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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.
The Birkie Dedicates New Mt. Telemark, George Hovland Trail

For the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (the Birkie) it’s been a long time coming. The dedication ceremony held Saturday for the new projects that encompass the Mt. Telemark Village, the former site of the legendary Telemark Lodge, have been in the works for five years. All together, Mt. Telemark Village is “the biggest thing the American Birkebeiner has ever done.” Its $10.2 million dollar capital campaign, though, doesn’t capture what, for skiing, might just might...

USSS Congress Highlights: Lake Placid to Host 2026 World Cup Final

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. Skiing is an activity divided into seasons of the year: summer is when fast skiers are made; winter leaves us feeling like it went by all too fast; spring is for politics....

Jack Young Kicks Like a (Colby) Mule

The story of how Colby College became the Mules traces back to years of listless play from their football team, before a season in which the team suddenly became one of the best in New England. That led the Sports Editor at the student newspaper, The Colby Echo, to remark that instead of “black horse” to win their conference, Colby was suddenly a “white mule.” A couple of creative undergrads took the cue, sourced the...

2024 Stifel Season Awards

Last week, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team announced the 2024 recipients of the Stifel Awards, named after the team’s title sponsor for the 2023-2024 season. Awardees for the “Athlete of the Year” and “Best Comeback of the Year,” among other categories, were nominated and voted on by team members and staff; with Stifel’s backing, those categories were awarded with a monetary prize attached. The 2023-24 season is the first time each discipline represented within the...

Gus Schumacher Voted FIS ‘Best Distance Performance of the Year’

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. After the 2018 Olympics, workers at the Minneapolis Parks and Rec Department had to start putting up posters in the old Theodore Wirth Park chalet to “Clean up your glitter.” Thousands of...

Matt Whitcomb: Reflecting on a Special Season with Stifel U.S. Ski Team Head Coach

Asked for a reflection on the 2023-24 World Cup season, US Ski Team Head Coach Matt Whitcomb pointed straight towards one place; Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a sunny February day, filled to the brim with 20,000 people cheering loud and clear.  “We often talk about athletes peaking for big events,” he said. “But I’d never considered that our American ski culture could peak for an event.” The specific dynamics between performance and...

Fluoro-Free Waxing—Two Years In with Zach Caldwell

  On January 17th, 2022, a US Ski and Snowboard (USSS) ban on using perfluorocarbon-based wax products (“fluoros”) at all International Ski Federation-sanctioned (FIS) races in the country went into effect. The action marked the critical point in a rapid evolution of policies meant to limit competitive nordic skiing’s emission of perfluorocarbons, part of a class of especially environmentally persistent, and potentially health-concerning, chemicals known as PFAs. Overnight, The cumulative knowledge of 40 years on...

Hagenbuch and McCabe Win Snowy Spring Nationals 40 k

  Out like a Lion: the old adage seems to apply to March in Duluth, Minntesota. At the end of March—during the only true snowstorm that season has delivered to Duluth—the last race of the 2024 SuperTour season and Spring Nationals was set to be a ten lap, 40 kilometer mass start skate race. It was a big race, marking a big end to a big season for a pair of America’s best young skiers....

Winter Comes to Spring: Snowy Duluth Hosts SuperTour Finals and US Spring Nationals

It’s the most welcome irony of the 2023-24 North American ski season so far: As “Spring” Nationals started Thursday at the Spirit Mountain Nordic Center in Duluth, Minnesota, the newly coined “lost winter” of 2023-24 in the Midwest looked to have at-last been found. Snow, from the sky, and not from the end of the snow gun, floated onto that pretty little hillside city near the shores of Lake Superior following the 10 k Classic...

“A Miracle We’re Not On Ice”—Lake Placid’s Fun, Unpredictable Junior Nationals

Lake Placid is a place defined by a particular story of a Miracle. USA v. Soviet Union. 1980. Al Michaels. You know the one. We retell the story because we love the idea: something greater than the sum of all its human parts happens when a community’s energy moves in a clearly focused direction. In 1980, it was a hockey team. In 2024, a community’s dream focused on the efforts of young skiers at Junior...

NCAA—Hagenbuch Finally a Champion, Palmer-Leger Continues Utah’s Dominance

When the sun shines happily and snowstorms spread a fresh coat of white on trails and trees, it’s pretty hard to beat Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill as a ski race venue. That’s exactly what greeted the country’s best collegiate skiers for Day 1 of nordic competition at the 2024 NCAA Ski Championships as racers lined up for a 7.5 k individual start skate race. Pitch-perfect Colorado spring conditions softened the corners—literally and figuratively—on an otherwise stark,...

2024 NCAA Preview: New Talent and Stubborn Traditions in Steamboat Springs

When the best collegiate athletes in the United States gather for the 2024 NCAA Ski Championships, they will head to the nation’s oldest ski area, Howelsen Hill, for one of the longest continuously run championship events in the country. The NCAA is the most staid competitive circuit in US Skiing history, and continues to serve as an incubator of North American ski-talent. The best young skiers in the country will be racing in Steamboat Springs...

Sweden and Norway Win Team Sprints in Chaotic Lahti Conditions

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. As the World Cup returned to Europe in Lahti, Finland, Friday, it was those tricky conditions: temps hovering around zero degrees Celsius; mix of wet, man-made, and natural snow that leaves even the best...

The American Birkebeiner at 50

  “You’re skiing along, and you look up at the green of the pines and look down and see golden tamarack needles peeking out of the Wisconsin snow, and you find yourself gliding along thinking, ‘my gosh, how lucky can one guy get…and Go Packers too!” – Grandpa Theyerl, Wisconsinite, Birchlegger. The American Birkebeiner turns 50 years old this weekend. And although it didn’t ask for it, I’m doing some existential rumination on its behalf....

Looking Back—Historic World Junior Ski Championships for Team USA

Planica, Slovenia occupies a pretty unique corner of the world, with special emphasis on the “pretty.” Miss a turn in the traffic circle outside the venue, and in five minutes you’ll find yourself at the Austrian border. Miss the next turn, and you’ll find yourself at the Italian border. The valley in the Julian Alps is defined by a kind of beautiful thought—go over the mountains on any side and you find yourself in a...

“A Dream Come True”—Diggins Scores Homecoming Podium in Minneapolis

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. Ski racing is all about time, and the magic power of the best ski racers is that they’re seemingly able to bend time the way they want it to go. Lives are lived...

Sammy Smith: World Junior Championship Sprint Silver

  “Today was good,” Sammy Smith said of her medal-winning performance at World Junior Championships. A bit of an understatement, perhaps, but her smile described the deep satisfaction she felt. “I didn’t think that I skied [the qualifier] as tactically well as I was hoping to,” she continued. “And definitely lost some time on parts of the course where I shouldn’t have. But going into the heats, I was really excited and things turned out...

Home Team Energy—Head Coach, Matt Whitcomb

Watching the Stifel U.S. Ski Team during the first half of the 2023-24 World Cup season has, at points, been a sublime experience. That feeling of overwhelming exhilaration when looking out from the mountain top has been something literal for American athletes on top of podiums—and literal Alpes too—as they’ve traveled week-to-week, race-to-race, across Europe this winter. From Jessie Diggins’ Overall World Cup lead and Tour de Ski win, to career firsts way into her...

Norway Reigns Over Close-Fought Relay

This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. This weekend in Oberhof framed the Men’s World Cup’s hierarchy in stark terms. Coming into Sunday’s 4 x 7.5 k Men’s Relay, five different Norwegian skiers had combined to sweep both Friday’s classic...

Norwegian Sweep—Minus Klaebo—in Oberhof Classic Sprint

  This coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and 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. It was a rare day on the World Cup, but patterns, established and emerging, were apparent too. The rare part: Friday in Oberhof marked the first time in six years that Johannes...