HomeTag Helena Ekholm

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RUHPOLDING, Germany – In last year’s World Championships individual, Helena Ekholm of Sweden navigated blustery conditions to claim a two-minute win. This morning, she woke up with her usual pre-race jitters, and one more question on her mind. “Of course I this morning I am thinking, oh, maybe I am just the champion for a few more hours,” she said in a press conference after the race. The women’s 15 k had plenty of twists...

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RUHPOLDING, Germany – What Norway is to skiing, Germany is to biathlon. And the thousands of German fans filling the Chiemgau Arena today wanted only one thing: German gold. They’d been denied that pleasure in Thursday’s mixed relay, where a combination of shooting errors and a last-minute time reduction for the Norwegians bumped the German team from what seemed like a sure win down to third place. And in the men’s sprint earlier today, the...

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Of all the nordic disciplines, biathlon is perhaps the one where small errors make the biggest difference. A centimeter here, a millimeter there – missing a target by that much, or little, can have drastic impacts on an athlete’s results. On Sunday, however, Magdalena Neuner didn’t make a small error. She made what is perhaps the worse mistake in biathlon: cross-firing. Coming into the third shooting stage of the 10 k pursuit with a sizeable...

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By this time last year, Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen had won two World Cups, podiumed in five more, and sat atop the rankings on the World Cup. The 2011-12 season is shaping up differently, not just for Makarainen, but for the other women as well. On Wednesday Makarainen became the fifth athlete – each from a different country – to win a World Cup. The 22-second victory, which came despite having one more penalty than second-place...

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Swedish biathlete Mattias Nilsson is hanging up his rifle at age 29, he abruptly announced on Thursday. After struggling with health problems all year – including hemochromatosis, when too much iron builds up in the body – Nilsson received confirmation last week that he had a leaky heart valve and that it was dangerous for him to continue competing in endurance sports. “I had been somewhat prepared that this could be the news, but not...

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When FasterSkier in an interview last week. “Pichler, because he’s had big success in Sweden and many years… maybe it was time for him to move.” Past Animosity with Russia While the challenge of coaching a supremely talented yet frustratingly inconsistent group of women may be appealing to Pichler, the move to Russia is puzzling given his past relationship with the RBU. For several years, Pichler – who is outspoken on many issues – very...

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Part of every biathlete’s job is to manage conditions on the range, which includes making adjustments for the wind. But there are days when the wind makes that all but impossible and the weather seems to be laughing in the face of the world’s best shooters. Wednesday in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, was just such a day, with only a single woman in the World Championships field shooting clean, and most shooting quite far from it. “Today...

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Sara Studebaker could not have picked a better day for it all to come together. Thanks to clean shooting and a strong day on her skis, the 26-year-old American raced to a career-best 14th place in front of a home crowd in northern Maine, for what U.S. Biathlon staff called the top women’s World Cup result for an American in at least five years, if not a decade. In the 7.5 k sprint in Presque...

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On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., the United States will hold its first World Cup race since 2004. The IBU World Cup circuit will be making stops in Presque Isle, Maine, this weekend, and then in nearby Fort Kent next weekend. While it might take almost as long to get to “The County” from the U.S. as from anywhere else, the races should be spectacular. If you can’t make it to Maine, the event will...

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To say that it was raining in Rupholding, Germany, on Thursday would be an understatement. “It was pouring rain, perhaps the worst rain I’ve ever skied in, winter or summer,” said U.S. biathlete Sara Studebaker. “It was tough out there… today was all about fighting through the conditions.” For most of the women’s World Cup field, it was a tough fight as the tracks slowed to a cement-like consistency and the downhills became rutted and...

After going six years without qualifying a woman for a World Cup mass start, U.S. biathlon finally had its day in the spotlight in Oberhof, Germany on Sunday. “During warmup, I think people were surprised to see an American out there,” said Laura Spector, the first American woman since Rachel Steer to compete in a mass start. “But I saw a few American flags on the side of the course, and it was really motivating...

In Saturday’s World Cup sprint race, Bjorn Ferry gave habitual powerhouse Sweden its third victory of the new season, and its first in a men’s race. On Sunday, Sweden took win number four. After Helena Ekholm and Anna Carin Zidek, the team’s first two World Cup victors this season, left the Swedes within striking distance of the podium, Carl Johann Bergman used some last-minute heroics to take a 0.3 second win over Ukraine France and...

Before this weekend, Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen had never won a World Cup biathlon race. How things change. After winning Friday’s sprint race by eighteen seconds,  then extending that lead to almost a minute and a half in Sunday’s pursuit race, Makarainen will have a target on her back when the World Cup heads to Hochfilzen, Austria, next weekend. Makarainen was the first woman out of the starting gate and never looked back, shooting clean through...