By Emily Goddard

john_farra_05-07-11June 28 - Olympian John Farra has been named as the director of the US Paralympics Nordic skiing high performance programme, in a move that is part of the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) continued commitment to improving Team USA's success, while advancing elite disability sport in the the country.

Farra was previously a member of the US ski teams in cross country, ski jumping and Nordic combined, winning six World Championships and four Olympic medals, and currently serves as the Nordic programme director for the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) - a position he has held since 2008.

"I'm pleased John will be joining the team to take on these responsibilities with the Paralympic Nordic programme," said USOC's chief of sport performance Alan Ashley.

"I've had the opportunity to work with John through the years, and his leadership and experience will be a key contributor in our effort to build a world class programme for the future."

In the high performance position, Farra will lead the annual and quadrennial high performance planning for USOC's Paralympic Nordic programme, and collaborate with key partner organisations and ski clubs to build a stable and elite pipeline of athletes and coaches.

Initially based in Park City, Utah, he will also direct designated national team activities and continue to identify, train and support athletes who have the talent to pursue excellence at the Paralympic Winter Games.

"I am excited to have an opportunity to work with the US Olympic Committee and am eager to bring my experience and passion for Nordic sport into the US Paralympic programmes," said Farra.

"The position will provide me new professional challenges and goals as we aim to build comprehensive medal-contending programmes for cross country and biathlon."

Farra, who is also the former vice president for the Maine Winter Sports Centre, has close ties with the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid in New York, having attended the Academy as an athlete and later as the assistant head of school following his retirement from competitive ski racing.

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