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Chris Grover

Season Preview with Chris Grover, United States’ Cross Country Program Director,  Part II

Chris Grover is the U.S. Cross-Country Program Director.  He has held that position for three years. He corresponded with FasterSkier’s Ken Roth in discussing the upcoming World Cup season, and an overview of the U.S. program.  This is the second in a series of interviews with Mr. Grover. FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation) has reaffirmed the Russian ban.  How do participating athletes feel about it?  Do they feel deprived not being able to compete...

Season Preview with Chris Grover, United States’ Cross Country Program Director,  Part I

Chris Grover is the U.S. Cross-Country Program Director, a position he’s held for three years. He sat down with FasterSkier’s Ken Roth to discuss the upcoming World Cup season, and an overview of the U.S. program. What exactly is the job of Program Director? I oversee all aspects of the program for team development, coaches’ education, events, budgets, selection criteria, and all other staff. This includes technicians, volunteer physical therapist, volunteer doctors, sports psychologist, and...

Trail to Gold Fellowship Wants to Put More Female Coaches on the World Cup

While it’s difficult to get exact numbers, the general distribution of coaches and service staff on the World Cup level is largely male dominated. The recently announced Trail to Gold Fellowship aims to help change that. Following the publication of the Trail to Gold book in November of 2021, members of the book committee began discussing how to use the net proceeds generated by book sales. After bouncing around various proposals, they settled on the...

Switching to Equal Distance and the “Trickle Down” Effect

In most sports, the question of whether men and women would compete on equal playing fields, so to speak, was answered long ago. While gender inequalities remain- a recent decision by the IOC to maintain the exclusion of Women’s Nordic Combined from the Olympics comes to mind- the sport of cross-country skiing will now be joining the list of those in which competition is equal for men and women. In a press release issued on...

Nordic Nation: Cross-Country Program Director Chris Grover on Looking Back and Planning Ahead 

I think we can all agree that the last two years have been a wild ride. For those at the helm of the cross-country program at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, added layers of COVID safety precautions and expensive testing have increased the otherwise mounting demands of preparing for an Olympic Games. There have been numerous domestic and international competitions canceled, including a full season of SuperTour racing in 2020/2021, numerous World Cups canceled, and three...

From the Archives: Pete Vordenberg looks back on the 2002/2003 World Cup season (April 2003)

The following article was initially published on FasterSkier on April 2, 2003. It was written by Pete Vordenberg, who at the time was the assistant coach of the U.S. Ski Team, under head coach Trond Nystad. Nystad’s boss was Luke Bodensteiner. The development coach was Chris Grover. Athletes on the men’s national team included Justin Wadsworth, Carl Swenson, Torin Koos, Kris Freeman, and Andrew Johnson, plus a grand total of one (1) woman, Wendy Wagner....

A PT in Sweden: Pandemic, War, or Plague of Locusts?

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...

Update: FIS Cancels All Remaining 2021-22 Season Events in Russia Including XC World Cup Finals in Tyumen

Yesterday, FasterSkier reported that the U.S. Ski Team would not be attending the World Cup finals scheduled for March 18 – 20 in Tyumen, Russia, given the nation’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. At that time, the International Ski Federation (FIS) had not announced whether events scheduled for the remainder of the season in Russia would be held as planned, however, a FIS official had indicated on February 15th that the situation in Russia was...

US xc ski team says it will skip World Cup races in Russia amid Ukraine invasion

The International Ski Federation hasn’t said whether the races, in the Siberian city of Tyumen, will go off as scheduled next month. The U.S. cross-country ski team says it will skip upcoming races in Russia amid that country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. A team official said Thursday that the Americans will skip the final weekend of racing on the top-level European World Cup circuit, which is scheduled for next month in the Siberian city of...

Rosie Brennan won’t take home medals from Beijing. She still helped change U.S. cross-country skiing.

ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA — Jessie Diggins’ silver medal, the best-ever individual Olympic finish by an American woman, is what most people will remember from Sunday’s Games-ending cross-country ski race. Here’s why you should remember Rosie Brennan, too. Brennan, 33, may lack Diggins’ magazine covers and national endorsement deals. But she performed at ever-so-close to the same level in Beijing, and came heartbreakingly close to the medals. First, there was Brennan’s fourth place in the Games-opening individual...

Avoiding omicron is an Olympic-level challenge for Alaska skiers with Beijing Games, and virus tests, looming

This article originally appeared on Wednesday January 19th, 2022 in the Anchorage Daily News. Reposted with permission. The organizers of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing have imposed a rigorous regime of testing, quarantines and isolation for incoming athletes and staff. Among the casualties is Steve Patterson’s pickleball game. Patterson has two adult children, Scott and Caitlin, who grew up in Alaska and are both Olympic hopefuls in cross-country skiing. They’re planning to prepare for...

World Cup Development Opportunities: an Interview with Rising Coach and Tech, Kristen Bourne

In November, FasterSkier interviewed Kristen Bourne, assistant coach at the College of St. Scholastica (CSS) in Duluth, MN, after she was selected as a Women’s Sports Foundation Van DerVeer Fellow, which came with a grant totalling $17,500. The objective of the fellowship is to improve representation of women in elite level coaching by supporting the development of rising coaches at the college level.  The majority of the funds from the VanDerveer Fellowship went directly to...

Escalating Cost of World Cup Ski Service Creates “Immense Pressure”

The cost of providing World Cup athletes with competitive skis is mounting at an alarming rate for teams without deep pockets.  This spring, coaches of US National Team athletes and staff from the Center of Excellence in Park City huddled around zoom for their annual meeting, called “Moving USA Skiing Forward.” Among the topics discussed were plans for the US Ski Team to keep pace with what Head Coach Matt Whitcomb calls the “waxing arms...

Sweden and Finland Follow Norway and Withdraw from December World Cups (Updated)

Yesterday Norway announced it would cease sending skiers to the World Cups in Davos, Switzerland and Dresden, Germany due to Covid-19 concerns. Rumors swirled that Sweden would make a similar decision. Twenty-four hours later the Swedish Ski Federation announced they too would withdraw from December’s competitions. “We learned some lessons about the implementation of a World Cup competition in Ruka. We have found that it went well. But we may also have been lucky. As it stands,...

A Summer Without Snow: Athletes and Coaches on a Year with No Summer Skiing

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...

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announces Restructuring of National-Level Competitions for 2020-2021 (Includes Interview with Chris Grover)

A clean slate cancelation of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s cross-country national racing calendar. That’s a piece of the collateral damage in the niche world of domestic ski racing. The cancellation includes SuperTour, U.S. National Championships, SuperTour Finals, and the Junior National Championships. We’ll get to how these races may be replaced in a moment. First, U.S. Ski & Snowboard set forth a series of bullet points regarding the reasoning and considerations for the wholesale cancelation....

FS Interview: Chris Grover Discusses the FIS Fluoro Ban and the World Cup in 2020-2021

  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...

Nové Město Pursuit: Bolshunov in Command

More snow. More fans. On Sunday in Nové Město, Czech Republic, day two of a pursuit weekend unfolded amidst trees draped in snow and a 5 k course with portions lined with fans. With snow falling, the men raced a 15-kilometer classic pursuit.  Rewind to yesterday’s first portion of the pursuit format, a 15 k interval start skate, which established the time-back start positions for Sunday. Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov won that race by a margin of...

Johaug Sweeps the Pursuit in Nové Město; Diggins 10th

Yesterday’s snow coated Nové Město, Czech Republic, clinging to the tall pines and masking the unsettling contrast of the man made ribbon of snow. Though wintry precipitation continued to fall, cheering crowds filled the stadium, ringing bells and sounding horns as racers passed through. Picking up where they left off after the skate stage, athletes set out onto the arduous tracks for a 10-kilometer classic pursuit. Steep climbs, sharp curves, and gentler though rippling terrain...

Johaug Takes the Lead in Nové Město Pursuit; Diggins 4th

“It has everything,” Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla told FIS before the start of the 10-kilometer interval start skate in Nové Město, Czech Republic. Though she was describing the steep uphills and working downhills, found along the 5 k track, it might have also been an apt description for what the weather had in store. As athletes headed out on course, the light icy precipitation transitioned into chunky white flakes accumulating on the deteriorating ribbon of man...