Slogging across frozen terrain is not a challenge for Bend skiing star Joe Madden. He plans on attracting many more fans to the exciting sport of Nordic skiing, bringing his experience, leadership and his athletic ability to local mountains.
Madden, 23, has been skiing for over a decade and represents Oregon State University-Cascades. Madden placed eighth in the country at the 1.5k Classic Sprint in Rumford, Idaho, in March 2010 during his time skiing with Central Oregon Community College.
“I would have loved to have made it to the finals,” said Madden. “The conditioning you need to participate in those sprints is crazy. It takes a lot out of you to do so much.”
In 2011 Madden not only participated in many local races but went to Sun Valley, Idaho for the USCSA National Championship, rounding out a fairly busy year. Madden placed fourth in the Downtown Sprinterfest at the 2011 Winterfest on Feb. 22, in an event where the sponsors and proprietors constructed a sprint-ski course around the Rail Jam area.
“I didn’t ski super well last year,” said Madden, noting that nearly all of his finishes were in the top 20 category.
Collegiate skiing is scarce in Oregon and Washington with the only universities that have a lasting Nordic program being COCC and Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington according to Madden and team captain Bryan Jorgensen.
Madden’s friends, who are involved heavily with the sport are what encourages him to continue competing.
“All my best friends are skiiers,” said Madden. “I get to race, travel and train with these guys every single day and they’re really who inspire me so much.”
Madden was an influential part of the team thanks to his experience, according to Bryan Jorgensen.
“He’s been skiing for quite a while,” said Jorgensen, “So he’s a great guy on the team for the rest of us to learn from.”
“He’s pretty much the all around athlete,” said Jorgensen. “He’s a great teammate and we definitely miss him skiing for us now that he’s over at OSU-Cascades.”