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A Historical View Of Nordic Skiing in Vermont’s Prep Schools and Colleges

By Jim Fredericks

The definition of Nordic skiing: Nordic skiing is a combination of winter sports that encompasses all types of skiing where the heel of the boot cannot be fixed to the ski, as opposed to Alpine skiing. Olympic nordic skiing events are cross-country, ski jumping, nordic combined, and biathlon. Telemark skiing is also considered a nordic sport but is not an Olympic sport. 

The intention of this exhibit is to offer a historical glimpse of the role prep schools, ski academies, and colleges/universities played in promoting the competitive sport of nordic skiing in Vermont. The exhibit can be considered a work in progress, which may reveal more historical facts as a result of this study. 


Burke Mountain Academy

Green Mountain Valley School

Stratton Mountain School

Vermont Academy

Lyndon Nordic Training Center

Sterling School

Craftsbury Nordic Ski Center

Putney School


Collegiate Skiing 

Some big changes occurred in the early to mid 70’s that made a dramatic impact on nordic skiing throughout the national collegiate community. First, the passing of Title IX in 1972 precipitated a dramatic change in collegiate nordic skiing. This act of congress required that no person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity regardless of sex. Due to this mandate, almost every collegiate men’s ski program in the country was forced to incorporate a women’s ski team that included the same disciplines as the men’s program. This precipitated the birth of women’s collegiate cross-country skiing in the U.S. During this period, there were no women who ski jumped so the women’s collegiate jumping teams were a non-issue. 

The second big change in nordic skiing was the dramatic rise in liability insurance, which forced many colleges and universities to close their ski jumps. In 1979, the NCAA dropped ski jumping as a required discipline for a national collegiate title. Within two years, most of the community and collegiate ski jump facilities abruptly closed across the nation. 


University Of Vermont

Middlebury College

Johnson State College

Norwich University

Lyndon State College

Castleton State College

Saint Michaels College


Jim Fredericks, a native Vermonter has been involved in the nordic skiing for over 43 years as an athlete, coach, industry race director and executive director of the Catamount Trail Association. Fredericks continues to possess a life-long passion for nordic skiing and has worked with hundreds of athletes throughout the years who include world and Olympic champions, national champions, junior racers and master athletes. Fredericks, a former USST National Training Squad athlete and world- class master racer continues to compete in cross-country ski racing and lives in Underhill, VT with his wife JoAnn Hanowski.