Was It A Record?

FasterSkierDecember 9, 2003

Since the US Ski Team announced Andrew Newell's and Wendy Wagner's 100 meter World Records, others have come forward to say that they have seen faster.

We received the following correspondence from a website in Finland.

Unfortunately Andrew Newell didn´t break to world record, cause we organiziced 100meter sprint in year 2001 after the Lahti WC in Lake Pääjärvi. The best time in this race 11.85 made by Jari Joutsen, at this time also competing in WC. Last year his best result in WC was 11th in Börlänge. Second in this race was Marko Kinnunen (Finnish A-team) by time 12.05.

The race was in the lake so the track was flat. We also measured the wind same way as in track and field. Time was measured with alpine skiing equipments. The weather in the race was quite cold -14 C. Wind was between + 0.5 – 1.5 m/s. There was about 400 – 500 spectators in the race.

This year we are thinking to organizice this race again. I could inform you more later. Chek out websites www.nousukunto.com , www.easyfit.fi (later also in english) Jari Joutsen´s website http://jari.hiihto.verkkopolku.com

Many more expressed doubts that the previous Norwegian records, which the US team referenced, were indeed the fastest. Acccording to USST research, Norwegian Trond Einar Elden held the men's mark of 15.20; Vibeke Skofterud was the women's record-holder in 18.06 seconds.

However, Bowdoin Ski Team coach Marty Hall pointed us to these results from a year ago:

<Results from 100 meters cross-country sprint at Beito, Norway

And also to these comments from Dominik Feischl

The Austrian Christian Stüger, former world-cup-racer in cross country, ran on 23.03.2003 at the “Loser Hochplateau” in Styria at a competition the hundred metres with cross-country-skis in 11.814 seconds! So he was much faster than for example Trond-Einar Elden.

Others may have skied faster, but the quesion remains, did they take all the necessary steps to be considered for official World Record? While many may have skied faster than the relatively pedestrian Norwegian times, the USST used these as a benchmark because they were the 'official' records, as far as they could tell. This a very new competition and official results are nearly impossible to come by.

The US Team took extra steps to make sure their times would be certified official World Records. They chose a slight uphill, measured wind spped, had official timing, and an official Technical Delegate, etc. They even pre-registered with the Guinness Book of World Records. If all the paperwork goes through, Andrew Newell and Wendy Wagner will be the world record holders.

Others have, and will continue to argue that they have skied faster, but only Guiness can decide who owns the official record.

Regardless of who is actually the fastest, this has certainly generated a lot of good press for the USST. And as this new format catches on, we can expect many more attempts on this record. So if anyone out there has dreams of breaking this record, you better get going quickly.


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