HomeCategory Interviews

Interviews with racers, coaches and other relevant individuals within the Nordic ski world.
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The questions started rolling in this spring. How’s training going? Are you going for 2019 World Championships? What’s the plan for next winter? When you’re Caitlin and Brian Gregg, Olympians and local superstars in the Midwest, it’s hard to keep your athletic profile on the DL. Since buying a house on Theodore Wirth Park seven years ago, the couple has immersed themselves in the greater Minneapolis community — both in and out of skiing. They’ve...

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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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Building on one of its most successful seasons yet, the Bowdoin College nordic ski team, out of Brunswick, Maine, recently jumped back into training under the guidance of head coach Nathan Alsobrook. Last winter, three skiers qualified for NCAA Skiing Championships, one alumna qualified for the U.S. Olympic team (Kaitlynn Miller, class of 2014), and one visually impaired skier Maine State Championship, for example … so we’re really excited to go after that this year. We’ve come close...

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JACKSON, Wyoming — Last last month, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced that Bryan Fish had been promoted to cross country sport development manager. FasterSkier sat down with Fish on Sept. 14 at Jackson Hole’s Center for the Arts, where he was leading a Level 200 coaching clinic, to learn more about this transition and how his new position will support the national development program. He also provided insight into the development program’s philosophy and goals...

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As a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Kendall Gretsch stumbled across an article that would change her life. It was the spring of 2012, just a few months before the Summer Paralympics in London. Gretsch had been reading the local news when she came across a story about a St. Louis college student who hoped to attend the London Games as part of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming team.   Born with spina...

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Day by day. That’s how Kikkan Randall is approaching her battle with breast cancer after being diagnosed about three months ago. Now more than 50 days into her treatment — with six rounds of chemotherapy over an 18-week span — Randall, 35, is becoming more familiar with the ugly side effects and adjusting to her new normal. While beating what is believed to be announcing her diagnosis on social media, Randall has been promoting AKTIV...

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There’s a reason Kevin Bolger has spent his last four summers in Trondheim, Norway, rent free. You could say it started in 2014, when his older brother, Conor, began his Ph.D. work at the Centre for Elite Sports Research in Trondheim. As a doctoral candidate in the center’s neuroscience department, Conor’s work involved lab time. Specifically, lactate and VO2 max testing on Norwegian cross-country and nordic-combined national team members. Conor soon established a relationship with a number...

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On June 19, Cross Country Canada (CCC) announced that 52-year-old Jennifer Tomlinson will serve a two-year term as the new chair of its Board of Directors. She replaces The CCC press release opens with a statement that Tomlinson — a former racing director, volunteer coach and integral member of biathlon andwith his seventh place in the Olympic sprint, have been the individual podium hopes for the Canadian team. This past spring, Knute Johnsgaard (half of Canada’s...

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In 2005, Norway’s government-owned broadcasting network, NRK, lost production rights for its national football league. In search of a new program to air in place of summer soccer games, NRK, which still held broadcast rights for biathlon and cross-country skiing, approached the Norwegian Ski Federation and the Norwegian Biathlon Federation with a question: Could they find an organizer willing to create a large summer event encapsulating the winter sports of biathlon and nordic skiing? NRK’s answer came...

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The newest hire to the U.S. Ski Team (USST) coaching ranks is 34-year-old Gus Kaeding. Kaeding is a newly minted MBA as of 2017 and is fresh off a gig with the U.S. Olympic Committee based out of Colorado Springs. Kaeding was a junior skier at the Stratton Mountain School (SMS), skied collegiately at Northern Michigan University, and coached at Central Cross Country and went on to become head coach of the SMST2 Team prior...

Øyvind Sandbakk. If you are new to his name, he is one of the key reasons Norway has remained ahead of the sport-performance curve in nordic sport. If there’s an interesting question to answer with regards to things like double-poling efficiency, Sandbakk or one his students is on it. Yes, Norway has strength in numbers when it comes to cross-country athletes, but they also have a Sandbakk and a cadre of graduate students who keep...

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Perhaps you have heard of them. Or at least seen them. At 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall, respectively, the Mooney sisters, Heather and Brooke, are hard to miss. But their height is not the only reason the two women stand out. The sisterly pair also share a talent for the sports they pursue. At one point, for both of them, that sport was skiing. And at one point, for both of them,...

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It wasn’t until recently that Erika Flowers learned the meaning of her middle name. At the time of her birth, her father had been cutting around Montana’s mountain slopes on Elan alpine skis. Though the brand’s company is based out of Slovenia, the definition of élan, according to Webster’s dictionary, is a vigorous spirit or enthusiasm. Whether Flower’s father, Pat, had researched the word’s meaning or whether the name had simply struck him, the skis...

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von Ballcap episode, we sit down with newly retired pro-skier Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess in his hometown of Bend. At 32, Dakota, or “Dak” as he’s most often called, had been on the scene for over a decade. In that time, Blackhorse-von Jess won the support of his peers and fans as a skier’s skier. The man is nothing but energy and intellect wound into a 5-foot-9-inch body that ultimately became a sprinting force. His story...

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This week, FasterSkier caught up with Bozeman, Montana, native Logan Diekmann, who’s entering his junior year at the University of Utah. Diekmann, 21, is spending this summer training in Salt Lake City, taking summer classes toward a degree in mechanical engineering. Diekmann grew up in Bozeman, skiing with the Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) through elementary, middle and high school. After graduating as Bozeman High School’s valedictorian in 2015, he took a gap year with BSF....

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The last time Rosie Brennan was focused on competitive running, she was sporting a red, white and black singlet as a senior at Park City High School in Utah. In the 11 years since, the former U.S. Ski Team member’s running has shifted from a seasonal sport to supplemental training for her true passion: cross-country skiing. Yet earlier this month, on June 9, Brennan surged to the front of the Alaska Run for Women in...

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Cross Country Canada has reset. In this nascent Olympic cycle, there’s been an CCC hired Nic Lemyre as a high performance and development advisor. (Former high performance director Tom Holland recently retired.)   For the past 21 years, Lemyre has resided and worked in Norway, most recently as a professor of sport psychology at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH) in Oslo. He also currently serves as the head of the department of coaching...