Kris Freeman Interview Sept 10th, 2004
By Eli Brown. Nordic Race Director, Fischer USA
Did your experience in the Marcialonga last year effect your strategy of which races to do this year?
Racing the 70km Marcialonga World Cup last year was both a mistake and a good learning experience for me. I learned that as a diabetic, I could do it. It was a great test of stamina, but was very hard to recover from. For me to race fast all season it is better to focus on the shorter events for now.
What are your plans other than WC this winter? Will we see you at US Nationals?
With a big early season tour in Europe I debated coming back to the state at all, but now I plan to come home over Christmas for 3 weeks or so to rest. I will stay in the east rather than travel to US Nationals. I think this break will be the best preparation for World Championships for me. I may hop into a race or two in the east, but traveling back and forth to Utah is more than I should do this year.
What have you been working on with technique?
In classic technique I have been using my arms more. I have been focusing for a while on lengthening my stride and that is going well. There is always a big focus on having a quick kick.
In skating I have been focusing more on using my gluts. Also focusing on a longer skating push initiated from the hip.
How have the new Fischer boots changed things for you?
The boots have been a pleasant change for me. I used to measure the deepness in my shin angle (skating) by the amount of pressure against the cuff. Now with no cuff I can ski deeper and more comfortably.
With these boots it is important to relearn where your support comes from — the sole.
In the classic glide phase this is the most stable, and supportive boot I have skied in. In New Zealand, I was striding longer, and more comfortably than ever.
Tell us about the technical support and preparation you need to be World Class?
I receive great support from the Fischer International Service Team as well as the US Ski Team staff. Compared to the big ski nations, we have a very small staff, but the USST Wax Team are the hardest working crew on the circuit. A small crew that works well together is more effective than a big crew that doesn’t work well together. They get along well, good organization and I trust that they will make my skis fast. I couldn’t race fast without the hard work from Hallsie and the guys.
Last year I had great luck with skis, only a bit off in three races but this was my fault since I picked the wrong grind, not bad wax.
Zach Caldwell has worked with me on grinding my skis as well. I remember one race last year near the end of the World Cup season where I raced on Zachs Z40 grind. I was having a tough day that day keeping up on the uphills, but every time I hit a down hill I sped right back up to the group. It was awesome. Zach does World Class work!
With the 2006 Olympics in Torino around the corner, what are you thinking about most?
The one race that I think about more than any other is the individual start 15km classic. I have skied this course and there are some killer hills. The tougher the course, the better I can do. I’m going to really put the hurt on in that race!
Can the US improve on their 5th place Mens Relay finish from 2002? Who will join you on the relay squad?
It is hard to say at this point if we can improve on 5th place, that was an awesome race for us. I feel confident that I can ski a hard classic leg. Carl Swenson is improving every year and could be dangerous in skating. Regarding the other two members of the relay team? With Wadsworth and Bauer retired, it is wide open. I believe we have more raw talent in the US now than ever, a very good base to select from. We will have a good team for sure.
Kris races on Fischer Skis, Fischer Boots, Fischer Bindings, and Swix Poles.