Junior/U23 World Championships History
The Junior World Championships began in 1977 and were first hosted in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. They have been hosted twice before in Canada: 1979 in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec – where our Event Ambassador, ski jumper Horst Bulau, won Canada’s first ever Gold at a nordic World Championship – and 1997 in Canmore, Alberta. We are excited to have the event in British Columbia for the first time!
Originally, the Championships were just for ‘Juniors’: athletes aged 16 to 20. But later, the new ‘U23’ category was added: now athletes aged 21 to 23 can compete too. Once they are older than 23, they have to move on to the full all-ages World Championships, where the competition can be tougher.
The country who scores the most points in the Junior/U23 World Championships receives the coveted Marc Hodler Trophy. Since the trophy was first awarded in 1999, Norway and Germany have dominated the playing field, with Norway winning it 12 times and Germany 8 times. The trophy is named after Marc Hodler, a Swiss lawyer and leader in international skiing. For 47 years, from 1951 to 1998, he served as the President of the International Ski Federation (FIS) which defines the rules and formats of all nordic and alpine ski disciplines.
Whistler Olympic Park
The amazing venue of the FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships, Whistler Olympic Park, was the nordic venue of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
We are grateful to have this venue that allows the world to compete in Canada and look forward to reinvigorating the spirit and passion that the Olympics brought here. Located halfway between Whistler and Squamish in the Callaghan Valley, the Park has nearly 90 kilometres of cross-country ski trails (40 kilometres of which are dog-friendly!), two ski jumps (K125 and K95), and a biathlon stadium.
The Park is on the traditional territories of the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations, the Indigenous peoples who have lived here for thousands of years, and we are honoured to have the event here.
The world’s best nordic athletes aged 16-23 will compete in the disciplines of Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships.
Cross Country Skiing
Cross-Country Ski Events at the 2023 FIS Nordic Junior/U23 World Ski Championships
- Individual sprint
- 20km Mass Start, Classic
- 10km Individual Start, Free Technique (Skate)
- 4x5km Mixed Team Relay
- Cross Country Skiing has been a part of the Olympic Winter Games program since the first Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Women first competed in Cross-Country Skiing at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Winter Games in Finland.
- There are two disciplines of Cross-Country Skiing: “classic,” the traditional diagonal stride in the tracks, and the newer “skate” or “free technique” that uses a skating motion. Free technique was first introduced at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
(Source: WOP sign on flex building)
Cross-Country Ski Events explained
- Individual Sprint: Exciting and fast-paced, individual sprints are head-to-head elimination races on short, fast courses: 1.2km for women and 1.4km for men.
- Mass Start: Skiers start as a group and the first to cross the finish line wins. Mass Start races incorporate the longest distances – 20km in this case. They are a true test of endurance.
- Individual Start: In this most traditional of races, skiers compete against the clock starting in 30-second intervals and then ski 10km.
- Relay: Teams of four skiers from each nation compete in this mass start event, tagging a new skier for each of the four legs of the race. In this case, the relay is mixed, so each team will be composed of two men and two women.
World Junior Championships Ski Jumping Events
- Individual & Team for both men and women
- Mixed Team (2 men & 2 women per team)
- In ski jumping, each jump is evaluated according to distance and style.
- Each hill has a construction point (K-Point), which serves as a “target” that the competitors should reach.
- There are various hill heights, from small to large. Whistler Olympic Park has two hills: K125 and K95. Only the smaller hill will be used for the 2023 World Junior Championships.
- Jumpers can accumulate speeds of up to 100km per hour before takeoff. Once in the air, they can rely only on body position to maximize their jump.
- Women’s ski jumping was first included in the Olympics at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Our Ambassador, Canadian former ski jumper Taylor Henrich, was one of the first women to compete in Olympic ski jumping there!
World Junior Championships Nordic Combined Events
- Men’s Team Ski Jumping & 4x5km Ski
- Women’s Individual Gundersen – Ski Jump & 5km Ski
- Men’s Individual Gundersen – Ski Jump & 10km Ski
- Mixed Team – Ski Jump & Ski 5km, 2.5km, 2.5km, 5km
- Nordic Combined is the ultimate duo: a combination of cross-country skiing and ski jumping.
- In the individual events, these multisport athletes complete one competition jump and later the same day ski 5km (women) or 10km (men). The winner starts at 00:00:00 and all other athletes start with time disadvantages according to their jumping score. The first to cross the finish line is the winner.
- In the team events, each team consists of four athletes who have one competition jump each. The total score of all four athletes determines the time disadvantages for the start of the ensuing cross-country races of various lengths. The first team to cross the finish line wins.
38 Participating Countries
NOM DU PAYS
NOM DU PAYS
R.P. de Chine
37 Participating Countries
CODE COUNTRY NOM DU PAYS
ARG Argentina Argentine
AUS Australia Australie
AUS Austria Autriche
BRA Brazil Brésil
BUL Bulgaria Bulgarie
CAN Canada Canada
CHI Chile Chili
CHN P.R. China R.P. de Chine
CRO Croatia Croatie
CZE Czech Republic Tchéquie
DEN Denmark Danemark
ESP Spain Espagne
EST Estonia Estonie
FIN Finland Finlande
FRA France France
GBR Great Britain Grande-Bretagne
GER Germany Germany
ITA Italy Italie
JPN Japan Japon
KAZ Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
KOR Korea Corée
LAT Latvia Lettonie
LIE Liechtenstein Liechtenstein
LTU Lithuania Lituanie
NOR Norway Norvége
POL Poland Pologne
ROU Romania Roumanie
SLO Slovenia Slovénie
SUI Switzerland Suisse
SVK Slovakia Slovaquie
SWE Sweden Suède
TPE Chinese Taipei Taipei Chinois
TUR Turkey Turquie
UKR Ukraine Ukraine
USA United States États-Unis
Other interesting information from
The Canadian Olympic School Program (COSP)
Jesse Cockney – Story & Gratitude Activity – Grade 4
Jesse Cockney, Canadian Olympic Cross-Country Skier, is one of our Event Ambassadors!