Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center (APUNSC) is an elite ski team focused on the development of U.S. skiers poised for international success. In 2008, APUNSC had a landmark season when Kikkan Randall brought home America’s first women’s World Cup gold and the club received the USSA’s Club of the Year award.
APUNSC is located on the campus of Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska. It was established in the late 90’s as a new model for creating international success in American Nordic skiing. The model supports long term development and is structured to help athletes prepare for a long and successful career.
Spearheaded by director and head coach Erik Flora, the club is made up of a multi-tiered system. The program encompasses an elite team which focuses on international excellence, a University ski team that is a stepping stone to the elite team and focuses on development of college-aged athletes, and finally a junior-masters program, which focuses on promotion of skiing in the Anchorage, Alaska community.
With funding coming from membership, endowment, fundraising, University support and sponsorship, APUNSC believes that athletes need specific training. APU athletes train on snow more than most in the world. Last season athletes spent more than 150 hours on snow during the dry land season. Skiing is made easy during the summer months with the Thomas Training Center, located on Eagle Glacier, 45 minutes from campus. The team utilizes the facility every month of the summer working on technique, fitness and ski skills. Eagle Glacier is a tremendous resource for U.S. skiers to improve skills in conditions similar to European racing conditions.
The APUNSC’s success is a direct result of the dedication to mission, team work, a systematic training regime based on science and sport specific training on snow. The club believes that U.S. nordic skiing can be the best in the world, and is attacking that mission as a team with the tagline, “We are stronger as a Team”.