National Teams Announce Nordic Coaching Changes
The new training season has officially begun – but also the new Olympic term towards Milano-Cortina 2026. After many athletes retirements and national team announcements, the teams are getting completed with the staff that will accompany and support the athletes every step of the way.
FIS has put together an overview of the latest announcements of coaches changes in national teams.
A special situation awaits everyone who joins team USA throughout the winter season, as the team mostly spends four to five full months across the Atlantic. The bond shaped in those months abroad is a special one of which head coach Matt Whitcomb surely can tell many stories as he is heading into his 10th World Cup season with the U.S. Cross-Country Team. Together with Jason Cork (World Cup coach) and the team around Cross-County Program director Chris Grover, Team USA welcomes Kristen Bourne who steps into the position as D-Team coach and thus replaces Kate Johnson.
Alexandre Rousselet was appointed head coach of the French World Cup team and at the same time remains in position as the men’s Distance team coach. Thibaut Chene, who has been the coach of the womens team until now, changes to manage the men’s Sprint team after Cyril Burdet. And with Alexandre Pouye, a former skier will be in charge of coaching the French women’s team.
Sport Director Andreas Schlütter and Team head coach Peter Schlickenrieder intend to continue the successful path that led to the successes of Beijing 2022. With Per Nilsson from Sweden, the German womens team will get support by an international expert with a long-term experience from coaching the Swedish national team as well as individual athletes such as Frida Karlsson.
The German mens team welcomes Marc Steur as their new coach who collaborates with Falk Göpfert in a co-coaching position.
The upcoming Olympic term will be a very special one for the Italian Cross-Country squad as Milano-Cortina 2026 will be a homerun for the currently 5 men and 3 women in the national team. Naturally, the Italian Ski Federation was happy to engage one of the most experienced and diverse Cross-Country coaches with Marcus Cramer. The German origin changes from coaching one of the Russian training groups but does not start on cold ground with the Italian athletes. Already last year, Federico Pellegrino and Francesco De Fabiani had joined his training sessions during summer and are now building up on those successes.
“Never change a winning team” – the words of Alf Ramsey might just be the right move for the Finnish Cross-Country Team that has recorded many fantastic results in the past season. Thus, the team around head coach Teemu Pasanen – will stay in position with Ville Oksanen responsible for the men team and Jussi Piirainen for the women’s team together with Juho Halonen.
An exciting coach change was reported from the Swedish team as Ingrid Vikman joins the squad in National team coach position. The former skier replaces Magnus Ingesson and joins the stable coaching trio of Anders Högberg, Lars Ljung and Stefan Thomson who each signed a four year contract. National team manager remains Anders Byström.
With Dario Cologna, Laurien van der Graaff, Jovian Hediger and others, the Swiss Cross-Country team saw a row of profiled athletes retire after the last season. Also the management team will see a big change with Cross-Country team manager Christian Flury leaving. His position has not yet been replaced but the national coaching team around François Faivre has already picked up the summer training sessions. Faivre will be supported by Ivan Hudac as well as former athletes Toni Livers and Valerio Leccardi, who has collected experiences in the last years by coaching the Australian team.
The Norwegian Ski Federation went through a true application marathon as former womens team coach Ole Morten Iversen announced to step back from his position.
His successor will be Sjur Ole Svarstad who has already gathered some experience from working with the Norwegian womens team and the Rekrutt landslaget (development team) previousely.
Arild Monsen will remain in his postiion as the elite men’s elite Sprint coach as well as Eirik Myhr Nossum stays in place as the men’s elite Distance coach. Espen Bjervig remains the Cross-Country manager for the Norwegian team.