Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre will host more than 550 elite cross-country skiers this weekend in the Haywood NorAm and Sprints/USSA SuperTour. (Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre photo)

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre will host more than 550 elite cross-country skiers this weekend in the Haywood NorAm and Sprints/USSA SuperTour. (Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre photo)

Sovereign Lake hosting elite skiers

Nordic Centre hosting Haywood NorAm and Sprints, featuring Olympians and Olympic hopefuls

More than 550 elite cross-country skiers and their support staff and families come to Vernon this weekend for the Haywood NorAm & Sprints/USSA Supertour, the official race series for Cross-Country Ski Canada and the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.

These races will partially serve as a qualifier for athletes to attend the winter Olympics.

“We (Sovereign Lake) are lucky to play a critical role in athlete development in both Canada and the U.S., serving as a qualifier for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea,” said Troy Hudson, general manager at Sovereign Lake.

“Sovereign Lake is a favourite amongst skiers because of its reliable early-season snow and high-altitude training as well as nearby accommodation and amenities at SilverStar Mountain Resort.”

Hudson also noted this event injects more $350,000 into the local economy.

Saturday will see the skiers go head-to-head in a Classic technique sprint and on Sunday will be a Skate technique distance race. Distances vary per category.

This weekend’s races will see Olympians such as Kris Freeman (USA), Brian Gregg (USA), Caitlin Gregg (USA) competing as well as countless members of Canada and U.S. National Ski Teams.

There will be a number of Vernon athletes competing including Junior National Ski Team member Hannah Mehain.

This weekend marks the first stop in the NorAm series, and the second stop in the SuperTour series. The first stop on the SuperTour was held last weekend in West Yellowstone, MT.

Many trails at Sovereign Lake will remain unaffected by the races this weekend.

For details on the which trails will be affected and the weekend’s events, call the lodge at (250) 558-3036 or visit sovereignlake.com.