Local athletes podium at International Nordic Championships | SierraSun.com

Local athletes podium at International Nordic Championships

Special to the Sun

Submitted PhotoCarol Schick-Lyda of Truckee and Brenda Giese of Alpine Meadows take time out for a photo during the World Cup Ski Orienteering competition last week. The event brought skiers from 15 countries to compete at all the Nordic resorts in the Tahoe area.

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; North Lake Tahoe was selected by the International Orienteering Federation to host the 2012 World Cup Ski Orienteering competition, which brought Nordic skiers from 15 countries, as well as both the North American and US Ski Orienteering Championships.

The championship series was held from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5 at all of the local Nordic ski resorts, including Auburn Ski Club, Northstar, Royal Gorge, Tahoe Donner and Tahoe XC.

and#8220;It was very exciting to watch these high-caliber athletes skiing extremely fast while finding their way on their maps,and#8221; said Lauren Birtwhistle of Royal Gorge.

Ski Orienteering is a popular sport in Russia, Canada, Scandinavia and other European countries. Skiers race against the clock while reading maps in specialized ski map holders to find their way to about 15 control flags in various locations on the course. All competitors use skate and double-pole technique to ski both on the prepared tracks and off the tracks through the forest.

The races included long distance (20-30 kilometers), middle distance (10-20 K) and sprint races, as well as team relays.

Many of the top finishers in the World Cup were elite skiers from Russia, Sweden and Norway.

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Three local skiers also earned honors on the podium at several of the North American Championship and US Championship races throughout the week.

In the Womenand#8217;s 40+ category, Carol Schick-Lyda of Truckee won both a gold and a silver medal, while Brenda Giese of Alpine Meadows earned four silver medals. In the Womenand#8217;s 21+ category, Anna Voegele of Truckee earned a bronze medal.

The international skiers were impressed with the venue, and it is likely that more events will be held here in the future.

and#8212; This article was submitted to Sports Editor Sylas Wright at swright@sierrasun.com.