Almost three years ago now, Reid Lutter and Piotr Bednarski decided that rather than watching their two Twin Cities training programs compete for skiers and resources, they should join forces. The results are a lesson in what city-based ski clubs can accomplish: in 2014 Loppet Nordic Racing was the most successful junior team in the country.
In the 2013 World Junior Championships sprint, half of the male competitors in the final were born in the last five months of the eligibility window. Is this a case of a relative age effect – and what are the implications for elite sports on the whole, or retaining youngsters to be recreational athletes for life?
What happens when you live in a ski-crazy country and have a breakout race on home soil? We talked to Roman Schaad, a 20-year-old Swiss sprinter who shot into the top 10 in his very first World Cup in Davos last December. That day, it took him 2 hours to finish interviews before he could go home – to his apartment literally next to the finish line. Sponsors and an Olympic appearance followed.