XCFeedsInge Bråten to Canada + Smigun Comeback?

doogiskiApril 2, 2009

Good day to you all, I hope everyone’s have a great spring. The snow is melting rapidly but the trails are still very skiing where I’m from. The news wires have become increasingly quieter this past week. All national championships are now wrapped up and the “rest” month is officially in full swing.

The biggest news recently which just broke as soon as I started writing this blog post is that the famous Inge Bråten is now Canada’s national team trainer after Arild Monson was released from his duties after a difference of “training philosophies” compared to those of CCC’s (Cross Country Canada’s) High Performance Director and key staff.

Last blog I mentioned that Bråten could be back in the Swedish fold after Svan’s resignation, but it appears that he opted for more interesting challenge. For those of you who don’t know who Inge Bråten is, he’s was the coach in charge of Dæhlie and Ulvang from 1990-1994 and for the Swedish team from 2005-2007, including their great successes in the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. Currently, he is also the “mental coach” for Justyna Kowalczyk.

In the article link, it metions how Bråten has had good communication with Dave Wood (the current Canadian team head coach) in the past. Hopefully, he can take over and continue on the good work that Monsen started; a catalyst to ignite the Olympic flame within the Canadian team.

Personally, I’m quite excited about the news as Bråten has been a very successful coach in the past; his coaching credentials are something to behold. When he was with Norway, his team won 17 Olympic and World Championship medals; an impressive tally even for a talent rich country such as Norway. Hopefully, he prior relationship with Dave Wood can only grow strong and this can carry forward as Bråten takes up his position in a quest to bring Olympic medals to Canada’s
cross country ski team.

In some other intriguing news, Kristina Smigun is attempting a comeback after taking the 2007-2008 season off for pregnancy before retiring at the start of this year. My Estonian correspondent Lauri, says that she’s currently training 3.5 hours a day in Otepää and will be increasing the volume load as the dry land season continues into the summer. In September, she’ll make a final decision if she is going to actually return; citing that she doesn’t want to make a comeback if she is going to only be a mediocre skier. She goes on to say, she wants medals if she goes to Vancouver, anything outside the top 10 will not be acceptable. To read the full article, you can find it here.

Great news, hopefully she doesn’t pull a Tchepalova and fall flat after taking a couple years off, I wish her the best of luck in her attempt to regain the form we all saw in the 2006-2007 season as she barely missed the World Cup overall title.

Lastly, it seems the FIS is going trigger-happy with all the new events that they are going to add into the World Cup season mix. The newest proposition is a “mini-tour” at the beginning of the season. It will be three races that will all take place in Kuusamo, Finland. A World Cup stop that sees races pre-Christmas almost every year as it is.

Til Next Time.

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