HomeTag Nordic Nation

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In this episode, we hear from a familiar voice – someone, in fact, we’ve heard from recently on the podcast, former elite cross-country skier Noah Hoffman. Post-race career, Hoffman has been deeply involved in the anti-doping movement as an educator, lobbyist, and content creator. This conversation is from Hoffman’s content creation side. A few months back the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) posted a six-plus minute video interview between Hoffman and Dr. Edwin Moses –...

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Thirty two years old and wise as wise can be. Clare Egan brings a calm intellect to the sport of biathlon. Speaker of many languages and head of the International Biathlon Union’s athlete committee, Egan is respected by her peers for on-snow performances as well as her leadership in the IBU board room. We spoke to Egan earlier this month as she was training in Antholz, Italy with U.S. women’s head coach Armin Auchentaller. The...

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In this episode of Nordic Nation, we speak all things trail design with John Morton. Based in Vermont, and global in perspective, Morton provides insights into the literal ups and downs of trail design and how full-blown nordic centers and small scale trails can bring a modern vibe to an old-school sport. He runs Morton Trails locally but has a global reach with projects based in China. His most recent trail work at Paul Smith’s...

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Mid-Summer and mid-fishing session, we connected with Great Britain’s Andrew Musgrave near his home in Trondheim, Norway. Musgrave underwent surgery on both Achilles tendons recently and is on the mend. In this episode, we discuss his comparatively down season last year, his plans to remain healthy, and how excited he was during the interview to spot what he described as a weasel swim past. If you are new to the podcast, FasterSkier, or Musgrave…here’s some background....

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A slight reshuffling of positions at U.S. Ski and Snowboard and longtime coach Matt Whitcomb has a new title: Head Coach. Whitcomb held the title of World Cup Coach last season. As the pandemic took hold in mid-March here in the U.S., Whitcomb holed up at his cabin in rural Vermont for a two-week solo quarantine. We caught up with Whitcomb via phone on April 23 from his cabin. This was a broad ranging interview....

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Many of the World Cup race photos featured on FasterSkier come from NordicFocus, a European bases photo agency. NordicFocus, as the name suggests, features images from the world of nordic sport: cross-country, biathlon, nordic combined, and ski jumping. If you have buzzed around the media center at any big cross-country event, it’s likely you have seen Federico Modica. Modica wears a mountain endurance-fit look as if he’s just descended from some alpine climb; there’s a veneer...

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Live, from Vermont, it was Ben Lustgarten of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project — we spoke to Ben about his recent retirement announcement from full-time training and racing at the elite level. Lustgarten’s name is synonymous with the SuperTour’s sharp end. He’s also known to throw down burly strength workouts. He qualified and raced in two World Championships and claimed a 30 k classic National Championship in 2017.   In this episode, we discuss the reasons...

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Independent of one another, Brian Gregg and Matt Liebsch are always to be feared as they line up for a ski race. Now in their mid-thirties, their lives have transitioned to other responsibilities that include partners, children, and full-time work. Yet, in the highly competitive world of elite-level ski racing, these two have maintained a healthy friendship and are fast and furious training partners. We could spend time noting their accomplishments on the ski tracks...

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  Devon Kershaw, for many years, was a go-to on the World Cup for Canada. He won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championship in the team sprint with Alex Harvey and finished second in the World Cup overall in 2012. He is accomplished. He is also a student of the sport. That was evident last season as he helped Eurosport with its television broadcast coverage of the 2019 World Championships. Watching Kershaw provide race...

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In this episode, we speak with now-retired Swedish skier Ida Ingemarsdotter. The thirty-four-year-old Ingemarsdotter became the head coach for the Swedish national development team this fall. She’ll be leading a crew of U23 and U20 skiers as they hope to transition to the senior national team.  For many years, Imgemarsdotter was a Swedish World Cup staple. She’s a two-time medalist at the Olympics and a down to earth Swede, as we learn about her recent...

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Back in 2015, prior to her first go at a World Championships, Rosie Brennan was asked this: What’s your biggest motivation while racing?.  “I am most motivated by wanting to show that my hard work was worth it, that I did everything I could to go as fast as I could,” Brennan replied at the time. She was twenty six years old then, and now at 30 years old, the Park City native grinds away,...

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In this episode, we connect with Max Cobb, the CEO of U.S. Biathlon. He also sits on the International Biathlon Union’s (IBU) Executive Board. When we spoke, he had just returned from the IBU’s “historic” Extraordinary Congress which took place from October 18th-20th, in Munich. The IBU has been rocked in the recent past by internal mismanagement and doping scandals. Rather than succumb to the inertia associated with systemic change, the IBU has reset and...

As the Northern Hemisphere slowly tilts towards shorter days and colder temps … and hopefully snow… we spoke with Troy Taylor at U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Taylor’s official title is that of High Performace Director. What that means is he helps coordinate the multiple moving parts involving sport science for the portfolio of teams at U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Taylor has been in this role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard since 2015. He first worked for U.S....

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  On May 26, Maddie Phaneuf wrote a crisp and revealing blog post about her struggle with mental health issues after the 2018 Olympics. The blog post was titled Invisible Battles, and like many who suffer from a mental health crisis, her struggle was real but often difficult to discuss candidly. Phaneuf does a great service to the community by describing the symptoms she experienced and how she sought help from mental health professionals. Phaneuf...

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Kelsey Phinney brings to the sport of cross-country skiing a big-world view as she has rolled with challenges and fine-tuned her athletic performances. First things first: Phinney has become a voice for Parkinson’s Disease advocacy and education. She produced this great podcast episode for the Davis Phinney Foundation titled The Neuroscience of Parkinson’s — it’s part of a broader series from Phinney called The Parkinson’s Podcast.  Phinney’s father, himself a former professional cyclist who was diagnosed...

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“Everyday has been a new adventure,” were the words from the U.S. Ski Team’s (USST) Kevin Bolger as he summarized his first full-time season on the World Cup. At twenty-six-years-old, Bolger is a relatively new face on the team’s evolving crop of sprint skiers. He was re-nominated to the USST for a second consecutive year this past May. Bolger’s ski path took him to Sun Valley for two seasons as a post-graduate skier. He matured physically...

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In this episode, we speak with Estonian athlete Karel Tammjärv. If you are unfamiliar with the latest news, Tammjärve was arrested last week in Seefeld, Austria as part of an investigation into doping. FasterSkier first contacted Tammjärv yesterday and in a quick turn of events, Tammjärv offered us an interview this morning. Although the interview was conducted on short notice, we had no pre-conditions when it came to the types of questions we could ask. where to buy vancomycin...

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Putting yourself in another’s shoes – or ski-boots —  is an age-old tenant. But it would be truly hard to imagine being twenty-one years old and thrust into the biathlon world spotlight. At least year’s Olympics in PyeongChang, Swedish biathlete Sabastian Samuelsson literally arrived on the scene in his canary yellow race suit — he won a silver in the pursuit and gold as a member of Sweden’s men’s relay team. During his post-race press...

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Long before the “Here comes Diggins” call by 47-year-old Chad Salmela at this season’s Olympics, he was already known throughout the ski world as an athlete and sports commentator. Let’s just say since the now famous call, Salmela’s announcing talents have become more well known. In what now may be considered his spare time, Salmela is a varsity cross country running coach and assistant track and field coach at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth,...

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Back in January 2016, Tad Elliott emerged back onto the national championship scene with a win in the men’s 30-kilometer freestyle mass start at U.S. Nationals in Houghton, Mich. It had been some time since the skier originally from Durango, Colorado had felt unleashed from the grips of the energy-sapping Epstein-Barr virus. Elliott went on to make the 2017 Nordic Ski World Championship team in Lahti, Finland. There, it was hard to miss his stunning...