Because the Olympics only come around every four years, domestic races hold even more value in the months leading up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. In Canada, they’ll determine who will fill approximately four remaining spots on the Olympic nordic team. The fun starts this weekend at Sovereign Lake, British Columbia.
With less than a year of nordic experience, Tatyana McFadden — a three-time Summer Paralympian with 10 Paralympic medals and a marathon Grand Slam to her name — has her heart set on Sochi. “I have to just be relaxed and go with the transitions,” she says. “When it comes time for me to put my skis on the snow, I have to remember everything I’ve learned … and ski as fast as I can and hopefully make people proud.”
Bump up your strength routine with gymnast rings — and no, you don’t need to be the next Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti, (wait, who’s he?). FS contributor Katie Bono writes: “It’s fun, the rings are extremely portable and versatile, and the exercises develop strength, coordination, and stability. However, the main benefit is that ring training is HARD. Like REALLY HARD.”
Nutrition expert Georgie Fear explains how to ward off illness when training volume is at its highest. “As the season approaches, athletes want to be strong, fast, and lean, and putting in the hours to train is essential,” she says. “It’s also critical for good nutrition to be a part of your routine.”
The official beginning to the 2014 racing season didn’t disappoint with tons of exciting nordic action taking place across the globe. FasterSkier was on-site in West Yellowstone to cover the SuperTour opener, Kikkan Randall opened with her best classic-sprint finish of second in Kuusamo, Noah Hoffman notched the fastest men’s time in Sunday’s 15 k pursuit to end the Kuusamo Ruka Triple, and Tim Burke had his first podium of the biathlon season.
Watching her husband in the West Yellowstone SuperTour 15 k skate on Saturday, Caitlin Gregg (Madshus/Team Gregg) had a sense it was going to be another good day. Brian Gregg placed second and Caitlin went on to win the women’s 10 k individual race by more than a minute and 20 seconds. “It’s incredible,” she said. “It’s so fun when this stuff happens.”
The North American men made a solid showing at the second stage of this year’s Ruka Triple in Kuusamo, Finland. The men’s individual 10k classic was what each team described as a productive start to the season – headlined by Ivan Babikov of Canada, who tied for 21st and American Noah Hoffman who placed 28th.
Fourcade Capitalizes on Lindström’s Crash to Take Second Win; Burke Third in Östersund World Cup 10 k Sprint
The highlight of Caitlin Gregg’s day was seeing all her Midwest fans, her Loppet Nordic Racing buddies, at the finish of each heat on Friday during the first SuperTour sprint of the season. That gave her reason to celebrate and smile every time she won, which Gregg did all morning and early afternoon in the West Yellowstone 1.3 k skate sprint.
A lot of people might not know who Emil Johansson is. To SuperTour spectators and most of the 200-plus racers in West Yellowstone on Friday, he was an unknown: a Swede racing in the green suit of his home club IK Jarl Rättvik. An exchange student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he’s not part of the team. It was hard to know what he was capable of.