FasterSkier Podcast: Randall’s Düsseldorf Podium, Davos Predictions, and the Russians

FasterSkierDecember 10, 20103

As the World Cup season keeps rolling, so does the FasterSkier podcast! In this week’s edition, Topher Sabot and Nat Herz continue the series with the two founders of the Nordic Commentary Project blog, Colin Reuter and Christopher Tassava. Starting with the wild sprint races in Dusseldorf, Germany, we move on to predictions for Davos, ponder early-season peaking, and, of course, discuss the latest news on the anti-doping front to emerge from Russia. Tune in!


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  • Inge Scheve

    December 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Great job on covering all sides of these interesting topics. Getting inside the Russian mindset is a riddle!

  • Lars

    December 11, 2010 at 5:47 am

    Love the podcasts 🙂

  • Cloxxki

    December 11, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Great stuff!

    You may be giving the Russians more (negative) credit than they deserve, to some degree. Yes, they are making cycling look bad, but so is an icon like Lance Armstrong whom was mention in the podcast. You’re great for sports, until you get caught.
    That seems to be the main problem of Russians, they get caught. They’re just not as advanced with doping as the Americans and Europeans. They’re behind, and that means getting caught.
    We should be very, very thankful that Spain seems to have little influence in skiing right now. Russian skiers may not be allowed (or financially able) to train in Spain, but cyclists, track athletes, etc, “all” do it. And start winning when they do. Floyd Landis explained us why, not that we didn’t know already.
    Just being Russian on the WorldCup is now synonimous for a red flag, and that’s sad. On the one hand because yes, there’s a good chance that half or more of these athletes are not clean, just waiting to be caught (they all seem to be caught sooner or later), but also because… So imagine you’re a skier, and you were born in Russia. You’re WC-talented, even for a Russian (which means top-10 material). You get lots of competition nationally, and you deal with that. Then, internationally, the winning stops for a moment. Everyone already expects you to dope, so why wouldn’t you? There sure are plenty of Russian trainers (as there are Austrian, American, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, etc) who are so willing to help you out.
    Just being a top-10 skier seems to satisfy no-one. 100 people each sexe show up to a WorldCup, and they feel like failures starting in 4th place. I’ve seen compatriots receive life bans for feeling like they deserved to win, and helped themselves with multiple doping violations to get there. Maybe you were just born to be the 20th fastest in the world, and only in your peak day, in your preferred technique, over your body’s ideal distance. Say, 10km individual skate. You’ll be a rare top-50 placer all your life, and may one time get it right for top-30 at a Worlds. So what do you do? Are you satisfied, or do you get more, the bad way? There are a hundred or more skiers just like you, and they may not all be as morally gifted as you. So now you’re actually a rare WC qualifier, and still just a few percent off the pace. Likely set by a Russian or Norwegian 🙂

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