Jason Albert

HomeAuthor Jason Albert

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.

This is part II of an interview with U.S. biathlete Susan Dunklee. In her final season racing World Cup, Dunklee has decided to take on a leadership role, as an Athlete Ambassador for gender equity, with the International Biathlon Union. You can find part one of the interview here. This portion of the interview focuses on an incident that crystalized Dunklee’s resolve to foster cultural change in her chosen sport. Dunklee posted a two-Instagram post...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/07/Dunklee16022020fm11151-1200x720.jpg

Back in 2008, Susan Dunklee chose to become a biathlete after finishing her collegiate ski career. This was a solid decision both for Dunklee and for the US Biathlon program. With two World Championship silver medals, she is the most decorated biathlete from the U.S. women’s team. Born and raised in Vermont, Dunklee finds comfort in familiarity. During the offseason, she is based near Craftsbury and can often be found training with her Green Racing...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/07/51323836551_80c146f4d6_k-1280x720.jpg

Many readers will consume energy the next few weeks determining how and when to watch the Tokyo Olympics. The summer games feature 339 events in 33 different sports. Its Exhausting on many levels. FasterSkier covers the winter side of the Olympics, which begin on February 4th, 2022 in Beijing, China. But, we’re here to glance at the Olympics in the news. The news coming out of Tokyo are the Covid-19 cases popping up here and...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/07/IMG_1063-1200x720.jpg

We often hear of the pipeline in Olympic sport. The path to the highest level of elite competition. The pipeline is not consistent in diameter: Wide-mouthed at its start, tapered to needle-wide at its terminus. There are many ways to identify talent within a pipeline. In the cross-country ski world, there are incremental benchmarks to progress to the next tier. Within U.S. Ski & Snowboard, for example, skiers in the pipeline begin in the club...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/07/Krista-Pärmäkoski-testing-2020-Privat-copy-1.jpg

There’s a poignant anecdote in Alex Hutchinson’s book Endure where he describes the race in which he drastically reduces his 1500 meter running times as a collegiate runner. He had, for some time, been on an unsuccessful journey to break a four-minute mile. Spoiler alert, Hutchinson goes on a stretch to run several PRs in the 1500, but eventually plateaus. “Reaching the ‘limits of endurance’ is a concept that seems yawningly obvious until you actually try to...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/02/transjurassienne-pack.bmp

This week the Worldloppet released its official race calendar for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 race seasons. On the upside, for the time being, there are opportunities for in-person Worldloppet events. All this, of course, depends on the status of the pandemic in specific countries and associated travel restrictions. As many skiers know, the loppet series is global, spanning from Southern Hemisphere races in Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, to Northern Hemisphere races in North America,...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/06/Group120120cm443-1200x720.jpg

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) remains committed to improving its online and mobile products according to a recent announcement. The IBU, along with the global app and web developer Vincit, claims the new products, “will allow fans to follow competitions in real-time, as well as provide a second-screen experience with user-friendly statistics and insights into competitions, personalized user experience, and top-notch content with images and video.” More on this in a bit. Live event streaming or...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/06/Eliasch-FIS.jpeg

Last week after winning 65 of the 119 total votes, Johan Eliasch (59), a dual citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom, was elected the new President of the International Ski Federation (FIS). Eliasch succeeds Gian-Franco Kasper who has been in the position for 23 years. Nominated for the position by GB Snowsport, Eliasch brings a long history of business acumen as the CEO of Head Sport to FIS. Eliasch is credited with leading HEAD...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/06/Young23121vt151-1200x720.jpg

As far as teams go on the cross-country World Cup, Great Britain arrives at the show with perhaps the smallest team roster and staff. Somehow, they often roar when considering the results. We know British Nordic from the sharp end skiing of Andrew Musgrave, and sprinters Andrew Young and James Clugnet.  Like all teams on the circuit, the human capital behind the Lycra-clad skiers make the travel, training, and race grind happen. In this episode...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/03/Drolet070321fm31473-1200x720.jpg

Nordiq Canada announced earlier this week a reorganization of its high-performance team in the run-up to the 2022 Paralympic and Olympic Games. Kate Boyd, who had been hired as Nordiq Canada’s high-performance director in September 2020, will become the high-performance director of the Para-Nordic team. “Looking at the critical year ahead, and the expectations placed on our Paralympic athletes to not only repeat our success from 2018, but to also ensure the tradition of excellence with this...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/05/2007-SMR-Pine-Beatle-1280x720.jpg

The decade of the aughts witnessed the decimation of wide swaths of forest in Colorado due to a pine beetle infestation. This was no slow drip affair. What was a tree-to-tree process eventually swallowed whole green mountainsides morphing them into a desiccated dead-tree blight. Those dead trees, unable to hold moisture, were hundred-foot matchsticks during wildfire season. Over the past few decades, an ominous cycle prevailed. Warming temperatures due to climate change made life easier...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/01/Feature08012021fm04728-1200x720.jpg

The debate to run equal race distances for men and women remains. Molly Peters, the head cross-country ski coach at Vermont’s St. Michael’s College, has led a grassroots campaign to make equal distance racing commonplace at the NCAA level and beyond. She’s the lead voice for The Ski Equal Team. The group sent a letter to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Cross Country Sport Committee, its Equity and Inclusion Committee, and CEO Tiger Shaw asking...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/12/Brennan13122020fm02115-1200x720.jpg

Last fall, one thing was certain — the pandemic would worsen. And it did. Rosie Brennan, summed up her feelings about traveling to Finland for the first round of World Cups by jumping in head first, masked, of course. “I don’t believe anyone knows the answer [to if we should or should not have a World Cup] as we are all experiencing this pandemic for the first time and still don’t have a full grasp...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/04/Geraghty-Moats270221fm4203-1200x720.jpg

  Press Release USA NORDIC ANNOUNCES TEAM NOMINATIONS Group of 45 nordic combined and ski jumping athletes earn spots USA Nordic has nominated 45 American athletes to its 2021-22 national and junior nordic combined and ski jumping teams. Athletes achieved the nominations based on selection criteria. They will have the option of being a part of the 2021-22 U.S. Nordic Combined or U.S. Ski Jumping Team. The nominations were made after the conclusion of the...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/04/23BB456E-A5ED-4B8D-A10D-45DDD481BC05IMG_1774-1280x720.jpeg

Let’s start with some basic gender equality facts in skiing. The first women’s downhill at the Olympics was in1948. Women were awarded Olympic medals in combined (one downhill run and two of slalom) beginning eight years earlier in 1936. FIS has awarded a women’s World Championship in downhill since 1931. The FIS database marks 1967 as the first year for an official FIS World Cup downhill race for both men or women. It’s a different...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/04/Feature19221vt020-1200x720.jpg

Some skiers have tossed them, some have squandered them, some have disposed of them according to specific guidelines for toxins at their local landfill. Some have donated their speed-goods to the U.S. Ski Team as it burns through its supply of high-quality fluoros. Some have simply stored them in a wax cabinet, a symbol of what was. We’re talking fluorinated wax, powders, gels, liquids, and yes, small-batch slurries. U.S. Ski and Snowboard has banned fluoros...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/04/FT-tracker-1-1197x720.jpeg

In mid-March media outlets in Norway and Sweden reported complications with the proposed hand-held fluoro testing tool FIS plans to use next season to enforce their fluoro ban. Already, the ban was pushed back a year due to delays with accurately measuring per-fluoros residue on ski bases.  A group involved with developing the Fluoro Tracker (FT) as the testing device is known, released a paper last month titled “Detection of fluorine in skibases and skiwaxes.”...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2021/04/StadiumAerial-1280x720.jpg

There will be many ways in which we remember the past 12 months— March to March — as a relative void when it comes to normalcy. You don’t need to hear that from us. For the most part, this was a year with a lack of national championships at the senior or junior level. U.S. Ski & Snowboard made the decision early on to cancel Senior Nationals and Junior Nationals. The same was true for...

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2012/06/veerpalu-square.png

  On April 14, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced former Estonian cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu was found guilty by the CAS Anti-Doping Division. Veerpalu was involved with “Operation Aderlass”, a blood doping scheme run by Dr. Marc Schmidt in Germany. Veerpalu’s penalty is a two-year ban from FIS sanctioned events ending on March 17, 2023. Now retired from skiing, the fifty-year-old Veerpalu in recent years has served as a coach for team “Haanja” in Estonia....

https://fasterskier.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2020/02/Hamilton16220vt440-e1581883826127.jpg

According to the FIS database, sprints on the cross-country World Cup began during the 1996-1997 season. That year, American Simi Hamilton was nine years old. And if you listen to any of the Hamilton-lore floating around adventure circles, the Aspen, Colorado native was already eyeing deep-country adventure. We’ll touch upon this often here, but Hamilton moves in the mountains as few can. He’s capable of pushing at near race pace in technical terrain with a...