HomeTag U.S. Ski Team

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Perhaps, by the time you read this, Sophie Caldwell will have already sped her way around the sprint circuit in Ruka, Finland. The World Cup begins on Friday. At once Caldwell possesses a down-to-earth humility and a killer’s instinct to find the gaps and repeatedly progress through World Cup sprint heats. Off the course, she’s more likely to ask about your day than she is to dwell on a World Cup podium. We caught up...

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A brave new world awaits World Cup skiers for Period I on the cross-country World Cup. The scheduling is the easy part, three race weekends reduced from four for Period I. The racing in Lillehammer, Norway, has been postponed due to Covid-19 precautions.   In an email to FasterSkier, Cross-Country Program Director Chris Grover wrote the following when asked about the team’s protocols if an athlete tests positive for Covid-19. If someone in our group tests...

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The cyclic nature of the U.S. Ski Team can be described as a slow churn. The team, most often, invests considerable time and resources on developing promising skiers. Roster turnover, from year to year, is rare. Among those rarefied athletes we take for granted as nearly always being part of the elite of elite is Sadie Bjornsen. Originally from the Methow Valley and now a resident of Anchorage, Alaska where she trains with APU, the...

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The razor-thin margin for national team selection in the U.S. played out again this season with David Norris (29) not discretioned onto the U.S. team – the sporting actuaries stated he lacked future medal potential.  On both sides of the aisle, making the team or not, the platitudes didn’t cushion the blow for a skier who has doggedly pursued endurance speed for over a decade. Norris earned his first national championship podium with a third...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. APUNSC is also running a fundraiser in which the Elite Team is working towards skiing 1,000 kilometers as a team...

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This series comes to FasterSkier from the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club. A Day in the Life: APUNSC is checking in with Elite Team members of the course of the next few months to get a glimpse into what life looks like for elite athletes as training starts up again during a global pandemic. Today we check in with Hunter Wonders (21), a member of the 2018 silver medal-winning 4 x 5 kilometer Junior...

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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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Bright lights in PyeongChang. The men’s second semifinal of the Olympic freestyle team sprint was a career highlight moment for Erik Bjornsen. Fourteen teams would crowd the start lanes with Martin Johnsrud Sundby in bib 1. The Norwegian was paired with Johannes Høsflot Klæbo: The duo blessed with Sundby’s stamina and his younger counterpart’s break-from-the-pack speed. With Simi Hamilton racing the second, fourth, and sixth legs for the U.S., and Bjornsen leading off, the semi...

“Get whatever you want. I’m buying.” “It’s ok. I’ve got a card with me.” “No. You’re over here working for us. The least I could do is buy you a coffee and a bun.” Conversation over. Jessie Diggins bought my cinnamon bun and cappuccino. The same Jessie Diggins who won Gold at the last winter Olympics and is a regular on World Cup podiums just refused to let me buy my own snack at the...

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In a typical season, you might expect late February in Lahti, Finland to look wintery. 61 degrees North latitude, ample snow on the ground and clinging to the trees, maybe even a reindeer? In fact, in a plug for the venue showed a woman skiing through a snow-laden town and arriving at the base of the towering ski jumps.  But it was not so today. Women time-trialed through the woods for two laps on a...

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The news came trickling out of Anchorage on November 2nd. U.S. Ski Team athlete Hannah Halvorsen was hit by a car while crossing a street in downtown Anchorage.  “I was crossing a one way street, and a woman was turning into the lane, so she looked left where cars would be coming from and didn’t look right, where I was, and just turned right into the street and hit me at 25 miles an hour,”...

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A national team uniform for cross-country skiing has to do a lot of things. At the most utilitarian level, it has to wick sweat and aid performance while an athlete pursues one of the world’s most demanding sports at temperatures between –4 F and 40, in steady snow or driving rain or anything in between. At the functional level, it has to let spectators and coaches identify where their athlete is out on the course,...

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Call it what you want: national pride, national bias, flag-waving: the team relays elicit nationalistic tendencies. In Lillehammer, Norway, you might think and maybe expect it’s your birthright to see the hometeam crush. That’s been the recent norm almost without exception.  Here’s the quick stats to either dispel or reinforce those tendencies: Norway has won nine of the last 11 relay races on the World Cup. Russia won the other two. In fact, Russia took...

Norwegian countryside just as you imagine: farms, pine trees, a deep snow-blanket, and fast skiing. All this was on display under a bluebird sky in Lillehammer, Norway for the men’s World Cup 30-kilometer skiathlon. Amidst this legacy-backdrop, the beauty of a dual technique race with enough grinding Ks to string out and decimate an impressive field played out. Fifteen kilometers in, at the ski exchange from classic to skate, nine skiers were separated by 6.5 seconds...

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The difficulty in covering generational star athletes is avoiding cliché. There’s the “high tempo” or “high-turnover” description for Therese Johaug. And for the men, Northug’s panache and wily wait-for-the-final-meters sprint fury. Although some would argue that it is a bit too early for the stamp of generational star, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is such a regular podium crasher that avoiding cliché is troublesome there too. So today, we’re off the hook a bit. Finland’s ski hero...

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A big day for Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) in Ruka, Finland. She placed third overall in the women’s 1.4-kilometer classic sprint.  Italy’s Lucia Scardoni established the time to beat in the qualifier, 3:03.01. Maubet Bjornsen played her fitness cards early as she qualified in second, 1:15 seconds back.  “It has been an interesting fall battling through some frustrating tendinitis in my feet that didn’t allow me to run or ski...

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Straight to the point, no U.S. men advanced to the heats in Friday’s opening World Cup 1.4-kilometer classic sprint in Ruka, Finland. Since the sprint is part of a three-race series ending with a pursuit, all skiers started the qualifier.  As snow flurries fell in a semi-dark and Arctic Ruka —skiers raced under the lights — Johannes Høsflot Klæbo of Norway won the qualifier in 2:37:42.  Kevin Bolger of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) just...

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FasterSkier reporter Aleks Tangen was in Beitostølen to report. As a new feature we are posting interviews from the mixed zone in the report below.  The opening Norwegian national races began in Beitostølen, Norway today with a 1.2-kilometer women’s classic sprint and a 1.7 k classic sprint for the men. Beyond featuring a loaded field of seasoned and up-and-coming Norwegian skiers, the U.S. Ski Team is using these races as a tune up for next week’s Ruka,...

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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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We spoke with Chris Grover of the U.S. Ski Team on October 29, to get his thoughts on the new season. With a packed World Cup schedule and an off-year for major championship events, Grover and his team have myriad moving parts to make gel. He comes with a new title, that of Cross Country Program Director. Besides the title change, he remains the leader for the cross-country staff and athletes. Grover was at his...