HomeCategory Interviews

Interviews with racers, coaches and other relevant individuals within the Nordic ski world.
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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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At twenty-seven-years-old, Canadian National Team coach Erik Bråten brings youthful energy and a spirit that fosters independence amongst his athletes. Originally from Oslo, Norway, and new to the Canadian system in November 2018, Bråten has the dual task of shepherding a crop of young Canadian talent and assisting veteran athletes like Dahira Beatty and Katherine Stweart-Jones to achieving consistent in-the-points racing on the World Cup. Recently, Bråten has helped Nordiq Canada organize and produce a series...

If you read FasterSkier, you are likely aware that elite cross country skiing in the U.S. has been steadily on the rise over the last decade. In the last four years alone, we’ve borne witness to medals at all levels, including a Diggins-Randall double podium in the freestyle sprint at the 2017 World Championships, a 10 k classic win for Gus Schumacher at the 2020 World Junior Championships, a bronze medals for Will Koch and...

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Win now? Win later? Or somewhere in between? A one year plan with a World Champs looming in 2021 or something befitting a six-year plan for capturing hardware at the 2026 Winter Games in Italy? Those are the strategies in play as national teams set budgets, rosters, and priorities. For countries like Norway and Sweden – at least on the Swedish women’s side – win now and later seems to be the constant background noise....

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. APUNSC is also running a fundraiser in which the Elite Team is working towards skiing 1,000 kilometers as a team...

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On April 9th, the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center in Bozeman, MT released information and qualification criteria for their newly founded elite team. As you skim what it takes to earn a spot at each tier of the program, it may catch your attention that the cross country, biathlon, and para nordic are housed within the same program. This single team approach reflects the growth and development at Crosscut in connection with its partnership with the...

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  FasterSkier spoke with Chris Grover this week to discuss the International Ski Federation’s fluoro wax ban, which will be implemented this season, and the potential for a modified World Cup schedule. Grover is the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team Program Director and the former head coach of the U.S. team. He is also a member of the FIS Cross-Country Committee and the chair of the Sub-Committee for World and Continental Cups. For starters, here...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with Rosie Frankowski (28), a 2018 Olympian, 2019 World Championship team member, and SuperTour podium regular....

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Of the members of the U.S. Para Nordic team, more than half compete at the highest level in both summer and winter sports. Instead of quadrennial, their training is designed for biennial Paralympic cycles, oscillating between sports each year with an overall focus shift toward whichever Games is approaching fastest.  And the goal is not simply to compete in both rounds of the Games, it is to bring home medals.  Illinois based Oksana Masters is...

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Bright lights in PyeongChang. The men’s second semifinal of the Olympic freestyle team sprint was a career highlight moment for Erik Bjornsen. Fourteen teams would crowd the start lanes with Martin Johnsrud Sundby in bib 1. The Norwegian was paired with Johannes Høsflot Klæbo: The duo blessed with Sundby’s stamina and his younger counterpart’s break-from-the-pack speed. With Simi Hamilton racing the second, fourth, and sixth legs for the U.S., and Bjornsen leading off, the semi...

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On April 1st, the University of Alaska Anchorage athletics department announced that interim head coach Marine Dusser-Bjornsen had been named Nordic Coach of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) after her first year in the role. Despite stepping into the position last minute, Dusser-Bjornsen proved her readiness for the role and led the Seawolves to an outstanding season.  The men’s team finished the season in second place in the RMISA standings...

At fifty-years-old, University of Vermont’s head cross-country ski coach Patrick Weaver is in a sweet spot. Since May 2010, the two-time Olympian has been at the helm in Burlington, Vermont guiding student-athletes on the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) ski circuit. With a long tenure and accompanying success, Weaver has become a leading voice in New England when discussing reforms in the sport.  As the debate heated up this past September when FasterSkier published an...

On February 18th, four days before the American Birkie, Kyle Bratrud (SMS T2) announced that the race would be his final competition as a professional skier. The news caught many by surprise as Bratrud seemed to be having a strong season, following a solid season in 2018/19.  Last season, the 26-year-old Minnesota native won the 15-kilometer classic and took second in the 30 k free at U.S. Nationals in Craftsbury and ended his season as...

At the end of the 2018 season after being on the wrong side of the cusp of making the Olympic team, Erika Flowers made a transition in her ski career. She left her Stratton Mountain School T2 training group and returned home to Bozeman, MT where she began a role as the Associate Director at Profitable Ideas Exchange. However, Flowers did not hang up her skis — it was not retirement, just a transition and...

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Two hours and twenty minutes after leaving the starting gate in Cable, Caitlin Gregg crossed the finish line on Main Street in Hayward, her eighth journey through Wisconsin’s north woods during the American Birkebeiner. Five of these resulted in the win, but this year, Gregg was the fifth woman across the line. Butt was still a first — her first Birkie as a mom, just over one year after giving birth to her daughter, Heidi,...

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Several inches of new snow five days out, a cold-snap that sent temperatures in Hayward plummeting to -24 degrees Fahrenheit two nights before the race, and a bluebird day with temperatures in the high teens at the start, climbing to mid-30s in the early afternoon. Firm tracks, perfect groom, and fast snow. You could not have asked for a more perfect day to showcase the trails linking Cable to Hayward, WI at the 2020 American...

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To view Riitta-Liisa Roponen’s complete FIS profile requires a lot of scrolling and selecting “show more.” The 41-year-old raced her first World Cup in Munio, Finland on November 28th, 1998. More than 20 years later, she raced her final World Cup event, helping the Finnish relay team to 3rd in Ulricehamn, Sweden on January 27th, 2019.  She went on to race at the World Ski Championships in Seefeld, Austria, placing 22nd in the 30-kilometer mass start...

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On December 15th, 28-year-old Rosie Frankowski scored her first World Cup points after finishing 23rd in the 10-kilometer skate in Davos. She then flew back to Minneapolis to spend Christmas with her family before heading to Houghton, Michigan for US Nationals where despite coming down with a stomach bug, she finished 7th in the 10 k skate, 5th in the 20 k classic, and 6th in the classic sprint. FasterSkier connected with Frankowski as she...

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All things aligned: a gauzy low fog burned off into bluebird skies and the snow skied crisp along a 42-kilometer gem during the Methow Valley’s inaugural Ski to the Sun Marathon and Relay. Last year, we ran a piece exploring how the Ski to the Sun Marathon organizers were rebooting their marquee ski race. The valley’s signature race had for years been a two-day pursuit. An attractive format to many, but it eventually stagnated with...

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This article was originally published on November 11, 2019 in Steamboat Magazine. It is reposted with permission. By: Tiia Libin Being a “first-ever” is rare, especially in a town filled with Olympians. Noel Keeffe is one of them. Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, Keeffe is the first Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club cross-country athlete to be named to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. “Our coaches continually remind us that our life as a student...