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Bryan Fletcher to FIS: ‘New Organization Opens Us Up to New Sponsorship Possibilities’

Bryan Flecher, U.S. Nordic Combined and USSA athlete rep http://www.bryanfletcher.com

After July 31 next week, USSA will stop funding U.S. Nordic Combined. Sounds like doomsday, but U.S. NoCo has a plan. Bryan Fletcher explains how they’ve already teamed up with U.S.A. Ski Jumping to form a unified “U.S.A. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined”.

Extirpé de L’ombre: Yves Bilodeau, Technicien en Chef de L’équipe Canadienne

Former Canadian National Team member Yves Bilodeau racing in Calgary. (Photo: Cross Country Canada)

Nous avons joint Bilodeau à sa demeure savoyarde, battue derechef par une forte pluie contraignant le passionné de pêche à délaisser temporairement le Rhône. L’homme revient avec humour sur ses débuts en 1995, nous présente ses compagnons d’armes oeuvrant au sein de l’équipe canadienne et se prononce sans détour sur les déconvenues de Sochi.

Fourcade Focuses on Double World Championships, With Past Duds in Mind

Fourcade-Uphill-thumb

With two biathlon gold medals under his belt from Sochi, France’s Martin Fourcade is setting his sights on competing in both skiing and biathlon World Championships in 2015. It’s not an easy team to join: the French men took bronze in the 4 x 10 k relay in Sochi. So Fourcade is joining them for training camps.

Norway’s Brun-Lie Impressed with U.S. Women’s Team: ‘I Think We Have A Lot to Learn’

Norway's Celine Brun-Lie at the NAWTA Eagle Glacier camp last week. (Photo: Chris Hodel)

Norway’s Celine Brun-Lie chatted with FasterSkier while wrapping up her camp with the U.S. Ski Team and APU on Eagle Glacier. She flew home Tuesday, but not before flying around Alaska, visiting cabins, eating salmon, seeing moose, lots of moose — and training 20-plus hours for each of the last two weeks.

Sachenbacher-Stehle Case Raises Questions about Supplement Use and Safety

Sachenbacher-Stehle at the finish Monday.

Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle had three of her nine supplements – recommended by an experienced nutritionist – tested for banned substances. She read the ingredient labels carefully and googled their names with the phrase “doping”. But the IBU rejected the idea of accidental ingestion and slapped her with the same 2-year ban that a Russian using EPO received on the same day. Is that fair?

From the Arctic Circle to Bozeman: Hagensen Reflects on MSU Coaching Career

Gethe Hagensen runs along former Montana State University athlete Tyler Reinking in the 2012 NCAA Championship in Bozeman, Mont. Grethe was head nordic coach at the university for a decade. (Photo: Stuart Jennings)

Grethe Lise-Hagensen served as Montana State University’s Head Nordic Coach from 2003 to 2014. During her decade as head coach, Hagensen brought the team from a state of near non-existence to ranking third in the nation. In May of 2014, Hagensen’s contract was not renewed by the university’s administration. FasterSkier sat down with Hagensen in July to talk about her time at the helm of the MSU program and the accomplishments she achieved during her ten years as head coach.

Starykh Banned for Two Years; Claims EPO Was in Cosmetic Injections of Human Placenta

Irina Starykh (far right) celebrates with the Russian team after their IBU World Cup biathlon relay victory in Ruhpolding, Germany, in January. The result is among those which will be voided with Starykh's doping ban, from a sample collected in December. Photo: Fischer / Nordic Focus.

The International Biathlon Union has finally announced the verdict for Irina Starykh of Russia: a two-year ban beginning on December 23, 2013, the date samples were collected which eventually tested positive for recombinant erythropoetin. Starykh claims that the substance must have been in a drug she injected to improve her skin, but this seems unlikely.

As Nationwide Ammunition Shortage Hits Gun-Shop Shelves, Biathletes Seek Bullets

US Biathlon National Team member Susan Dunklee will provide instruction.

For the last five years, there has been an ammunition shortage in the U.S. The shortage is most acute in inexpensive rimfire-type ammunition, particularly .22-caliber, which is preferred by competitive and recreational shooters (i.e. biathletes). Coaches from several U.S. biathlon clubs weigh in on whether they’ve experienced issues with obtaining team ammo.

After Two Home Olympics, Gaiazova Transitions to Next Phase of Her Life

An excited Dasha Gaiazova at the women's 0.85 k World Cup classic sprint in Liberec, Czech Republic. The Canadian was fourth for a career best and narrowly missed the podium in a photo finish. (Chandra Crawford photo)

Dasha Gaiazova was on the fence about continuing her ski career after the 2014 Olympics.The Russian-born Canadian had competed at back-to-back home Olympics, and in May, she wasn’t named to Canada’s World Cup or senior development teams. “I felt like I wanted to keep racing,” she recalled. “The team got announced and I didn’t get on the team, and I was like, I gotta think about some things.”

Wednesday Workout: Make Every Shot with Norwegian Coach Joar Himle

Joar Himle, a personal shooting coach from Norway, assists Canada's Scott Gow during a recent shooting camp in Canmore, Alberta. (Photo: Matthias Ahrens)

Last month, Norwegian shooting coach Joar Himle, who previously coached biathlon greats like Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Halvard Hanevold, visited the Canadians for a weeklong camp in Canmore. While he mostly worked with individual athletes, he also had them do a few interesting drills, including a sort of ‘shoot ’til you miss’ exercise, which takes about an hour on the range.

FIS Moving, With Care, Toward Harmonization with IOC Blood Passport Testing at Olympic Games

FIS Logo

FIS Anti-Doping Coordinator Sarah Fussek says that her federation is in the very early stages of harmonizing their Athlete Biological Passport testing protocol with other winter sports federations, with a possible end result of the IOC taking over all testing at the Olympics. This would allow FIS to do more testing at other events in Olympic years.

Trygstad-Saari Leaves Bridger Ski Foundation for Montana State

MSU Invite, (Men's Start)

Montana State University announced Friday that Kristina Trygstad-Saari will become the school’s nordic ski team head coach starting in August. This is the second job announcement in recent months for Trygstad-Saari as she was reported to be the Elite/Post-Graduate Team Coach of the Bridger Ski Foundation in May. She has since resigned from the position.

U.S. Ski Team Women and Men Among the Masses at Alaska Training Camp

Alaska Pacific University's Kikkan Randall (r) leads fellow U.S. Ski Team member Liz Stephen and Norway's Celine Brun-Lie (l) during a dryland session last week in Anchorage, Alaska, part of the North American Women's Training Alliance. (Photo: Matt Whitcomb)

Anchorage and Eagle Glacier are happening places these days, with the North American Women’s Training Alliance (including Norway’s Celine Brun-Lie and 13 top U.S. skiers), a couple of French biathletes and the U.S. men’s team, which recently arrived for its first unified training camp in Alaska.

Olympic Biathlete Brian Olsen: Elite & Olympic Teams Should Say ‘You Can Play,’ Promote Inclusivity for LGBT Athletes

Brian Olsen, at age 22, competing in a test race at the 2006 Olympics in Torino. Now retired as from racing, he is an athlete representative both to USBA's board and to the USOC's Athletes' Advisory Council.

At age 21, Brian Olsen worried that coming out as gay would negatively affect his performance as a biathlete. Years later, he’s using his position as an athlete rep to advocate for governing bodies in Olympic sports to think more carefully about the environment they’re creating for gay and lesbian athletes. That might start here in the nordic community.

Push for Homologation at Williams’ Prospect Mountain

A scene from the Williams' College Winter Carnival at Prospect Mountain in Vermont. (Photo: Jason Lemieux)

An idea from Williams’ associate athletic director came to life with the help of one of the college’s skiers: Will Wicherski. By 2016, Williams could be hosting its Carnival on a homologated 5-kilometer loop at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vt.

What’s in an REG? U.S. Ski Team Coach Bryan Fish Explains

Rollerskiing at an REG camp (Photo: NNF)

U.S. Ski Team Development Coach Bryan Fish fields questions from the NNF regarding the Regional Elite Group camps, like what are they, when do they happen, and who gets to go.

Brooks Earns Second Mount Marathon Title in Close Race

Brooks nears the top of Mount Marathon with Resurrection Bay in the background (Photo: Todd List)

Holly Brooks understands the hazards of the acclaimed Mount Marathon. Having previously run the race six times the Olympian knew winning her second title wouldn’t be easy. Despite a brutal course, high temperatures, and challenging field of women Brooks was able to claim the 2014 Mount Marathon victory with a time of 52:49.

With USOC Support and Own Foundation, U.S. Biathlon Confident About Post-Olympic Financials

After World Cup podium performances from Lowell Bailey (above), Tim Burke, and Susan Dunklee, the US Olympic Committee rewarded biathlon with relatively strong support in the post-Olympic year. (Photo: USBA/Nordic Focus)

This spring, nordic organizations across the U.S. and Canada were hit hard by cuts from their Olympic funding partners. U.S. Biathlon Association President Max Cobb says his group wasn’t one of them: USBA didn’t get its full request, but it got enough. “It’s a relief,” he said. USBA also has the added benefit of a foundation to help with additional fundraising.

From The Pack: Kyle Bratrud

"I wouldn’t be the skier I am without Sten Fjeldheim," says Bratrud. The two pose for a photo with teammate George Cartwright at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Middlebury, Vt. (Photo: Karla Bratrud)

At the 2014 NCAA Championships, Kyle Bratrud was the first American in the 15 k classic. The result was the highlight of his college career to date. However, the skier is much more than his results suggest and the Minnesota native’s relationship with the sport shows that several strong influences from his coaches have helped him get where he is today.

‘I Want to Be a U.S. Biathlete Because…’ (Video)

USBA Talent ID and Recruiting Camp

Meet the 11 candidates up for nomination to U.S. Biathlon’s X or development-group teams, from high-school upperclassmen to post grads.