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The winter of Covid continues. Most of the FIS races scheduled for this country this year did not happen. A few did. No one in Canada has done a single official high-level race this winter. No one in Vermont has, either. Some athletes from Canada and Vermont did not race and were chosen for international travel teams. Some athletes in Alaska raced a ton and were not. It’s been a tumultuous winter for everyone, for...

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  Canada’s Katherine Stewart-Jones landed on the World Cup this season beginning in January – and late January at that. The Canadian National Team remained off the race circuit until then due to a variety of issues related to the pandemic. Domestically, Canada took a hard stance on running races. When Stewart-Jones and her teammates raced in Lahti on January 23, their only “race” experience since the end of last season were head-to-head efforts within...

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This article is part of a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. To get started, you can find a primer on this topic here, and listen to this podcast on Nordic Nation discussing female athlete specific nutrition with registered dietician and professional runner Maddie Alm. Readers who have followed cross-country skiing for several decades may be familiar with the name Guro Strøm Solli. Now 37-years-old, Solli was a member of...

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By Ella Hall and Jason Albert   So many moving parts when considering Alexander Bolshunov’s aggression towards Joni Mäki of Finland in the closing moments of the men’s 4 x 7.5-kilometer relay in Lahti on January 24. The finish line was in sight for the two skiers as Mäki came around the sweeping left-hand turn into the final straight ahead of Bolshunov. Mäki, it seemed, sensing Bolshunov making a move and advancing in the outermost...

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This article provides an introduction to a series of interviews with professionals in sports nutrition and female physiology. Results from a survey regarding how elite US cross-country skiers and biathletes use insight into their cycles in their own training will also be analyzed and shared.  An arguably essential component of developing as an athlete is learning how to listen to the signals one’s body sends. Am I skiing easy enough on my recovery days to...

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To say Coronavirus is reshaping our world is to state the obvious. Even in the tucked-away haven of the Methow Valley, COVID-19 is having an impact in more ways than one. An article written by the Methow Valley News in October, details how the valley is becoming a “zoom town”, a phenomenon echoed by many mountain towns around the country as the pandemic encourages remote work and less densely populated living environs. Just three hours...

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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...