Paul Smith’s College to become East Coast Nordic Training Center
Paul Smith’s College, the lone four-year institution in the Adirondacks, is about to become the East Coast Training Center for USA Nordic, the national governing body for ski jumping and Nordic combined in this country.
The announcement comes as USA Nordic embarks on an ambitious initiative to establish similar training centers in the central and western United States. USA Nordic will take advantage of the college’s educational curricula, natural environment and proximity to Lake Placid’s upgraded Olympic sites to attract members of its future male and female teams.
The East Coast Nordic Training Center at Paul Smith’s College will officially open and begin accepting student/athletes for the fall 2020 semester.
“The creation of this eastern Nordic skiing center will put the college in touch with many elite level student/athletes,” said Jim Tucker, Paul Smith’s College athletic director. “It’s crucial that we take advantage of our assets, namely to offer a quality education and world class ski trails for training.”
The Paul Smith’s College VIC trails are currently utilized year-round for athletic training. A three-mile expansion of the trail network and improvement to existing trails are in early development. This terrain is envisioned to increase the capacity for training and competitive events while improving recreational access, especially for youth.
“My vision is to have a full-time home base for college age students in one location that offers education and training,” said Billy Demong, an Olympic gold and silver medalist in Nordic combined and CEO of USA Nordic. “If we can base some of our best elite athletes in a location with great training and educational opportunities, there is no doubt in my mind that other aspiring athletes will join them. Paul Smith’s College could be a template for this education and sport training center in the U.S.”
Demong, who grew up in nearby Vermontville and trained in the Lake Placid region, said other long-ranged goals are to grow women’s Nordic combined, believed to be in the cue for inclusion in the 2026 Winter Olympics.
“Given the vast improvements to the Lake Placid ski jumps and these new initiatives at Paul Smith’s College, I believe that the college would be a perfect partner to do this with,” added Demong.
Paul Smith’s College is located 20 miles from Lake Placid and 10 miles from Saranac Lake. It offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The sprawling 14,000-acre campus is one of the largest college campuses in the world, and has an enrollment of less than 1,000 students.
About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit www.paulsmiths.edu.