HomeTag Ilia Chernousov

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Editor’s Note: The following thoroughly cited opinion piece, prompted by the 2017 ‘Icarus’ documentary, was written by Maks Zechel, a 20-year-old Canadian cross-country skier who spent the 2017/2018 race season training abroad with Team Asker in Norway. Zechel is a regular contributor at FasterSkier, with his ongoing series: “Closing the Gap”. *** February 23, 2014 Sochi: a home Olympics and the opportunity of a lifetime. Russia, despite being one of the strongest skiing nations in the...

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It isn’t all that common, these days, to see Johan Olsson on the World Cup. After a strong start to this season, Olsson took a two-month forced hiatus due to illness. Last year, after the November World Cups he didn’t return to the top level of competition until World Championships in March. In 2010, he skipped the entire month of January to prepare for the Olympics. Injury and illness are sadly par for the course...

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Rybinsk is like Russia’s version of Holmenkollen—perhaps not with quite as many spectators, but its fans were no less enthusiastic about the World Cup this weekend, and turned out in admirable numbers despite the cold to cheer on the national team. On Saturday, Russian skiers fell short of topping the podium in front of the home crowd, but that changed in a big way in the 30 k skiathlon on Sunday. Not only did Russia...

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For a World Champion like Devon Kershaw, who has hundreds of World Cup starts to his name, there aren’t many personal bests yet to accomplish 10 years into a career. Yet on Saturday in Rybinsk, Russia, he checked another one off the list: his first official World Cup victory. The Canuck skied a smart race in the mass start 15 k freestyle, biding his time in the lead pack and making his move in the...

In the summer of 2010, Isabelle Knaute found herself in an unusual position. Originally from Germany and a veteran of the Swiss national team staff, the physical therapist was hired by the Russians to work with a small group of skiers. “I don’t think there’s ever been a foreign staff member for the Russian team,” star athlete Alexander Legkov told Russian website skirun.ru at the time. Knaute, who took five years of Russian in school,...

left Marcus Hellner and Dario Cologna standing still. And Legkov wasn’t alone in impressing the crowd with his finishing skills – Vylegzhanin did what most possible consider to be impossible, did a fantastic job of reeling in and then dispatching Frenchman Jean-Marc Gaillaird in the 20 k pursuit in Rybinsk, Russia. But despite having possibly the strongest team on paper, the Russians had the most devastating relay experience at World Championships in Oslo. After taking...

Since the tail end of the 2011 Tour de Ski, Russia’s star distance skier, Alexander Legkov, has been missing in action. He fell ill with swine flu and couldn’t finish the Tour, then, with an abysmal performance in the relay at World Championships in Oslo, singlehandedly dashed his country’s hopes for a medal in that event. While the relay result stung, Legkov’s drought has been balanced by some strong performances by his teammates. There’s Maxim...

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When asked whom he designed the Oslo courses for, the renowned Hermod Björkestöl, responsible for the layouts at the last three Olympics, responded simply “for entertainment.” And entertainment, in the form of drama and excitement, was provided in spades as Petter Northug (NOR) overcame a shocking early attack by Alex Harvey, and an impressive late challenge by the Russians to achieve his primary goal for the 2011 World Championships – an individual gold medal. Northug...

When Justyna Kowalczyk stood at the head of the chevron before the 10 k pursuit Friday morning in Rybinsk, Russia, she must have felt a little bit lonely. That’s because no less than 20 of the top 30 women in the current overall World Cup rankings were missing. Kowalczyk’s biggest rival, Marit Bjoergen (NOR) opted to take the weekend off, as did fourth ranked Petra Majdic (SLO), and 6th through 9th, Therese Johaug (NOR), Charlotte...