Attend the Birkebeiner or other major American marathons and factory reps will show you next year’s skis. Look closely at TV coverage or photos of the Olympics and it is rare to see athletes with this new gear. Watch the finish line, athletes collapse and drool as they end the best race of their lives. Seconds later, a rep helps them off with the old skis and hands them next year’s skis with the shiny new graphics. The athletes of Team Atomic broke this tradition by competing on skating skis they received just days before their races and racing on new classic skis that arrived the morning of one of the first races. New skis need to offer a phenomenal level of performance to get Gold medal contenders to choose them over the trusted old skis that got them to the Olympics. This is especially true when the athletes only have a few minutes on their rest days to test the new skis. The skis, the new skis that is, can’t be just as good as the old skis to be chosen. It is not enough for the new skis to simply be a little bit better than the old skis. Skis that have completely new profiles, sidecuts and constructions have to be incredible weapons to get the world’s top athletes to switch after just a few minutes of testing. Atomic’s newest models provided that level of performance at the Olympics and helped Team Atomic athletes win a total of 8 Gold medals, 11 Silver Medals and 5 Bronze medals in Nordic competition.