."

The championships will bring about 200 athletes from around the world to the Cable area, along with spectators and 350 members of the international press.

"Our lodging is going to be full before we even start talking about press and spectators so they are clearly going to be staying in Hayward and possibly up in Superior and Ashland and all around Bayfield, Sawyer and Douglas County," said Bolen.

The games will kick off with an opening ceremony on Friday, January 23, 2015.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers to help each day of the event. To learn more about how you can lend a helping hand click here. here

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.