Nordic Team Named

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Park City, UT, Jan. 21, 2002 -- Sixteen cross country skiers including four-time Olympian Nina Kemppel of Anchorage, AK have been nominated to compete next month at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. Ski Team said Monday.

The skiers were chosen on the basis of international results, U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said. The group includes two skiers -- newly crowned U.S. sprint champion Kikkan Randall of Anchorage, AK and Lindsey Weier of St. Paul, MN -- who will be coming directly from the World Junior Championships later this week in Schonach, Germany.

Kemppel, the all-time U.S. record-holder with 18 national championships, is the first U.S. woman skier named to the Nordic Olympic Team four times. None of the other women on the 2002 Olympic Team have raced at the Olympics although four of them -- Randall, Wendy Wagner of Park City, UT, Tessa Benoit of South Pomfret, VT, and Barb Jones of Bozeman, MT have raced in the World Championships.

Justin Wadsworth of Bend, OR and John Bauer of Duluth, MN will be competing in their third Winter Games while Carl Swenson of Boulder, CO and Patrick Weaver of Bend, OR are going to their second Olympics.

"This is an impressive mix of veteran skiers like Nina and Justin and the others, and some promising young racers like Andrew and Kris and Kikkan," Bodensteiner said. "They skied their way onto the Olympic Team and we're looking for our best results since 1976 when Bill Koch won his silver medal...and to use the Salt Lake City Olympics as a springboard toward even greater success in 2006 in Italy."

The 2002 Olympic Cross Country Ski Team

Men
Justin Wadsworth, 33, Bend, Ore. ('94, '98 Olympics)
John Bauer, 32, Duluth, Minn. ('92, '98 Olympics)
Patrick Weaver, 32, Bend, Ore., ('98 Olympics)
Carl Swenson, 31, Boulder, Colo. ('94 Olympics)
Torin Koos, 21, Leavenworth, Wash.
Kris Freeman, 21, Andover, N.H.
Andrew Johnson, 24, Greensboro, Vt.
Lars Flora, 24, Anchorage, Alaska

Women
Nina Kemppel, 31, Anchorage, Alaska ('92, '94, '98 Olympics)
Wendy Wagner, 28, Park City, Utah
Aelin Peterson, 26, Fairbanks, Alaska
Barb Jones, 25, Bozeman, Mont.
Kikkan Randall, 19, Anchorage, Alaska
Tessa Benoit, 24, South Pomfret, Vt.
Lindsey Weier, 17, St. Paul, Minn.
Kristina Joder, 23, Landgrove, Vt.