Oleg Ragilo

An accountant, a summer flooring salesman and an Estonian helped Diggins deliver bronze. Here’s how.

ZHANGJIAKOU — Patrick Moore is a cheerful accountant from Edmonton, Alberta. Tim Baucom spends his summers working sales for a Vermont plank flooring company. Oleg Ragilo runs a cosmetic shop in Estonia with his wife. Jessie Diggins, the American cross-country ski star, couldn’t have won her Olympic bronze without them. Moore, Baucom and Ragilo all belong to America’s nine-member ski service team here — a mix of mostly paid staff and a couple of volunteers like Moore....

Hoffman Checks in En Route to Denver, Blogs About Broken Fibula

Never fail, on Monday afternoon during a flight from Frankfurt to Denver, Noah Hoffman blogged. And not just any quick update, almost a whopping 2,000 words. The U.S. Ski Team’s top male distance skier got online to explain exactly what happened Sunday in Kuusamo, Finland, where he fell hard with slightly less than 2 kilometers to go in the first World Cup distance race of the season.

World Cup Technicians Launch Mantra Wax, a Performance Brand with a Creative Twist

Mantra Wax, a new wax company created by U.S. Ski Team servicemen Randy Gibbs and Oleg Ragilo, promises to deliver high-performance waxes to consumers in a fresh way. At SuperTour finals they turned heads by waxing successful skis for the Liz Stephen and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, and by fall they plan to be ready to ship their line of powders and liquids directly to your wax box.

Starting from Nothing: Estonian Skiing, Past, Present, and Future

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,...

From Team Smigun to Team USA

Traces of skiing legends are all over Otepaa, Estonia, where American athletes were contesting the cross-country World Junior and U-23 Championships in late January. Framed posters of the country’s Olympic medalists were scattered near the entrance to the venue, in the “Park of Estonian Skiing Heroes.” Jaak Mae’s Mercedes Benz was parked across the way. But inside the American service cabin, in the guise of a pudgy, unassuming figure at one of the wax tables,...