Posted at: 01/12/2013 6:17 PM
Updated at: 01/12/2013 6:19 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Mother Nature won't hold back the 13 countries getting ready to compete in the 2013 International Paralympics Committee Nordic Skiing World Cup at Telemark Lodge in Cable, WI. The icy and rainy weather has forced organizers to get a bit creative to prepare for Sunday's first race.
"If we had plenty of snow, it wouldn't be a problem," said Yuriy Gusev, Executive Director of the Central Cross Country Ski Association. "But in situations like this where we have to make a lot of snow and move a lot of snow, it's challenging."
More than 400 dump truck loads of artifical snow made this year's World Cup course. Organizers said if this competition was anywhere else, it would have been canceled. For athletes like Team USA's Sean Halstedt, unpredictable weather is all part of the sport.
"Weather conditions are what they are," Halstedt said. "That's one of the things about our sport, you just have to take what you can get."
Team USA is working on building their program. They have 16 athletes this year competing in all three classifications: standing athletes, sitting athletes, and visually-impaired athletes.
"We have really talented endurance athletes," said Director of the U.S Paralympics Nordic Team, John Farra. "I think they are going to surprise some people."
The first competition of the 2013 IPC World Cup will begin Sunday at 10am.