HomeTag Mati Alaver

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As the Seefeld World Championships faded as of Sunday with the conclusion of the men’s 50-kilometer freestyle, here are some news gaps related to the recent arrest last week of five cross-country skiers. Here are the basics. Several cross-country athletes were arrested in Seefeld as part of a German and Austrian effort to curb doping in sport. Austrian athletes Dominik Baldauf and Maz Hauke, Kazakhstan’s Alexey Poltoranin, and Estonia’s Karel Tammjärv and Andreas Veerpalu were...

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Mati Alaver is a legend in Estonia. Alaver, 58, is credited with building his country’s cross-country ski program from scratch following Estonia’s independence in 1991. Over the last two decades, its athletes have won more than 15 major medals at World Championships and Olympic Games—not bad for a country with a population of 1.3 million. Alaver is known not just as a knowledgeable and successful coach, but also as a pitchman who found the sponsor...

an injury forced him to sit out of his final World Championships, and call it a career. The Estonian strong-man was feted, celebrated, patted on the back, and given rounds of applause – until he The lawyers are still battling it out) and opted to retire before World Championships. This created  a not-insignificant amount of outrage both pro and con-Veerpalu, but Odd-Bjorn Hjelmset demand more. What You Need To Know for This Season The hurricane...

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Earlier this month, the Russian Ski Federation made public that current men’s sprint team coach, Yuri Kaminsky, was poised to become the next head coach of the entire Russian National Team. With the Sochi Olympics coming up in 2014, the depth of Russia’s 100-plus athlete program, and the team’s fight to clean up its skiers and its image, much depends on the appointment. If Kaminsky and the Federation can come to an agreement on the...

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Before flying to Estonia last January, I didn’t know much about that nation’s cross-country skiers aside from their names—and their medal records. Jaak Mae, Andrus Veerpalu, and Kristina Smigun-Vaehi—between the three of them, seven Olympic and 10 World Championship medals. Not a bad record for a country with a population of 1.3 million, or the same as the state of Maine. But while Scandinavian stars like Petter Northug and Marit Björgen blend a certain appeal,...

Estonian Andrus Veerpalu has competed in every Olympic Games since Albertville in 1992. In Vancouver, at 39 years of age, he contested only the 50 k classic mass start, finishing sixth. Many assumed that it would be one of his last races. They were wrong. This year, Veerpalu will be focusing on the World Championships in Oslo, Norway; in particular, he plans to peak for the classic distance races. There is no reason to believe...