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This World Championship coverage is made possible through the generous support of Marty and Kathy Hall and their A Hall Mark of Excellence Award. To learn more about A Hall Mark of Excellence Award or to learn how you can support FasterSkier’s coverage please contact info@fasterskier.com. With swaths of bare ground peeking through the melting snow, skis rattling through tracks and swooshing across the lanes, and short-sleeved race tops, World Championship racing continued in a...


  Since Dec. 1,  twenty-one-year-old Julia Kern (SMS-T2) has barnstormed the elite level domestic racing calendar. She qualified first and won the SuperTour freestyle sprint in West Yellowstone. The following weekend in the NorAm/SuperTour skate sprint in Sovereign Lake it was another win-win in the qualifier and final. In the next day’s 10-kilometer classic, Kern was third overall and the second American. Last weekend back in Vermont at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Kern swept the...


On December 12, in Trondheim, Norway, thirty-two-year-old Petter Northug jr. announced his retirement from the sport. Northug won four Olympic medals, two of which are gold. He won 16 World Championship medals, 13 of them gold. He has a total of 38 total wins on the World Cup during his 12 year career, “I have taken a decision to post as a skier. I told myself that I could not use more energy and effort to...


Picture trying to ski after staring directly at the sun. Bushes blend into the snow. Turns become an illusion; one second they are there and the next they are not. If it sounds somewhat impossible, consider it’s the field of vision Canadian Paralympic cross-country skier Brian McKeever has had for the past 19 years of his professional cross-country career. “If you stare at the sun for a long time and turn away, you get these...


Biathlon is a notoriously variable sport: besides skiing, there’s the shooting aspect which can ruin a race in a matter of seconds. Sometimes an athlete like Lowell Bailey wins a World Championship for the first time after 15 seasons competing; sometimes the most reliable guy in the sport, Martin Fourcade, finishes 46th. It’s a wild world. Norwegian PhD student Øyvind Skattebo set out to quantify just how variable the sport is, and what amount of improvement...


What a year for Cross Country Canada (CCC). For the first time in history, its men’s team stood on a World Cup gold and its women’s team pulled off its Canada’s 2017/2018 national-team nominations earlier this month, FasterSkier caught up with CCC’s High Performance Director Thomas Holland and the World Cup co-coach Ivan Babikov to discuss the program moving forward.  What’s changed since last year? Not much. With a strong season behind them, an Olympic season ahead and a solid coach...


Before Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins, the last time U.S. women won a championship medal in a team event was back at the first women's biathlon World Championships in 1984, by Julie Newnam, Kari Swenson, and Holly Beattie. It was a different time, says Swenson: spectators warned them that "women shouldn’t be skiing and carrying a rifle, that this was just too hard on women."


Looking up from the finish line on Sunday, Canada’s Len Valjas saw something he would never forget. Amidst a sea of waving Swedish flags, a trio of men ran toward him. Their arms were outstretched and a chorus of cheers escaped all three as they charged toward their teammate. Just a week ago, Valjas had celebrated his Johnsgaard, of Canada’s U25 Team, maintained his position within the middle of the lead pack. “Alex tagged me off...


There are a lot of things Marit Bjørgen is not. She is not the only woman on Norway’s national team who knows how to win. She is not in the early stages of her cross-country career — her first World Cup debut came in December 1999. In comparison to many of her Norwegian teammates, she is not young. The average age of Norway’s women competing in Saturday’s 10-kilometer freestyle individual start in Ulricehamn, Sweden, (Bjørgen not included)...


A little more than four years ago, a group of women clad in all black race suits and bib 3 huddled in an athlete warming room. The muffled voice of an announcer speaking in Swedish could be heard broadcasting outside, an English translation relaying the same message: 10 minutes to start. The quartet departed the building, four blondes — one highlighted pink — headed for the start gate. A pass through a patch of sunlight revealed a second...


A national-team member for the better part of the last nine years, Nathan Smith knows the life of a full-time biathlete isn't always glamorous, but it beats the alternative. “There’s tough training days ... or you’re having bad races and you’re like, ugh, why do I do this?” he said. “But if you have a normal 9-5 job, you’d have a lot more of those days I think.”


When the French won bronze in the Sochi relay, it was the first championships-level relay medal ever in their history. But Norway had struggled then. Today they did not, and the French were still bronze. "Maybe we have some place in the newspaper tomorrow, but a little one," Jean-Marc Gaillard said. "But that’s not the most important for us. The most important is to have fun with the team."


Just how anomalous was the podium in the women's 10 k freestyle at FIS World Championships on Tuesday? We find that FIS points still provide a great overall correlation to the results - and that while the five unseeded early starters had an advantage, the biggest losers in terms of snowstorm effects appeared to be the Germans, not the Norwegians.

Alex Harvey approached Saturday's 30 k skiathlon with a winning mindset and came out with bronze, his second medal in as many races so far at 2015 World Championships. "A medal today is as good as gold," Canadian National Team Coach Justin Wadsworth says, "We couldn’t want anything more." Russia's Maxim Vylegzhanin outlasted Switzerland's Dario Cologna for his first world title.


U.S. Biathlon's Max Cobb also chaired the IBU Technical Committee for the past several years - and he just passed rule changes at the IBU Congress that include a system-wide qualification points system and added Wild Card entries to major events. "People voted in favor of a more fair, open, and sporting system – I was really gratified," Cobb said.