Waterville Valley, NH – Three-time Olympian Kris Freeman is joining Waterville Valley in New Hampshire as the ski resort’s newest Nordic Racing Instructor. After reading in the Wall Street Journal last week about Freeman’s funding being cut by The U.S. Ski Team, resort owner and general manager Chris Sununu made the immediate decision to step up and help out a local hero.
Freeman will continue to train throughout the ski season in preparation for his fourth Olympic appearance for the United States at 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, this February. As a competitor on the world stage for more than a decade, Freeman excels in long distances, winning a World Championship in the 30km and is the reigning National Champion in the 50km, which he has won for three straight years.
Despite Freeman’s recent national achievements, his international ranking did not earn him an automatic spot on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s team. With the U.S. Ski Team choosing to develop younger athletes, Freeman was bumped from the program even though he remains top-ranked in USSA points.
Waterville Valley’s move to hire Freeman will utilize his talents and keep his health care benefits intact while he trains.
“I began skiing at Waterville Valley when I was four years old. When I grew up, I moved as close to the mountain as I could because it is still my favorite place in the world to ski. I am grateful to Waterville Valley for running such an awesome facility and for all of their support,” Freeman said.
After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2000, Freeman became a pioneer in sports medicine as he continued to race at the highest level with an insulin pump. Constant calibrations are needed to accommodate to different climate, altitude, stresses and fatigue. Every race is an experiment as he continues to break ground for athletes with diabetes.
“There was no question for us about helping out a local hero like Kris,” said Sununu. “We are proud to have him on board to bring so much experience and knowledge to an already top notch staff. It’s no accident that Waterville Valley Resort is now home to both America’s greatest cross-country skier in addition to America’s greatest freestyle skier, Hannah Kearney. We’re looking forward to seeing them both bring medals from Sochi back to New Hampshire this winter.”