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In November 2021, the Wisconsin Nordic Ski League (WNSL), which oversees both high school and club level youth programming state-wide, accepted a sponsorship proposal from Swix and Salomon, which would provide the league with $10,000 in funding per year for three years. The proposal also included stipulation that a standardized wax protocol using Swix waxes would be adopted by the league at all affiliated races, including the state championship.  In practice, this would look like...

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FasterSkier recently shared a press release on behalf of the US Nordic Olympic Women (US NOW) announcing Julia Kern as the 2022 recipient of the fourth annual Gold Rush Award. The release included comments from 2021 winner Jessie Diggins on the qualities that she, along with the other past winners, recognized made Kern deserving of this year’s award, but it became clear that there was a gap in FasterSkier’s coverage on the history of US...

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Adam Martin’s skiing has always tended to be best described in conjunctions rather than disjunctions. He could do this and he would do that. Or, that’s always how his mentors looked at it. My most distinct memory of Martin is from a CXC (Central Cross Country Skiing) camp about a decade ago when Sten Fjeldheim, then Martin’s coach at Northern Michigan University (NMU), gathered a group of us J2s (U16) around in the lobby of...

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Part 1 of this story details Eliška’s experience coaching through pregnancy and the birth of her son. Keep reading to learn about the challenges she, like many women, experienced during the postpartum recovery process, and what it took to navigate year one of life on the road with baby Viggo. Expectation versus reality.  When preparing to interview Eliška Albrigtsen about her experience pairing NCAA coaching with new motherhood, I expected the challenges she faced during...

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While skimming through the extensive photo albums shared by Tobias Albrigtsen during the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow this past January, one head coach caught my attention. University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) head coach Eliška Albrigtsen (Tobias’ wife) had an extra member of the team in tow: her then 11-month-old son, Viggo.  As most ski coaches know all too well, the demands of the job are multifactorial, and can make it challenging...

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At 24-years-old, Hannah Halvorsen recently announced that she is ending the pro-skier chapter of her life, but it’s not the only transition she has on deck. This past weekend, Halvorsen also graduated from Alaska Pacific University (APU) with degrees in cognitive psychology and business administration. As a senior capstone project, focused on the psychology side of her studies, Halvorsen chose to research a topic she has been invested in throughout her time as a student-athlete:...

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On April 13th, Rosie Brennan wrote in an Instagram post, “The world is constantly changing and I’m trying to move with it.” The post announced the launch of an online auction for a limited edition NFT, in partnership with the organizations Parity Now and VereNFT. The NFT, titled “Perseverance Trail”, was designed by artist Kerri Schiff and features a mountainous ski trail with a variety of images of Brennan racing in her Team USA suit....

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A look at what’s ahead for the Birkebeiner, and its former home at the Telemark Lodge. When I reached out to American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) Executive Director Ben Popp before Christmas to set-up an interview discussing the Birkie’s plans for the now-defunct Telemark Lodge property, he was already putting plans into action. An interview would have to wait until after the holidays, because that weekend ,the Birkie was hosting a SuperTour race which would...

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with Katharine Ogden, also commonly known as KO, can tell you that she is humorous, kind, and thoughtful – both in regard to others as well as in her own self-introspection. She is also a wicked good skier, proving herself both nationally and internationally in competition. Ogden recently shared that she was stepping away from professional skiing, having already experienced a range of career ups and downs...

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What comes to mind when you think of a cross country ski race? Depending on your location and how you choose to interact with the sport, there are likely a variety of answers to the question, but it’s likely that there are some common themes.  “Cross country events are pretty much all the same when you boil them down, you know?” said retired US Ski Team member and 2018 Olympian Reese Hanneman. “It’s a test...

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Editor’s note: This is the third essay in our series, “Letters to my younger self.” Lauren Fleshman provided the modern locus classicus for this genre, while John Wood and Adam Verrier kick-started the series on FasterSkier.  When the private school at which my husband teaches offered him a sabbatical for the 2020-21 school year, we quickly began to fantasize about the ski town(s) in which we’d spend the following winter. A February 2020 trip to...

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While World Cup Finals were underway in mid-March in Falun, Sweden, a second contingent of top American skiers was lining up roughly 2,000 kilometers south to race in the OPA Cup Finals in Sappada, Italy. Located along the northern edge of Italy near the Austrian border, the small town is nestled among the spectacular, jagged massifs of the Italian Dolomites, roughly an hour’s drive east of Toblach, which typically hosts the final stages of the...

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Each year at the conclusion of the race season, there are always a few athletes who hang up their skis and step away from professional racing. The end of the four year Olympic cycle inevitably means a higher concentration of such announcements. Whether it was a fourth or a first appearance at the Games, or a near miss, the Olympics are always a target and their completion provides a good moment to move on. While...

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I hate rollerskiing. As much as I try to be a good Nordie, I just can’t get over my fear of hitting the pavement. Between a history of bike racing and the rollerski learning curve, I’ve already lost enough skin. I know it’s good for me and might make me faster on snow, but I’m too old to put up with my heart rate being affected more by fear-induced adrenaline than by quality training. My...

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ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA — A month ago, I met with a source close to the Chinese government in a tiny room in this mountain resort outside Beijing, which hosted the 2022 Olympic cross-country skiing events.  There, the source explained how a decision by international skiing officials to disqualify a Chinese cross-country skier from a race was like killing a baby. China does not have, exactly, a long tradition of success in winter sports like cross-country skiing. But...

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Click here to read an account of physical therapist Ned Dowling’s first stint overseas with the US Ski Team in March, 2020. Holmenkollen, Norway. March 8, 2020 – Men’s 50k Classic World Cup. 33 degrees and raining. The ski jump was engulfed in clouds. Spectators were forbidden from attending the Super Bowl of cross country skiing due to the impending COVID pandemic. My first stint as a physical therapist traveling with the US Ski Team...

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For the past six seasons, men’s World Cup sprinting has been almost entirely about one athlete. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo has raced in 28 World Cup, Championship, or Olympic sprint events since November 2018, and remarkably, has won all but three of them. Incidentally, all three of those times have occurred in Ruka, Finland, and he has ended up a mere second place each time. In his first year on the circuit (2017), Klæbo took home...

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It’s hard not to root for David Norris.  Often affectionately described by Devon Kershaw as a “grinder”, the humble 31-year-old Fairbanks, AK native has been an eternal underdog, despite consistently performing among the best American distance racers of his generation on the World Cup. Highlighting his career, Norris has finished in the top-20 three times during his appearances in the 2019 and 2021 World Championships. His best result arrived in last year’s Championships in Oberstdorf,...

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This World Cup coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and the 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 pleasecontact info@fasterskier.com. While it was perhaps not the final event originally planned for the season, today’s 4 x 5-kilometer freestyle mixed relay in Falun, Sweden shaped up to be quite a way to...

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Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, which celebrates “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” Simultaneously, International Women’s Day is a call to action, recognizing the disparity and challenges women face for a variety of reasons in different realms of society, and seeking change. While the American women’s team has put together an ever-growing highlight reel on the race course, cross country skiing, like most sports, remains male dominated when it comes...