It’s final. Holly Brooks is tackling the FIS Marathon Cup/Worldloppet series this season, with seven of nine races on her schedule and a goal of an overall top three. “I’m ready for new challenges,” she says. “I’m a competitor and I want to be in races where I’m in contention for a podium.” As the Birkie’s first elite-athlete representative, she’s hoping that will simplify some of the international logistics.
Mikey Sinnott grew up in Sun Valley, came up through the junior ranks, excelled at Junior Nationals and reached the highest levels of elite competition on the World Cup. After missing the Olympics last season and feeling like he never hit his stride, Sinnott, 29, had some decisions to make this spring: to keep racing or embark on a new path.
Twice each fall, the University of Alaska Anchorage’s nordic and alpine teams converge on their favorite sandbox for a sufferfest of sand-dune sprinting. “The family that plays together stays together and the ski team that suffers together can win together,” Kastning explains of their larger NCAA goals.
Retirements were expected after an Olympic season – but the women’s biathlon field will be shaken up even more, as several top competitors are taking the season off for babies or injuries. Plus, Darya Domracheva has switched her coach and Ukraine stars face a funding crisis. All the updates inside – the World Cup is on in less than two months!
While the three medals U.S. Paralympics Nordic won in Sochi are still fresh, the team’s moving on and doing everything it can with the money it has to be a leading force in Paralympic cross-country skiing and biathlon. “Medals are good, but they’re not critical,” director John Farra explains. “I think they’re going to be more critical in Pyeongchang.”