Five years after starting SISU Nordic, Ben Popp has accepted the position of executive director of the American Birkebeiner, North America’s largest ski marathon. Popp talks about the “dream job,” his goals for the big race, and how he’s handling the transition.
Nordic sports are pretty egalitarian, as far as athletics go – but women are still confronted, constantly, with stereotypes about what is and is not appropriate or possible for them to do. In southern France, two researchers are focusing on what effects these stereotypes have on women’s participation and performance in a wide range of sports, and explained their findings in an interview.
After Trip to Test Out Sochi, First National Title is ‘Perfect Way to End Season’ for Canada’s Wenzel
In his first year as a senior, Canada’s Kurtis Wenzel – last year’s World Junior Champion in the individual – saw his season progress as normal. Then, at the very end, things got exciting: he got the surprise call to race in his first World Cup, at the Olympic venue in Sochi, then returned home to win his first national championship.
Kris Freeman was ready for the Tour to be over sooner than he could get out of Europe. Afterward, the US Ski Team veteran headed home, where he spent a full week recovering then building back up to normal. Before picking things up again in Davos, Switzerland, Freeman won two domestic marathons and is feeling primed for the World Cup and World Championships.
Leave the Husband and Kids at Home: A Week Before the Birkebeiner, Inga-Låmi Is a Women’s Ski Party in Lillehammer
For over 20 years now, women have had their own race at Birkebeiner Skistadion – and while there’s serious competition, there’s also a whole lot of fun the week before the Birkebeiner proper. The 4,000 women of the Inga-Lami spend more money than the 16,000 Birkebeiners combined, making women-only ski races not only a great party, but also a good investment.
You might think that Norway’s 54k Birkebeiner, one of the most famous and tradition-laden marathons in the world, has always been popular. But despite being situated in a ski-crazy country, the 17,000-entrant cap was only reached in the last decade, and demand is growing more every year. Here’s how the race got so popular, and how it’s continuing to grow as an event despite the cap.
Exclusive Interview: After Flagbearing, Frostbite, and Medals, Fak Finds Consistency on Biathlon’s World Cup Circuit
Despite an Olympic bronze medal and World Championships gold, Jakov Fak hadn’t won a regular World Cup competition until this season. How things change. After four podiums, the Croatian-turned-Slovenian is ranked eighth overall. He talked to FasterSkier about the ups and downs of his sport, and how he still returns to his roots in Croatia to train and to “find peace.”
If you watched last weekend’s Québec World Cup live via the USSA website, you’ll be happy to know that there’s more where that came from – potentially close to 20 more. In the immediate future, USSA will stream live footage from the Canmore World Cup, which includes races Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.