On Thursday, two days after a disappointing result in the Olympic sprint, U.S. skier Kikkan Randall talked about how she’d been buoyed by her fans, her attitude in the days after the race, and her preparation for the rest of the events at the games.
American Biathlete Lowell Bailey skied and shot his way to eighth place at the Olympics on Thursday, relying on the calm and poise that he had been missing earlier this week. The result was the best-ever Olympic finish in biathlon for the U.S.
Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk was crying at the finish line of Thursday’s Olympic 10 k, though it was unclear if they were tears of joy, or of pain. The 31-year-old had won a clear victory over Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla and Norway’s Therese Johaug.
At the water below Sochi’s mountain venues, the temperature was 60 degrees–which helped a FasterSkier reporter better grasp the idea of putting the Olympics in this strange part of the world.
“It can be so many things,” Kikkan Randall’s coach, Erik Flora, said in an interview after Tuesday’s Olympic sprint race. “I’ll go back and review this and see—I’m sure it’ll play over and over in our heads.”
After blowing away the field in Tuesday’s pursuit race, biathlete Darya Domracheva got to carry Belarus’s red and green colors after all, as she cruised down the homestretch far ahead of her competition.
Norway’s Ola Vigen Hattestad stayed out of trouble to win a gold medal in the Sochi sprint, while Sweden’s Emil Joensson escaped a crash to claim what may end up being this Olympics’ most improbable bronze.
After frustrating results for Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey, “They get 12 hours to digest it,” their coach said. “Then, we go for the next one.”
“All of cross-country skiing in the U.S. is really excited for this moment,” said Holly Brooks, who trains with Kikkan Randall in Anchorage and is one of her teammates at the Olympics.
In Sochi, the U.S. Ski Team’s small support staff will play a role that’s cross country skiing’s answer to the NASCAR pit crew.
A single errant bullet forced Dunklee into a penalty lap and pushed her down to 14th place on the day — tantalizingly close to the podium, but still good enough for the best-ever Olympic finish in a sprint race by an American woman,
Alex Harvey, the Canadian medal hopeful, placed 18th in the Olympic pursuit, hindered by a pair of classic skis that he said were both slick and slow. Noah Hoffman led Americans in 35th.
Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, 40, won the 10 k sprint at the 2014 Olympics on Saturday — earning his seventh career gold and 12th Olympic medal, besting competitors half his age over 10 kilometers of skiing and two rounds of shooting.
One of FasterSkier’s three journalists in Sochi reports his first impressions.
The first three of the 36 cross-country skiing medals at stake at the Sochi Olympics are up for grabs Saturday, as racing begins here with the women’s 15 k pursuit. Four Americans and three Canadians are entered in the event, which will have the athletes racing four 3.75-kilometer laps on trails at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center –a massive Olympic complex installed at the top of a ridge in Russia’s Western Caucasus Mountains over the last five years.
FasterSkier caught up last month with Pete Vordenberg, the former head coach of the U.S. Ski Team. A former Olympic cross-country skier himself, Vordenberg coached with the American team for 10 years before resigning after the 2012 season.
Early Saturday morning, Kikkan Randall’s parents sat groggily in front of a pair of laptop computers in an East Anchorage condominium. Their daughter was seconds from starting a ski race 5,000 miles away, in a resort town in the Czech Republic. But their live stream of a Eurosport TV channel was showing ski jumping instead. “OK, come on,” Kikkan’s mother, said impatiently.
After nine months of deliberation, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Tuesday that it decided to uphold Estonian cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu’s appeal and overturned the three-year competition ban the International Ski Federation originally imposed on him in August of 2011 for testing positive for human growth hormone. The Panel cited lack of confidence in FIS’s standard of proof.
The cash from Caitlin Gregg’s Birkie victory on Saturday will help keep her and husband Brian Gregg on sound financial footing as they train for next year’s Olympics in Russia.
The teamwork and tactics of a group of Italians locked the American men out of the prize money on their home turf, with Sergio Bonaldi leading a sweep of the top four.