Pasha Kahn

HomeAuthor Pasha Kahn

Pasha Kahn writes and coaches in Duluth, Minnesota.
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The cost of providing World Cup athletes with competitive skis is mounting at an alarming rate for teams without deep pockets.  This spring, coaches of US National Team athletes and staff from the Center of Excellence in Park City huddled around zoom for their annual meeting, called “Moving USA Skiing Forward.” Among the topics discussed were plans for the US Ski Team to keep pace with what Head Coach Matt Whitcomb calls the “waxing arms...

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Julia Kern finds herself heading into an Olympic season as one of the veterans for the US women’s cross country ski team. At the age of twenty-three, she’s ready to take on the leadership role left by the retirements of long-time team members Sadie Maubet Bjornsen and Sophie Caldwell Hamilton. After a lackluster season — by her own lofty standards — she has shaken off the disappointment, along with a hamstring injury she picked up...

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Will there be enough skis this season? That’s the question every ski shop and many consumers are asking. With demand predicted to remain high this winter, and some unique challenges faced by ski producers, ski scarcity may remain a reality. “I imagine if demand stays high we will see some significant shortages this season,” said Nathan Shultz, owner of Boulder Nordic Sport. The problem, from a supply-side, started with the pandemic. “In the beginning, everyone...

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Gian Franco Kasper, President of FIS for the past 23 years stepped down earlier this month. Under his leadership, FIS grew to be the preeminent winter Olympic sport federation. Yet despite its growth, Kasper resisted most efforts to reform and modernize FIS, and he left the organization much as he found it.   In 1975, FIS President Marc Holder needed a hand at FIS and brought in the then 29-year-old Kasper—who up to that point had...

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  Gian-Franco Kasper, the President of FIS for the past 23 years, will step down after a new candidate is elected at the FIS virtual FIS Congress on Friday, June 4th. The new President will be only the fifth person to hold that role since the inception of FIS in 1924. The elections come at an inflection point within the organization as it looks to navigate the ski sports under its governance into a new, post-pandemic...

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  This is the first part of a three-part series on Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov. You can find part two here.    At 24 years old, Alexander Alexandrovich Bolshunov has become arguably the best men’s skier in the world. He has already secured this season’s World Cup title, to go along with his 2020 Overall Crystal Globe. He has a handful of Olympic and World Championship medals—all silver. At the Oberstdorf World Championships, his least favorite...

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This is the second part of a three-part series on Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov. You can find part three here.    During the season of 2018/19, there was fierce competition for the overall World Cup between Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Alexander Bolshunov, who surprised the Norwegians by proving to be a versatile and resilient competitor. Sergey Ustiugov was initially seen to be the main threat to Klæbo’s World Cup campaign, haunting him in the Tour de...

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This is the third part of a three-part series on Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov. You can find part one and part two here.    This season, the Alexander Bolshunov vs. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo show has been largely sidelined due to Norway pulling from cross-country World Cups due to the coronavirus. When the Norwegians returned to the World Cup in Lahti, the wait proved a pressure cooker of tension.  When Bolshunov fell in the closing stages of...

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This FasterSkier series will examine the growing challenge to the national team model by privately funded ski teams and independent sponsorship agreements. Will national teams be able to support themselves in the future, or will corporate teams take over cross country skiing? This first article in the series will look at Petter Northug’s record deal with Coop and the implications it has for the Norwegian National Team and the sport as a whole.

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How much skate skiing should be allowed in a classic sprint race? Quite a bit, if Wednesday’s race in Drammen, Norway was any indication. "I think classic skiing took a step backwards," said USST Coach Matt Whitcomb. "I don’t think the line between what’s legitimate for classic technique was respected yesterday, and I think it opens a can of worms that makes the line very fuzzy now.”

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Alex Harvey took 8th place in Sunday’s 15 k individual freestyle race in Lahti, Finland, proving that he’s still on form and hungry for results in the final weeks of the World Cup season. “Effort wise and everything it’s the race I’m the most proud of this year, it’s the race I get the most satisfaction out of, I was really happy with it," said Harvey.