Here at FasterSkier, we have received a lot of inquires about how those of us in the USA can watch World Cup and World Championships races on TV or on the Internet.
As I said in my article about the WC Relay, I have been following the results of the World Championships live on the internet. But sometimes that is just not enough. I wanted to see the skiers in action – to watch the world's best. I wanted to see, with my own eyes, Kris Freeman charging to the line in the 15K gunning for a medal. I wanted to see Kris and Carl Swenson skiing in the lead pack of the pursuit. I wanted to see Kris, yet again, take control of the relay and leave the Euros in the dust.
But unlike Europe, where such things would be broadcast live, we in North America have to scrounge our video footage from bit here and highlights there. So in an effort to make the scrounging a little easier is the best option I have found:
You can download and play video files from the current World Championships (and other races) on your computer – if you have hard drive space and a fast internet connection. It is the best current xc footage you can find. Maybe you all already know about this, but for those who don't I will explain how to see these races on your computer.
Here is what to do:
Go to Jannes Download Page and click on Skiing competition video . Then choose an event. Jannes has the Olympics as well as a lot of World Cup races from this year, not to mention the current World Championships! WC Races are usually posted a day or so after the race takes place. Once you click on an event, scroll down the page to the specific race links. Each race is broken into parts so that the files downloads are managable. You can just click on the link, but I recommend right-clicking the link, and selecting “Download Link To Disk.” This will save the file to your hard drive. That way if you have any problems playing the file you don't have to re-download the entire thing to try again. Plus you can then watch it over and over.
You MUST have a broadband (256Kb/s or greater) to download these files. They average about 80 MB each, which would take many hours on a dial-up connection.
Once it is downloaded you will probably need to get a DivX decoder from DivX in order to play it. Download and install the proper decoder. Open the DivX decoder and then use the decoder to convert the video file. Then click on the converted video file on your hard drive. It should play. If it does not, try opening it from inside an application like Real One Player or QuickTime.
If you are still having problems, try www.nordicskiracer.com. Mike Muha's site was able to help me troubleshoot.
It is a bit complicated, but I am now sitting here watching the Men's Pursuit with Carl and Kris in the front of the pack. USA sprinter Torin Koos is helping out the english commentary on these videos. Some of the commentators remarks are priceless, such as “I can't believe I am saying this – two Americans are now in the top ten!.” There is also a five minute segment at the end of the 15K CLassic where the commentators and the fans are all going crazy for Kris Freeman. And that makes the whole download project worth it.