Go, go, go. That’s the type of energy Liz Stephen brings to skiing. From a high-tempo skate technique to steeper is better, Stephen has been a force on the Distance World Cup since her push into the top 30 in 2012. Last year was a setback for the Park City resident and she feels like this offseason she’s done the work to make a rebound.
Megan Tandy, a two-time Olympian who hails from British Columbia but lives in Germany, has been working with Canadian national team coach Roddy Ward – her closest off-season collaboration with the team in eight years. She hopes to regain the form that handed her four top-15s on the World Cup in 2015.
Between a rafting trip on the Snake River and working on his jumps with a new coach from Austria, Ben Berend also got in lots of nordic combined competition this summer: he podiumed at U.S. Nationals and competed in Europe in the Grand Prix. Bernend will start the season on the World Cup for the first time this year.
An eight-year member of the Norwegian national team, Øystein Pettersen insists: “There are sides of Norwegian cross-country skiing that are not so positive. Eating disorders, overtraining, stress, pressure, the equipment arms race and much more. But doping, this is not part of the Norwegian cross-country sport.”
U.S. Ski Team and Alaska Pacific University skier Sadie Bjornsen has seen a few changes this summer including an increase in monthly training hours and the number of those sessions with her teammate Kikkan Randall. “It was definitely a new level of training for me, but I felt like I was able to absorb it, so that was cool,” Bjornsen said.
Colorado biathlete Joanne Reid will join Susan Dunklee and Clare Egan to make up the U.S. women’s World Cup team for the first period of racing. Meanwhile, Russell Currier (Outdoor Sports Institute) and Paul Schommer (USBA) are short-listed for the men’s squad and will join a national team training camp in Canmore, Alberta, before one is ultimately selected.
It’s back to school and the World Cup for U.S. Ski Team A-teamer Ida Sargent. Based out of Craftsbury, the Vermont native has been mindful to keep her training quality high. As she readies for the first World Cup in late November, she’ll also keep her mind sharp while taking online classes in public health.