Cross Country Canada names Inge Bråten new coach
CANMORE, Alta.—Cross Country Canada solidified the final dimension to its world-leading coaching and technical support team by naming Norway’s Inge Bråten as Senior National Team Coach, the national body announced on April 3.
Bråten brings more than three decades of experience in the sport to the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. A former high-performance athlete who competed on Norway’s national team, Bråten has helped guide some of the world’s best nordic athletes, including the legendary Bjørn Daehlie. Inge’s track record includes 13 Olympic gold medals throughout his career as a coach and personal trainer. Most recently, Bråten led Sweden to three gold and two bronze medals at the 2006 Olympics in Torino.
“Inge joins a talented team of individuals who have helped lead our athletes to personal best performances this year,” said Al Maddox, executive director, Cross Country Canada. “We are confident he will play a critical role within our support team by delivering a high level of instruction and motivation, and ensuring our athletes are fully prepared to win in this final drive towards 2010. We are delighted to have Inge join us in Canada.”
Outside of coaching, Bråten was educated as a teacher, and employed with a sport school in Europe. Bråten also spent 12 years working in television where he developed a sport channel focused on nordic sports in Sweden. He has also worked as a commentator for Eurosport, and is well versed in the challenges of elite world cup head-to-head ski racing. In his new role, Bråten will be responsible for collaborating with all of the support teams and contributing to the comprehensive program delivery, leadership and coaching for the World Cup and Olympic team athletes.
“I attended a seminar in Canada in 1992 and have been looking forward to an opportunity for the last 16 years to come and coach with the Canadian team,” said Bråten. “I really just want to come and fit in with the team the best I can, and follow the plan that is in place while trying to get the best out of our skiers. It is a very talented team of athletes.”
Bråten joins National Ski Team Leader – Dave Wood, Senior Development Team Coach – Eric de Nys, and the Pierre Harvey Training Centre Coach – Louis Bouchard to complement the coaching staff who works with Canada’s senior National Team athletes. Bråten will meet Canada’s World Cup athletes for the first time, April 19, when they will continue their detailed planning and preparations for the much-anticipated 2009-10 Olympic year.
“It will be an honour to be involved in the Olympics while working for a host country,” said Bråten, who added he has experience in coaching Norway when they hosted the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. “We have a short time – only 11 months – but I know we can accomplish a lot in that time to build up what is necessary to have good results in Vancouver-Whistler.”
Bråten also has experience joining a team less than a year before the Games. He was hired by the Sweden Cross-Country Ski Team 11 months prior to the 2006 Games where his athletes claimed five medals.
“I have known Inge for many years,” said Dave Wood, who is a 10-year year veteran coach of the Canadian squad. “Inge has innovative ideas, a great passion for success and he instills energy in those around him. His resume speaks for itself.”
Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada. Its 51,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. Cross-country skiing is Canada’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually.