PARK CITY, Utah. – The USA will be well represented at International Ski Federation’s (FIS) Junior World Ski Championships for ski jumping and Nordic combined next month.
USA Nordic, the national leadership organization for jumping and Nordic combined, has named a team of 17 athletes to compete in the February 8 to 13 event in Lahti, Finland.
The event, which will be run under strict COVID-19 protocols, has been confirmed by FIS. Athletes will be heading to Finland in early-February.
The team includes seven athletes from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, three from Park City Ski & Snowboard, and two each from the Norge Ski Club and Flying Eagles Ski Club among seven different USA Nordic club programs across the country.
Five men and four women qualified for the ski jumping team. It will be the fourth Junior Worlds appearance for Andrew Urlaub (Eau Claire, Wis.), Annika Belshaw (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), and Sam Macuga (Park City, Utah). Urlaub has been competing on the World Cup and Continental Cup this season and was seventh in a FIS Cup this month at Zakopane, Poland.
Four U.S. jumpers took part in the 2020 Youth Olympic Games last winter in Lausanne, Switzerland including Erik Belshaw (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), Landon Lee (Eau Claire, Wis.), Annika Belshaw, and Paige Jones (Park City, Utah).
Five men and three women qualified in Nordic combined. It will be the third Junior Worlds team for Niklas Malacinski (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), and Tess Arnone (Steamboat Springs, Colo.). Arnone was a part of the women’s Nordic combined Junior Worlds debut in 2019.
Four of the Junior Worlds team athletes were also on last winter’s Youth 3 Olympic Games team including Carter Brubaker (Anchorage), Malacinski, Arnone and Alexa Brabec (Steamboat Springs, Colo.). Malacinski, who made his debut World Cup appearance this month, was fifth at the Youth Olympic Games.
“This is an important event for our developing athletes,” said USA Nordic sport director Jed Hinkley. “Each year we are seeing continued upward movement from our young team. We are grateful to the organizers in Lahti, as well as to FIS sport management, for being able to create a safe environment for our athletes and staff to conduct this event.”