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This is part two of a two-part story about U.S. skier David Norris who was recently diagnosed with Covid-19. Part one explores how Norris experienced the illness, whereas part two will look into some of the medical literature around athletes and COVID and how Norris plans to build fitness post-illness. You can find part one here.    We’re going to start where it counts when considering endurance sports: the heart. This elegant and complex organ,...

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This World Cup coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and their 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. Though Devon Kershaw might fairly say “It’s not really cross country skiing,” as a viewer, the grueling climb up the Alpe Cermis is the crown jewel of the Tour de...

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(Photo: NordicFocus) What: Fluoros, aka perfluorinated waxes, aka ski waxes containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka the really expensive waxes that you put on for big races, in some or all of block, liquid, or powder form. What they do: Make your skis go really, really fast, particularly in the wet or dirty snow conditions that sadly characterize more and more high-end races in an era of artificial snow and climate change. What else...

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COVID19 has brought many changes to the nordic world. In many places, we can still ski. Some people can travel, some cannot. Some people live near snow, some don’t. There is no one size fits all solution to having fun while the pandemic rages, but there are a lot of potential solutions to specific needs. The race organizers among us know how to host traditional large group races. If that is allowed, you just need...

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This is part one of a two-part story about U.S. skier David Norris who was recently diagnosed with Covid-19. Part-one explores how Norris experienced the illness, whereas part-two will look into some of the medical literature around athletes and COVID and how Norris plans to build fitness post-illness.     There’s been drama this season on the World Cup. The opening act was the superb racing in Ruka – it was exactly the fist-bump we needed....

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No one knows what the 2020/2021 World Cup season will bring by its end, but for three days, at least, its beginning felt like a spectator-less success. While a handful of familiar nations clogged the top of the results sheet – Norway, Sweden, Russia (plus Rosie Brennan’s time-of-day podium in the pursuit!) – there were in fact athletes from a total of 22 nations racing in the opening World Cup weekend in Ruka. That means...

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Perhaps, by the time you read this, Sophie Caldwell will have already sped her way around the sprint circuit in Ruka, Finland. The World Cup begins on Friday. At once Caldwell possesses a down-to-earth humility and a killer’s instinct to find the gaps and repeatedly progress through World Cup sprint heats. Off the course, she’s more likely to ask about your day than she is to dwell on a World Cup podium. We caught up...

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FasterSkier Explains: Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act Passes Senate A new anti-doping bill that criminalizes international doping conspiracies, while pointedly focusing on high-level organizers rather than on individual athletes, and that makes an expansive claim for U.S. jurisdiction over doping occurring at international competitions while excepting the most high-profile American professional sports leagues, is on the verge of becoming law. Here’s what you need to know: What it is: “An act to impose criminal sanctions on certain...

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The cyclic nature of the U.S. Ski Team can be described as a slow churn. The team, most often, invests considerable time and resources on developing promising skiers. Roster turnover, from year to year, is rare. Among those rarefied athletes we take for granted as nearly always being part of the elite of elite is Sadie Bjornsen. Originally from the Methow Valley and now a resident of Anchorage, Alaska where she trains with APU, the...

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On short notice in October, the International Ski Federation (FIS) reversed its fluoro wax ban for the upcoming season. Bryan Fish, Cross Country Sport Development Manager for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, explained this was termed a “delayed implementation”. What had been expected to be a fluoro-free racing scene at the FIS level, became a business as usual wax policy for 2020-2021. In short, fluoros, C8 or otherwise, are allowed at FIS sanctioned events. The FIS...

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The magic brew. The secret sauce. The omniscient wax-tech with encyclopedic knowledge of all things ski wax and the ability to bestow the goods onto a ski base. Ah, those slick and slippery skis. And that bite of kick in slush. The mythology of wax in this sport looms large. And the few wax-mixologists of note live among their peers as deities. The popular myth is this: some are gifted with the wax gene, most...

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Last week Matt Futterman of The New York Times wrote two stories of interest to readers of FasterSkier. One piece was titled “Winter Sports Athletes Are Crisscrossing Europe for Races. Is That a Good Idea?” Futterman advanced this story on Twitter with the following statement: “It’s a really strange moment for the Olympic winter sports schedule to begin. All you have to do is everything medical experts have been telling us to avoid.” It’s a really...

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Like most other states, a cross section of athletes racing in the Colorado High School circuit (CHSAA) looks relatively homogenous when it comes to ethnicity. The field is largely white. However, in stark contrast to skiers hailing from affluent mountain towns like Steamboat Springs, Aspen, and Vail, a team from Denver might catch your eye for adding some color. Most of the Ridge View Academy Rams, all male, are Black or Latino, and line up...

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The koan that skiers are made in the summer has been around for longer than this website. The related truism, that summer snow time is necessary to effectively compete as a high-level skier come winter, also has a venerable history.  For example, here’s Luke Bodensteiner, writing in Endless Winter about why he had journeyed to a place where “the weather sucks all year long” to ski on the Sognefjellet snowfields in August 1993: “We all...

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We mix things up in the episode. We deviate from the norm and jump into a discussion about the science of sport with journalist and author Alex Hutchinson. Some of you may know his work from Outside Magazine where he pens the “Sweat Science” column. Hutchinson is also the author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in 2018. His “Sweat Science” pieces unravel the latest research exploring human...

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This Interview with former Norwegian National Team member Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen comes from Paolo Romanò, a reporter for Fondoitalia.it. The interview was also published on the FIS website. This version of the interview has been lightly edited.           Since 22nd February 2007 – at the young age of twenty – Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen shocked the cross-country skiing world. From that first gold medal in the classic sprint at the World Ski Championships in Sapporo, many have...

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When the country began shutting down in March, sporting good retailers initially shuddered. It appeared many if not all sectors of the economy would bottom out. “Everything was dicey in February and starting early March,” said Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) founder Nathan Schultz about the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was about to head off to Italy for the World Masters to wax there. Everybody in the Midwest was getting ready for the World...

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I’ve struggled with body satisfaction my entire life. I don’t just want to be skinnier, I want to be leaner, more defined, more like an… “athlete”. But last fall, I was hit by a car and I find myself wondering, is the body I have, not the body the insecure part of me craves, responsible for my return to sport?   Since I was little, the word “athlete” activated images of beautiful toned-muscled people in my...

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A clean slate cancelation of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s cross-country national racing calendar. That’s a piece of the collateral damage in the niche world of domestic ski racing. The cancellation includes SuperTour, U.S. National Championships, SuperTour Finals, and the Junior National Championships. We’ll get to how these races may be replaced in a moment. First, U.S. Ski & Snowboard set forth a series of bullet points regarding the reasoning and considerations for the wholesale cancelation....

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Reflections From a White Skier On The Spaces and Places We Ski, And How To Build Inclusivity By: Ben Theyerl The typical life story of a competitive nordic skier in the U.S. tends to resemble a character out of a Robert Frost poem. It’s an appropriate metaphor; the Rikert Nordic Center at Middlebury, VT doubles as the quarters of the renowned Bread Loaf School of English during its summer months, where the Bard of New...