It’s certainly not all glory on the World Cup. With rare exceptions, the fields are always stacked. Yeah, maybe the Norwegians miss the wax with the frequency of a total solar eclipse over your zip code, or a freak storm of molasses-like snow falls just as the top end of the Red Group tips the wand for the 10-kilometer interval start race. Statistically speaking, it’s a rare day when an outlier stands atop a World Cup podium.
Swedish National Ski Team member Hanna Falk, 28, knows the top spots are tough to get and fleeting. In 2010, her first full year on the World Cup, she burst onto the scene and finished an astounding fifth overall in the final sprint rankings.
That early success was hindered by illness. By 2015, Falk rebounded, and this past season finished as the third-ranked sprinter on the World Cup and 20th overall. Falk stuck with it, even with a podium drought that lasted from Jan. 15, 2011 to Feb. 12, 2016.
If you’ve ever had a doubt that the nosedive is terminal, give this episode of Nordic Nation a listen (found at the bottom of this article).
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Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.