It all started as a running joke. Amanda Ammar wasn’t actually a ninja, people just thought she was. In her third season of racing independently, Ammar invited a few friends to join her fun-loving and flexible training method: Alana Thomas, Zoe Roy and Chandra Crawford.
Despite getting sick early last season and not making World Championships, Sylvan Ellefson is glad he began last year on the World Cup. He hopes the extra international experience will serve him well in the coming Olympic year. Ellefson doesn’t just want to make it to Sochi, either. “I want to go and have a result,” he says.
Of all the races to go by the wayside in recent years, the 30/50 k is often missed by longtime fans of the cross-country World Cup. Athletes miss it too, and at the annual International Ski Federation (FIS) Calendar Conference this week in Dubrovnik, Croatia, one of the biggest items on athlete representative Kikkan Randall’s agenda is to propose its return.
Perianne Jones has no problem jumping into workouts with the guys. And keeping up with teammates like Lenny Valjas, Ivan Babikov and Devon Kershaw? Piece of cake. Those are the training partners the 28-year-old Canadian World Cup member has been dealt for the time being, and according to Jones, she’s off to a great start.
Kikkan Randall has had to take a cautious step back from traditional workouts this spring in Bend, Ore. She’s dealing with a recurring issue with her left Achilles and is taking proactive steps to heal it in order to return to full training in a few weeks. “All is good, just trying to be smarter this time around and not push through potential injuries to the point I did last summer,” she says.
The National Nordic Foundation, America’s grassroots Nordic foundation, and CXC Academy, an online training subscription service are partnering up for the 2013/14 season. CXC Academy will be contributing 50% of new annual training subscription to the National Nordic Foundation for the coming season.
The Sochi Organizing Committee showed off, for the first time, the beautiful meals that will be up for grabs at the Olympics in February. Across the nordic sports, North Americans could medal in, we estimate, four events – and if you start talking a little crazy, maybe almost a dozen sets of the handcrafted hardware could come back across the Atlantic.
To say that Jennie Bender had an inconsistent season is a bit of an understatement. She won her first national championship and dropped out of her first race within the same week this January, and in April finished last in the 30 k National Championship. Now, as she recovers from a herniated disk in her back, she’s moving on from her team of the past three years at Central Cross Country to the Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman, Mont.