Jim Flim - Winona Senior High

Few coaches in the long history of Winona High School athletics enjoyed more success than Jim Flim. He built the Winona Senior High School boys and girls cross country teams, along with the Nordic ski teams, into state powers. He served as the cross country coach from 1972-2000 and won four state titles (boys in 1982 and 1987, girls in 1986 and 1989). He was instrumental in starting Nordic ski programs and was the head coach in Nordic skiing from 1983-1995. In his twelve years as Nordic ski coach, he took nine teams to state, and won state titles in 1988 (girls) and 1994 (boys). He had two individual State Champions, Amy Cichanowski and Heather Cichanowski, and one second place finisher, Josh Brang. One of Jim’s proudest moments was in 1994 when his boys Nordic ski team, which was unranked going into the state meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, came home with the state title. Jim also served as head boys track coach from1972-1984.

In all, 39 of Flim’s teams competed in state meets, with 24 of them finishing in the top five. He coached 29 section championship teams and 30 teams won Big Nine Conference titles. Five times in his career, Flim was named a Minnesota State coach of the year. Flim was named to the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003, Minnesota State University-Mankato Hall of Distinction in 2003, Winona Senior High School Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Minnesota Girls Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Minnesota Boy Cross Country Hall of Fame in 1992.

Jim graduated from Ellendale High School where he participated in football, basketball, and track. At Mankato State University, he was on the track and cross country teams for four years.

Since retiring, Jim does volunteer coaching at Winona Senior High. He also fills in his time with gardening, furniture making, and plowing for his son-in-law. He and his wife Maxine still live in Winona and have two daughters and three grandchildren with another on the way.

Lars Kindem - Minneapolis North and Roosevelt

Lars Kindem was the ski coach at North High School, where he coached a  ski team that won the City high school championship his first year and every year  thereafter for the next nine years.  When he left North to transfer to Roosevelt, his North High teams had established a dual meet record of 69 - 0.

Minneapolis  Jr. Ski Club members, Clyde Brodt, Jim Bajari, and Mike Hartig, skied on the team that won the Minnesota  State Championship in 1960.  North won the Cross-Country team titles in 1964 and 1965, also with Minneapolis Jr. Ski Club members.

In 1971, he started the first high school girls' ski team in the State of Minnesota at Roosevelt High.  There were 75 girls' teams in five years.  Lars  testified as an expert witness in Miles Lord's Federal Court in support of Jr. club member Toni St. Pierre's lawsuit to have the right to ski competitively for the Hopkins High School Ski Team..

Lars submitted a bid at the USSA Convention for the  Mpls. Ski Club and North Star Ski Touring Club to host the 1973 Nordic Nationals after Norm Oakvik and Bob Gray laid out a trail system at Bush Lake and the Hyland Lake Park Reserve.  As race time approached, there was no snow.  Lars appeared on  The Boone & Erickson WCCO radio show to plead for area residents to assist in hauling snow to cover the trail system.  It worked.  At those nationals  he also provided for the first doping tests done in skiing events  in  America.  For his role as Chief of Race, Lars received the USSA's highest award for race organization in the United States that year.

He organized the first night ski race. The U.S. and Canada raced at Wirth Park with light provided by 87 Coleman Lanterns on bamboo poles held in place by people.

Lars became an F.I.S. Technical Delegate in 1973, the same year that he served as TD for the American Birkebeiner, a job he performed another seven times.  He was TD for the Jr. Nordic Nationals at Steamboat, the Sr. Nationals at Anchorage, the 1976 Olympic Tryouts at Telemark, and America's first World Cup at Telemark.  He was Starter at the World Cup Nordic Combined at Giant's Ridge, also Chief of Timekeeping for the 1988 Olympic Tryouts at Giant's Ridge, the Biathlon Nationals and World Championships at Lake Placid.

In 1976, he organized  the "Ski For Light" international race for blind skiers, with the the Minnesota Vikings Front Four "Purple People Eaters" also participating as guides for blind skiers. 

Lars was one of five that assisted in planning the facilities for nordic events at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.  He designed the scoreboard and timing building for the Cross-Country stadium.  He traveled to Lahti, Finland, with a study group to prepare for the Olympic  Games where he served as Chief of Stadium and Chief of Timekeeping.

   He held positions on USSA committees such as Cross-Country,  Nordic competition, and eventually became USSA Vice President for Nordic skiing.  At the same time, he was President of the Central Division.  Later he was elected to the Board of Directors of the USSA and the U.S. Ski Team; a Trustee of the U.S. Ski Educational Foundation,  and member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Games Committee.

Organizing fair races and providing accurate timekeeping were his first priority.

Mark Lahtinen

Rudy Sebo - Duluth Central