HomeAuthor Ben Theyerl

Ben Theyerl was born into a family now three-generations into nordic ski racing in the US. He grew up skiing for Chippewa Valley Nordic in his native Eau Claire, Wisconsin, before spending four years racing for Colby College in Maine. He currently mixes writing and skiing while based out of Crested Butte, CO, where he coaches the best group of high schoolers one could hope to find.
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This World Cup coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and the A Hall Mark of Excellence Award.  To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage please contact info@fasterskier.com. The temperature was a balmy -11℃ (12℉). A glow hung in the sky and new snow decorated the trees; a welcoming winter scene in Ruka, Finland. With the FIS Cross-Country...

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“I’m sorry, but once I start talking cross-country skiing, I can’t stop,” admits Rick Kapala. Remove the “talking” from that statement, and it’s still a succinct summary of long-time Sun Valley coach Rick Kapala’s career. This season will mark the first time in thirty-five years that Kapala won’t be manning the wax bench on race day for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. This summer, he turned to a new role at the Sun Valley...

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Convened for the first time since the pandemic, USSS’s biennial coaches National Coaches’ Symposium brings focus to US Skiing’s progress, and highlights the ever-evolving nature of the sport. Last held in 2019, the US Ski and Snowboard’s National Coaches’ Symposium has traditionally provided insight into program priorities and training philosophies of those coaches working directly with the US Ski Team. With in-person conventions having been interrupted by the Covid pandemic, this season’s re-convening of the...

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In a ceremony held last week in Colorado’s high country, President Biden proclaimed The Camp Hale – Continental Divide National Monument, the first National Monument designated during his presidency. The ceremony was conducted on the former grounds of Camp Hale deep in the Pando Valley between Leadville and Vail. Camp Hale was the training site of the famous 10th Mountain Division—the “skiing soldiers”—who played a critical role in the Italian theater of World War II....

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Practice had ended for the Soldier Hollow Comp and Devo teams, but no one went to take their roller skis off. They were waiting for something that didn’t happen everyday; shortly, their patience was rewarded. The winningest male World Cup skier of all time—Olympic Champion, World Champion—glided around a gentle left-hand bend, dragged his wheels to a perfect stop in front of the crowd, picked up a microphone, and smiled a familiar smile: Johannes Høsflot...

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The International Ski Federation’s (FIS) annual Congress held at the end of May this year was an unusually dramatic affair. Fights over media rights – whether to look at serializing the sport of Nordic skiing into something like Formula 1’s Drive to Survive – sent skiing’s international governing body into a metaphorically different part of the Netflix catalog, less Dive to Survive and more House of Cards, West Wing, or Newsroom. If only Aaron Sorkin...

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For the first time ever, an American will preside over international governance of a nordic sport. On Tuesday, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced that longtime U.S. Biathlon President and CEO Max Cobb has been named the IBU Secretary General. Cobb will finish up his second term on the IBU Executive Board and leave his post as at U.S. biathlon at the end of September, then begin his new role overseeing international competition, governance, and...

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Earlier this month, the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), in partnership with the Women Ski Coach’s Association (WSCA) and the Olympic Women’s Cross-Country Book Project, announced the Trail to Gold Fellowship. The Fellowship aims to correct for a historical gender imbalance in U.S. coaching at the club, collegiate, and international level by providing fellows with funding to complete a two-week internship with the U.S. Ski Team on the World Cup this winter. The Trail to Gold Fellowship...

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The International Ski Federation (FIS) is again postponing its ban on the use of fluorinated (fluoro) waxes, originally passed in November 2019. The decision to delay the ban’s implementation until after the 2022-23 season was announced in a press release earlier today. The FIS cites the need for “further refinement of the fluoro testing device and to define procedures to protect the integrity of FIS competitions.” The same concerns over an efficient and effective testing...

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It’s the kind of event that explains Norwegian’s love for cross country skiing – it represents all they want to represent about themselves, and nothing else. In the humid, green summer, some of the world’s best winter athletes come to the coastal town of Sandnes in the country’s south for four days of roller skiing racing – the Blink Festival – in which spectators will pack nearly every inch of town center, mountainside, or arena...

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Logan Diekmann, Nina Seeman win on the streets of Bozeman, and BSF’s Rollerski races look to harness the momentum of summer training out West. Featuring Results and Video Highlights. BOZEMAN – Jim Bridger was a mountain man. One of those figures born firmly entrenched in the old ways back East, before he split for the Mountain West for something new. A character to chart a theme pervasive through the American vision of the West –...

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A Q and A with Amy Cichanowski, Executive Director of the Minnesota Youth Ski League, on developing a more robust, diverse, ski community from the bottom-up. The State of Minnesota has always been good at getting its citizens on skis. Throughout the last century, people with names – some of them specific – Grace Carter Lindley, George Hovland, and Charlie Banks – and others more of a metonym for a kind of spirit – Ole...

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“Skimo” will be the newest Olympic ski discipline when it premiers at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Games. In 2022, those ready to represent the USA are bringing what they learned from their Nordic skiing background to higher peaks, steeper downhills, and techier technique. The details of ski mountaineering are dizzying. Take the little challenges unique to each discipline of skiing, amalgamate them together into one race, and you’re left with “Skimo,” which may or may not...

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U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith. To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed to development,...

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U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith. To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed to development,...

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U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith. To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed...

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Adam Martin’s skiing has always tended to be best described in conjunctions rather than disjunctions. He could do this and he would do that. Or, that’s always how his mentors looked at it. My most distinct memory of Martin is from a CXC (Central Cross Country Skiing) camp about a decade ago when Sten Fjeldheim, then Martin’s coach at Northern Michigan University (NMU), gathered a group of us J2s (U16) around in the lobby of...

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With a cohort of some of the best U23 skiers in the country, the program is setting a trend for young American skiers pursuing international-level and college skiing simultaneously.   After the first day of this year’s NCAA Championships, held at Soldier Hollow, Utah, the team scoring was close. The familiar schools were all there, the University of Utah (UU) at the front, with the University of Colorado (CU), Denver University (DU), and the University...

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The ski community has known there’s a problem for awhile now. Fluorinated waxes, whose extreme hydrophobic properties make them ideal for fast skis, also are by that same property impossible to break down in the environment, allowing them to permeate through the soil into water supplies. The compounds are also known carcinogens, and frequent exposure to these compounds, particularly when heating and inhaling the fumes of waxes in which they are contained, is linked to...

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A look at what’s ahead for the Birkebeiner, and its former home at the Telemark Lodge. When I reached out to American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) Executive Director Ben Popp before Christmas to set-up an interview discussing the Birkie’s plans for the now-defunct Telemark Lodge property, he was already putting plans into action. An interview would have to wait until after the holidays, because that weekend ,the Birkie was hosting a SuperTour race which would...