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HomeAuthor Harald Zimmer

Harald has been following cross-country skiing and biathlon for some 20 years since the Olympic Winter Games in Albertville and Lillehammer. A graduate of Middlesex University London and Harvard University, he now lives near the Alps where he likes to go skiing, snowboarding and hiking. He is a former track athlete in middle-distance running, as well as a huge NBA fan.
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  Thanks to a clean shooting performance on the range and a tactical masterclass on the final lap, France’s Emilien Jacquelin, 24, was able to celebrate across the line in first place in a time of 31:15.2 minutes, after an exciting finish sprint against Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø just 0.4 seconds behind (with 2 penalties). In a bit of an upset, the title in the men’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit at the 2020 IBU Biathlon World Championships...

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The “Biathlon auf Schalke” two-person mixed relay show race in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, has become a Christmas holiday break fixture on the winter sports calendar. Many biathletes are in awe of the event, featuring a temporary ski course in and around a massive domed arena that usually serves as the home pitch for the Bundesliga soccer club Schalke 04, along with a raucous atmosphere in a sold-out venue and millions watching the broadcast live on TV...

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  As FasterSkier staff stroll into an upcoming weekend with no cross-country World Cups, it’s time to scramble and score some holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. Christmas is around the corner. It’s never too late for Hanukkah  (Hanukkah ended on December 10). In this third book idea for the gift-giving season, Harald Zimmer, German-based FS contributor, highlights Andre Agassi’s gem. *** 2018 Gift Guide – Open: An Autobiography The autobiography of a star tennis...

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  About a week before the upcoming 2018/19 World Cup Season kicks off, the International Biathlon Union (IBU) announced in a press release on Thursday, November 22nd, that it has provisionally suspended a group of nine female and male athletes representing Kazakhstan from all IBU-sanctioned events with immediate effect, due to alleged anti-doping rule violations. The list of names includes a former Junior World Champion as well as Universiade gold medalist and World Cup podium finisher,...

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The past year certainly has not been an easy one for the International Biathlon Union (IBU), the governing body in the sport of biathlon for the past 25 years. The sports federation had to take the unusual measure of suspending the Russian Biathlon Union, historically one of the core countries for biathlon, to a provisional member status. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned several prominent athletes, including biathletes, from that nation from participating in the 2018...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, four years ago at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as he narrowly lost a sprint finish for the gold medal in the mass start to Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen. “I was sure that Simon did it,” Fourcade said of Schempp at Sunday’s post-race press conference. “It was just because four years ago in Sochi, Emil did me a lot of pain, and tonight I was...

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FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, sprint victory, Dahlmeier began the race intensely focused, again cleaning the first prone stage. But this time she was not uncontested. After starting in 13th position and almost a minute back to begin the pursuit, Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina, who’s currently second in the World Cup Total Score standings, caught up to Dahlmeier after both had incurred one penalty in the second prone shooting and avoided more by performing multiple...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2,  women’s sprint when his teammate Laura Dahlmeier won gold, while the presumed favorites such as France’s Martin Fourcade and Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø missed too many targets to contend for the medals. In his prone shooting, Peiffer reacted correctly to a strong gust of wind from the left side of the range, adjusting his sights with several clicks on his rifle. Then in the standing shooting he took...

FasterSkier would like to thank Fischer Sport USA, Concept2, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle due to a tainted food supplement came to light (her suspension later was reduced to six months) and the team again failed to reach the podium. “For our team this medal is particularly important,” Hönig said. “We still have the defeats of Sochi somewhere in the back of our minds. Well, I particularly do, so for me this is a gigantic moment. I believe having a medal...

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Note: This article has been updated to include comments from Rosanna Crawford. For a few minutes, it looked like Biathlon Canada’s Rosanna Crawford could clutch her third in the 15 k individual). She has followed that up with another one of her best results of her career. “The crowd was amazing in Ruhpolding this whole week! I loved having my first podium at one of the most popular World Cup venues,” she wrote. “We had...

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For a while it looked as if the podium in the women’s 15-kilometer individual at the Thursday’s IBU World Cup in Ruhpolding, Germany, had been all but decided with only a few more athletes circling the course. But then the favorites who had already finished had someone to worry about. Along with some 13,000 spectators in the stands, they paid close attention to the video walls in the arena, as one late-starting Canadian — Rosanna Crawford...

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After cleaning the fourth and final shooting stage in the men’s 12.5-kilometer pursuit on Saturday at the 2018 International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Oberhof, Germany, Martin Fourcade of France hoisted the biathlon rifle onto his back, spun around and fully faced the way he’d come, glancing for a moment at his three closest competitors behind him: Norwegians Johannes Thingnes Bø and his older brother Tarjei Bø, and Emil Hegle Svendsen, before heading out on...

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OBERSTDORF, Germany — On Wednesday, a storm big enough to earn a name from meteorological agencies, “Burglind” provided unexpected obstacles to the World Cup cross-country ski field. With some gusts of wind approaching hurricane speeds, the women’s and men’s sprint courses became potentially dangerous — and they are already difficult to ski under regular conditions. Trees fell on a warmup track and a section initially intended for the men’s sprint. Blown-over ad banners and gates...

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Picture some 45,000 rambunctious fans, loud music blaring, a course comprised of 10,000 cubic feet of machine-made snow, a shooting range surrounded by bulletproof glass, 1,300 fir trees as decorations, and 10 biathlon teams representing their nations, all packed into a huge stadium with a retractable roof that’s home to soccer team Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. That’s the setting for the annual “Biathlon auf Schalke” two-person mixed relay show race, also known as the...

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Strong gusts of wind on the range required strong nerves and a lot of luck in the women’s and men’s relay races that concluded the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Hochfilzen, Austria, on Sunday afternoon. While the relays concluded with teams on the podium one might expect there, tempestuous weather conditions that at times made it almost impossible to hit the targets also gave outsiders a good chance, and both the U.S. men...

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One day after Friday’s 10-kilometer sprint, Doherty shot 18-for-20 in the pursuit (1+0+1+0). “I am very happy with the race today,” Doherty wrote in an email to FasterSkier. “The execution on the range was good in the tough conditions we had today. It’s nice to have a solid back-to-back set of races here. … The ski shape is still a ways off but it’s heading in the right direction.” In very difficult conditions in the...

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With news of were not redacted in one of the documents. “11 months ago there were already these rumors, and several members of the media contacted me about that,” Oberhofer wrote. “[Recently] I was contacted by Giovanni Malagó, President of the Italian National Olympic Committee, who informed me that Vilukhina had been banned and removed from the list of results.” Oberhofer isn’t sure whether there will be some medal ceremony arranged for the one she...

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Twenty months ago, Germany’s Denise Herrmann was a cross-country skier, ending the Ski Tour Canada in 28th place in the 10-kilometer classic pursuit in Canmore, Alberta. And one with a very successful career, earning an Olympic bronze medal in the relay in Sochi in 2014 and narrowly missing out on another one with a fourth place in the team sprint. But her heart seemingly was no longer in the sport. A month after the 2015/2016...

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Biathlon Canada’s World Cup Team at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Östersund, Sweden, had a number of things to be happy about on Saturday afternoon as the first men’s 10-kilometer sprint race of the new season wrapped up. Christian Gow was already smiling at the cameras as he stood in the starting-gate booth. Beginning the sprint as the very first starter in a large field of 108 athletes from 30 nations, Gow...