HomeCategory Nordic Nation

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  Devon Kershaw, for many years, was a go-to on the World Cup for Canada. He won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championship in the team sprint with Alex Harvey and finished second in the World Cup overall in 2012. He is accomplished. He is also a student of the sport. That was evident last season as he helped Eurosport with its television broadcast coverage of the 2019 World Championships. Watching Kershaw provide race...

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In this episode, we speak with now-retired Swedish skier Ida Ingemarsdotter. The thirty-four-year-old Ingemarsdotter became the head coach for the Swedish national development team this fall. She’ll be leading a crew of U23 and U20 skiers as they hope to transition to the senior national team.  For many years, Imgemarsdotter was a Swedish World Cup staple. She’s a two-time medalist at the Olympics and a down to earth Swede, as we learn about her recent...

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Back in 2015, prior to her first go at a World Championships, Rosie Brennan was asked this: What’s your biggest motivation while racing?.  “I am most motivated by wanting to show that my hard work was worth it, that I did everything I could to go as fast as I could,” Brennan replied at the time. She was twenty six years old then, and now at 30 years old, the Park City native grinds away,...

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In this episode, we connect with Max Cobb, the CEO of U.S. Biathlon. He also sits on the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) Executive Board. When we spoke, he had just returned from the IBU’s “historic” Extraordinary Congress which took place from October 18th-20th, in Munich. The IBU has been rocked in the recent past by internal mismanagement and doping scandals. Rather than succumb to the inertia associated with systemic change, the IBU has reset and...

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Vegard Ulvang at fifty six years old remains an icon in Norway. With Olympic and Championship medals, a World Cup Overall title in 1990, he’s in the lineage of Norwegian skiing royalty. Away from the tracks, Ulvang began and then sold a profitable clothing company. He fills his time making documentaries and television features. He is also, as you’ll hear at the top of the interview, committed to living a life of exploration, calculated risk,...

As the Northern Hemisphere slowly tilts towards shorter days and colder temps … and hopefully snow… we spoke with Troy Taylor at U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Taylor’s official title is that of High Performace Director. What that means is he helps coordinate the multiple moving parts involving sport science for the portfolio of teams at U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Taylor has been in this role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard since 2015. He first worked for U.S....

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  On May 26, Maddie Phaneuf wrote a crisp and revealing blog post about her struggle with mental health issues after the 2018 Olympics. The blog post was titled Invisible Battles, and like many who suffer from a mental health crisis, her struggle was real but often difficult to discuss candidly. Phaneuf does a great service to the community by describing the symptoms she experienced and how she sought help from mental health professionals. Phaneuf...

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Kelsey Phinney brings to the sport of cross-country skiing a big-world view as she has rolled with challenges and fine-tuned her athletic performances. First things first: Phinney has become a voice for Parkinson’s Disease advocacy and education. She produced this great podcast episode for the Davis Phinney Foundation titled The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s — it’s part of a broader series from Phinney called The Parkinson’s Podcast.  Phinney’s father, himself a former professional cyclist who was diagnosed...

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“Everyday has been a new adventure,” were the words from the U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) Kevin Bolger as he summarized his first full-time season on the World Cup. At twenty-six-years-old, Bolger is a relatively new face on the team’s evolving crop of sprint skiers. He was re-nominated to the USST for a second consecutive year this past May. Bolger’s ski path took him to Sun Valley for two seasons as a post-graduate skier. He matured physically...

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He is proudly Alaskan and has resisted the temptation over the years to migrate elsewhere. We are talking about twenty-nine-year-old Reese Hanneman who has in fact migrated from his hometown of Fairbanks to the more southern maritime climate of Anchorage, Alaska. So the question has been, is Reese Hanneman retired? After many years on the SuperTour, winning five national titles, stints on the World Cup, and an Olympic team nomination last year, the answer to that question...

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In this episode, we speak with Estonian athlete Karel Tammjärv. If you are unfamiliar with the latest news, Tammjärve was arrested last week in Seefeld, Austria as part of an investigation into doping. FasterSkier first contacted Tammjärv yesterday and in a quick turn of events, Tammjärv offered us an interview this morning. Although the interview was conducted on short notice, we had no pre-conditions when it came to the types of questions we could ask. where to buy vancomycin...

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In this episode, we talk with Zuzana Rogers an Anchorage, Alaska based physical therapist who can often be found working with elite cross country skiers from APU and the U.S. Ski Team. We spoke with Rogers on February 19th when she was finishing up a pre-World Championships high altitude camp with the distance skiers in Davos, Switzerland. She currently is assisting U.S. skiers in Seefeld, Austria at the 2019 World Championships. We talk about how...

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FasterSkier’s American Birkebeiner coverage is made possible through the generous support of New Moon Ski & Bike in Hayward, Wisconsin. While you are at the Birkie be sure to visit New Moon Ski & Bike for all your local expertise. In this quick-hit Nordic Nation episode, we speak with five-time American Birkebeiner winner Caitlin Gregg from her home in Minneapolis. Lucky for some, Gregg will not be starting Saturday’s race as she, along with her husband...

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Putting yourself in another’s shoes – or ski-boots —  is an age-old tenant. But it would be truly hard to imagine being twenty-one years old and thrust into the biathlon world spotlight. At least year’s Olympics in PyeongChang, Swedish biathlete Sabastian Samuelsson literally arrived on the scene in his canary yellow race suit — he won a silver in the pursuit and gold as a member of Sweden’s men’s relay team. During his post-race press...

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Long before the “Here comes Diggins” call by 47-year-old Chad Salmela at this season’s Olympics, he was already known throughout the ski world as an athlete and sports commentator. Let’s just say since the now famous call, Salmela’s announcing talents have become more well known. In what now may be considered his spare time, Salmela is a varsity cross country running coach and assistant track and field coach at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth,...

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Back in January 2016, Tad Elliott emerged back onto the national championship scene with a win in the men’s 30-kilometer freestyle mass start at U.S. Nationals in Houghton, Mich. It had been some time since the skier originally from Durango, Colorado had felt unleashed from the grips of the energy-sapping Epstein-Barr virus. Elliott went on to make the 2017 Nordic Ski World Championship team in Lahti, Finland. There, it was hard to miss his stunning...

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FasterSkier caught up with former, yes former U.S. Ski Team member Andy Newell on October, 8 in Park City, Utah. Newell was in Utah assisting with the latest NEG camp and training with his old cohort when time permitted. No longer a staple of the national team, the 34-year-old Newell has partially turned over a new leaf. He’s still training as a professional skier, but he’s also the owner of a cross-country skiing business called Nordic...

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From 2011 to 2014, Sylvan Ellefson, based out of Edwards, Colorado, was on a roar. SuperTour wins, World Cup starts, and a 30-kilometer skate national championship in 2014. Now, at 31 years old, it seems the skier who began his ascent in the sport during high school would rather focus on being a husband, father, brother, and coach rather than draw attention to himself. Based as a business person in Colorado’s Vail Valley, Ellefson is giving back...

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In late August, U.S. Ski Team (USST) Head Coach Chris Grover broke his own news, releasing three new sets of criteria on behalf of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body for cross-country skiing. The three separate documents discussed by Grover and linked in his blog disclosed the selection criteria for World Cup and World Cup Period 1 team selection,  2019 World Ski Championships (WSC) in Seefeld, Austria, and the 2019/2020 national team. Grover...

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He’s another skier who bleeds maple syrup. Raised in Putney, Vermont. Skied at the Statton Mountain School (SMS), Dartmouth, and post-collegiately with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project — take a breath — and yes, still in Vermont as the SMS T2 Team head coach is Pat O’Brien. Thirty years old this summer, O’Brien has been at the helm of one of the dominant elite level programs in the U.S. since 2014. As he begins his fifth...