The Long Distance Ski Championship

Nordic Nation: Way, Way North with APU’s Tyler Kornfield

Jason Albert

Even in the way northern latitudes, there is no denying the earth’s 23.5-degree tilt on its axis and our relationship with the sun. Spring has sprung. In the spirit of holding onto winter just a little bit longer, we struck up a conversation with newly minted Olympian, Alaska Pacific University (APU) skier and Alaskan native, 27-year-old Tyler Kornfield.

Tyler Kornfield (tall skier on left) and Rosie Brennan (adult to right of Kornfield) during a Skiku on-snow session this spring. (Courtesy photo)

On the competition side of things, Kornfield set the domestic scene abuzz back in 2012. At U.S. nationals that year in Rumford, Maine, he won the classic sprint and placed third in the freestyle sprint. This past January at 2018 nationals in Anchorage, Kornfield skied to seconding the classic sprint and third in the skate sprint. He also won the 30 k classic to cap off a stellar championships week.

APU’s Tyler Kornfield celebrates after winning the men’s 30 k classic at U.S. nationals on Jan. 7 at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska.

But maybe, more importantly, Kornfield has helped bring cross-country skiing to rural Alaskan villages through Skiku. Kornfield is not alone in this endeavor: many skiers and coaches have volunteered their time to “to foster the health and recreational benefits of skiing, biathlon and running through sustainable programs across Alaska”.

All smiles. Olympian Tyler Kornfield (l) and Rosie Brennan (r) with a young Skiku skier. (Courtesy photo)

We spoke to Kornfield on May 3 to learn more about his commitment to Skiku and get the rundown on his year.

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