Hall of Famer
A cross country skiing high performance coach and administrator and author of Canadian coaching programs, Anton Scheier had a profound influence on coaching while increasing the standards for Canadian skiers. Perhaps his most significant contribution to skiing was helping launch the National Training Centre system, which today offers high-quality programming and unique training opportunities to developing high performance skiers and national team stars.
When Anton took on the role of High-Performance Director for Cross Country Canada (now Nordiq Canada) in the early 1990s, he saw opportunities to improve efficiencies and effectiveness, including centralizing training programs. “Often we had athletes living three or four hours from the nearest airport in a small community club and it would take them a day or two to get to a training camp and a day or two to get home,” he said. Anton went on to initiate and oversee the set up of three National Training Centres where athletes have high quality daily coaching, sports science support, well managed trails and training facilities … and, most importantly, teammates to train with. “We are able to help them maximize their potential.”
Anton’s leadership and systems-approach to maximizing high performance programs, helped set the stage for the Canadian team to achieve exceptional and consistent results at the highest levels of the sport, including at World Cup, World Championships and Olympic Games. During the 2000s and beyond the Canadian team become a powerhouse, rivalling European countries. Beckie Scott, Sara Renner, Chandra Crawford, Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov and Alex Harvey, elevated Canada’s status as one of the leading nordic programs in the world.
Anton’s first involvement in coaching began during his under-graduate years at the University of Waterloo and quickly progressed to the national office where he worked for 25 years in technical, coaching and high performance roles. Anton was a support team member at 4 World Championships and Olympic Games and Team Leader at 5 more of those events. Anton also helped establish anti-doping testing protocols at World Cup events in Canada and lobbied successfully to include blood testing in the protocol.
Anton was on site at many international events, including near the finish area at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City when Beckie Scott won a historical gold medal. “That really for me was a highlight because it showed that the work that so many people put into the sport really could pay off with a Canadian on the top of an Olympic podium.”
Anton eventually returned to the grassroots to help local clubs in various roles, such as with the Nakkertok Ski Club in Gatineau, Quebec, who have enjoyed tremendous success on the national level.
With an increase in people participating in Nordiq Canada programs in recent years and a stabilizing of athlete programs, Anton feels the future is looking bright, despite a large disparity between funding levels in Canada versus European countries. “It’s satisfying to see that something you worked to help build is producing consistent results.”
Anton, an affable and genuine person, has dedicated his life to the promotion and enhancement of cross-country skiing.
“I’m very honoured obviously; it’s recognition towards some of my contributions to the sport in Canada … I was nominated by other Hall of Fame members and to have them respect and value my contributions means a lot to me.”
- 1981–2006: Cross Country Canada National Office Staff member.
- 1992–1999: High-Performance Director.
- 1993–1995: Instituted the National Training Centre Program.
- 1987, 1994: Organized FIS International Trainer Seminars.
- 1993, 1995, 1997: World Championships, Canadian Team Leader.
- 1994, 1998: Olympics, Canadian Team Leader.
- 1981: Mike Moser Award, University of Waterloo. Awarded to a student-athlete who displays exceptional athletic talent as well as academic success.
- 1981: J.O. Hemphill Award, University of Waterloo, in recognition of outstanding administrative contribution to the interuniversity program.
- 1999, 2011, 2018: Cross Country Canada Media Award.
- 1972-1976 Credit Valley Ski Club
- 1976-1981 University of Waterloo Nordic Ski Club
- 1982-1985 Ottawa Racers Ski Club
1986-2003 Orleans Nordic Ski Club
2010-present Nakkertok Nordic Ski Club