Before Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, the last time U.S. women won a championship medal in a team event was back at the first women’s biathlon World Championships in 1984, by Julie Newnam, Kari Swenson, and Holly Beattie. It was a different time, says Swenson: spectators warned them that “women shouldn’t be skiing and carrying a rifle, that this was just too hard on women.”
Henrik Gustafsson, a psychology consultant to the Swedish Olympic Committee and its cross-country skiers, published new research showing that junior athletes who were perfectionists were at greater risk of burnout. The worst risk came when parents emphasized winning over having fun, feeding into these perfectionist tendencies.
An Olympian and longtime racer at the top of the American pack in skiing and biathlon, Charlie Kellogg will be missed for much more than that: he was a friend on trail, a partner in adventure, and a mentor and leader for local and national nordic sports organizations.
Austrian sprinter Harald Wurm is being investigated not by a doping agency, but by criminal prosecutors. His house has been searched and he reportedly possessed a hemoglobin meter. This brings up tough memories for Austrians, whose skiers were banned at the 2006 Olympics for having a setup to do blood transfusions.
Sam Dougherty, an Alaskan former biathlete with a top-30 World Juniors finish to his name, just graduated from Montana State with a degree in business management. He took that approach and outlook into a coaching internship with the U.S. biathlon team, and has been soaking up knowledge in his time working with the women’s “A” team and coaching staff.
After finding that female cross-country skiers develop airway inflammation and a persistent cough which affects their sleep by the end of the season, Dr. Michael Kennedy explains why it’s such a bigger problem for women: smaller lungs means that there’s much more stress on their airways, which leads to greater injury in the winter months.
Therese Johaug’s summer of bad luck continues: after healing her left hand, which she broke earlier this summer, the Norwegian fell while trail running and broke her right hand. She has returned to Oslo for consultations about the extent of the injury and how she will need to adjust her training for recovery.
A recent study found that taking more frequent feeds – six over the course of a 30 k rollerski time trial – helped maintain higher and more consistent blood sugar levels and minimized gastrointestinal discomfort, even if it didn’t necessarily improve performance times. “Get to know what works best for you,” recommended researcher Ben Stocks.
Dr. Sylvain Laborde of the German Sports University is researching how to develop emotional intelligence training specifically for athletes. “They understood after the first session that they could really get something out of this,” Laborde said of working with an initially reluctant rugby team.
Jake Ellingson of Mount Itasca Biathlon turned heads in Jericho last weekend when he placed second – the top American – in the senior men’s mass start. A first-year senior who is now training full time, he’s looking for big things this winter.
Fresh off of marrying his new wife Kristin Størmer Steira in northern Norway, Devon Kershaw drove to Oslo and then jetted off for a high-elevation dryland training camp in the Italian Alps with his Canadian teammates and buddies, Jesse Cockney and Alex Harvey.
With more than 80 athletes from over 25 different teams descending on Jericho, Vermont, it was an exciting weekend of rollerski biathlon competitions in the summer heat.
After ditching the German team and flirting with a coaching job in Ukraine, German biathlon legend Ricco Gross will work with the Russian men’s team. He says he looks forward to having more control and using his own ideas in coaching.
A study of competitive female endurance athletes in Denmark showed surprising patterns in diet among those with low energy availability and skipped periods: too much fiber, and not enough carbohydrates. That enables better recommendations for athletes looking to get healthy while not gaining weight.
Just 2 percent of IOC members come from a snow sports background, and one of those two – biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen – skipped the vote for who should host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Between this imbalance and the fact that IOC members are no longer allowed to visit bid cities, the financial might and huge consumer market of China won out over other factors in the decision-making process.
Rosanna Crawford was aggressive on her final lap around a rain-soaked Norwegian city loop, taking top honors in the biathlon sprint. Four other North Americans also made the finale, while Barbro Kvåle and Calle Halfvarsson won the cross-country sprints. Plus, video of the whole festival.
42 votes were needed to win hosting privileges for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing received 44 to win out over Almaty, Kazakhstan, and become the first city to host both summer and winter Olympics.
Heidi Weng climbed away from the crowd in Lysebotn, Norway, today, to take the win in the opening race of the Blink Festival by more than 30 seconds over Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen. Susan Dunklee finished 15th, the top North American.
Matti Heikkinen wasn’t sure last fall if he still had what it took – but then his home country won the bid for 2017 World Championships, and decided to rebuild from the base up. Meanwhile, biathlete Tarjei Bø beat all of Norway’s cross-country skiers to finish fourth: “It’s obviously very fun… but I was supposed to have been on the podium!”
Athletes will likely no longer face the testing at Olympic Games. The decision has few other implications for skiing, which has not had occasion to do gender testing for several years: “Should it be necessary to arrange a gender verification… then the Olympic Movement rules would be applicable,” FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis told FasterSkier.