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The 46th annual Engadin Ski Marathon took place this past Sunday. Though the 42-kilometer skate course follows a valley downhill, losing a total of 150 meters (nearly 500 feet), that fact alone did not guarantee an easy race — on the contrary, most top finishers claimed this marathon to be one of their toughest.
Tatyana McFadden rose to the occasion yet again to notch the second U.S. silver medal in cross-country skiing at the Sochi Paralympics, becoming the second woman to do so in the last 20 years. Just 0.1 seconds back from gold, the Russian-born McFadden medaled in front of both her adoptive and birth mothers.
Brian McKeever and Graham Nishikawa came back from all odds after McKeever went down in Wednesday’s sprint, then surged ahead for gold — his first with Nishikawa alone, second of the Sochi Paralympics, and ninth total. “That was stressful,” McKeever told Cross Country Canada. “Once the cuss words were out, the only thing you can do is get back up and race.”
Late-Season Calculations Play into World Cup Strategies: Harvey Improves to Top 6 Overall, Hoffman Goes for Points
For many, the Holmenkollen 50 k freestyle mass start on Saturday was all about larger goals — not just the race itself. But to achieve those goals, one had to do well enough in the challenging six-lap race. Alex Harvey improved from 46th to 14th with that mindset, and Noah Hoffman put it all on the line for bonus points.
Canada’s Mark Arendz battled through brutal race conditions on Tuesday to capture bronze in the men’s 12.5-kilometre standing at the Sochi Paralympics, just days after taking silver in his first competition of the Games. In doing so, Arendz, 24, became the first Canadian to win two Paralympic biathlon medals.
The International Biathlon Union has for the first time confirmed that two athletes under investigation for doping since January are indeed Irina Starykh and Ekaterina Iourieva of Russia. The IBU announced that both women’s “B” samples had tested positive for EPO, and disciplinary hearings will be held in the next few weeks.
Teammates on the U.S. Ski Team and Alaska Pacific University, Kikkan Randall and Sadie Bjornsen tallied the best distance results of their respective careers on Sunday at Holmenkollen, the ultimate distance race of the season. Randall worked her way up and attacked late to finish 12th, and Bjornsen skied consistently with a pack of Norwegians to place 14th.
Oksana Masters won silver in the women’s 12 kilometer cross country race in the second day of competition at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. The medal ends a 20 year medal drought for U.S. women’s paralympic cross country skiing. Masters reacted her medal saying, “I really have to thank my training from rowing because it prepared me well for skiing; I am so happy right now.”
Bjorn Ferry may have mis-timed his Olympic peak, but that meant he has been able to enjoy an incredible weekend of World Cup racing in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Ferry bested Martin Fourcade of France with an elegant and well-timed downhill pass as the pair neared the stadium, followed by a furious sprint. “I can beat Ferry 99 times out of a hundred,” Fourcade said – but today he was wrong.