HomeTag Zina Kocher

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With the 2017/2018 season officially in the rearview, FasterSkier is excited to unveil its annual award winners for this past winter. Votes stem from the FS staff, scattered across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and while not scientific, they are intended to reflect a broader sense of the season in review. This set of honors goes to the Canadian Continental Skiers of the Year. Previous categories: Collegiate Skiers of the Year | Para-Nordic Skiers of...

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You’ve probably heard the news by now: Marit Bjørgen, the Norwegian queen of cross-country skiing, has decided to retire. The 38 year old made the announcement a week ago after winning the first race of Norwegian nationals, the 5-kilometer classic, on April 6. “In reality it has been a long process,” she told NRK that day, according to a translation. “I had almost decided before the competitive season started. I feel that I lack the...

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With the 2017/2018 season officially in the rearview, FasterSkier is excited to unveil its annual award winners for this past winter. Votes stem from the FS staff, scattered across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and while not scientific, they are intended to reflect a broader sense of the season in review. This set of honors goes to Canadian athletes in any disciplines who had a major breakthrough at some level of competition. Previous categories: Collegiate...

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FIS Cross Country World Cup Finals (Falun, Sweden): 10/15 k classic mass starts Men’s report Day 2 of World Cup Finals in Falun entailed 10- and 15-kilometer classic mass starts on Saturday, and in the first race of the day, Finland’s Krista Pärmäkoski pulled out a thrilling finishing-sprint victory over Norway’s Marit Bjørgen. After American Jessie Diggins led early in the first 2.5 k loop, Bjørgen set the tone from the front for most of...

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FIS Cross Country World Cup (Oslo, Norway): Women’s 30 k freestyle mass start last race of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea (a 30 k classic mass start), Bjørgen came from behind to win Sunday’s Holmenkollen 30 k and wasn’t able to let off too much before finish. She didn’t take the lead until less than a kilometer to go and put just enough time into her competition to take the win in 1:18:12.4...

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The NorAm series moved west to Red Deer, Alberta, for Western Canadian Championships last week from Friday, Jan. 19 to Sunday, Jan. 21, with freestyle sprints, classic mass starts and relays at the River Bend Recreation Area trails. Each year, the NorAm circuit features both ‘Westerns’ and ‘Easterns’, which are intended to be regional championships so that the younger athletes have the opportunity to experience high-level racing closer to home. Easterns has been hosted by...

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FIS Cross Country World Cup (Planica, Slovenia): 10/15 k classic Men’s report Just when it looked like one of those Charlotte-Kalla days, Finland’s Krista Pärmäkoski swooped in and topped the Swede’s time by 3.6 seconds in the women’s 10-kilometer classic individual start on Sunday for her first-career outright World Cup win. Outright meaning non-stage; Pärmäkoski has two World Cup wins to her name for setting the fastest time of day in 2016 pursuit races. But...

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Western Canadian Championships (Red Deer, Alberta): 10/15 k classic mass starts On Day 2 of the NorAm Western Canadian Championships in Red Deer, Andy Shields of Lappe Nordic won the men’s 15-kilometer classic mass start and Annika Hicks of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) topped the women’s 10 k classic mass start. Shields won the open men’s race by 9.4 seconds in 40:14.4, while Russell Kennedy (Team R.A.D.) placed second for the second-straight day....

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IBU World Cup (Antholz, Italy): Men’s 10 k sprint One prone penalty wasn’t enough to keep Johannes Thingnes Bø from his third-straight victory (and ninth this season, including relays) as the 24-year-old Norwegian won the men’s 10-kilometer sprint on Friday at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup in Antholz, Italy. Bø started 42nd of 109 men and had to navigate tricky wind conditions, along with the rest of the field. After missing one target...

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The third NorAm of the season in Mont Sainte-Anne (MSA), Québec, was also a Canadian selection event for next month’s Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, as well as Junior and U23 World Championships, which start later this month in Goms, Switzerland. The original schedule of racing from Saturday, Jan. 6, to Tuesday, Jan. 9, with a backup race day on Wednesday had to be modified when Saturday and Sunday were colder than International Ski Federation...

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NorAm Trials (Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec): Freestyle sprint The Mont Sainte-Anne (MSA) NorAm weekend continued Tuesday with freestyle sprints, which counted toward Junior and U23 World Championships team selection only. In the women’s 1.3-kilometer sprint, Dahria Beatty, of the Canadian World Cup Team and Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA), won every heat to take her second win of the MSA NorAm, after winning Monday’s skiathlon winner, Browne, of the national U25 Team and Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre (CNEPH),...

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Cross Country Canada’s Olympic selection trials begin on Friday (a number of cross-country skiers already qualified for the 2018 Games in PyeongChang, South Korea: Alex Harvey, Len Valjas, Devon Kershaw, Knute Johnsgaard, Jesse Cockney, Graeme Killick, Emily Nishikawa, and Dahria Beatty. But in fact, that might be too many. Cross Country Canada (CCC) learned that they currently stand to receive a quota of nine team members (men and women combined) for PyeongChang, based on Canada’s...

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It’s been a week or two since the last NorAm of Canada’s Continental Cup series (10 days to be precise), but without further ado, here are the quotes from the winners and top finishers. To recap, the American husband-and-wife combo Brian and Caitlin Gregg came to Rossland, British Columbia, and dominated the three-day mini tour, with Caitlin winning all three races (a freestyle sprint and 10 k classic and men’s sprint on his home trails...

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NorAm mini tour (Rossland, B.C.): 10/15 k freestyle pursuits Team Gregg ended the Rossland NorAm mini tour with another double win, with American Caitlin Gregg and her husband Brian Gregg winning the 10- and 15-kilometer freestyle pursuits, respectively, at the Black Jack Ski Club trails. Caitlin capped the long weekend with her third-straight win, a 48.28-second victory over former Canadian biathlete Zina Kocher (Foothills Nordic). Caitlin started first and was first across the finish in 29:02.86,...

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NorAm Mini Tour (Rossland, B.C.): Freestyle sprints On Day 2 of NorAm racing in Rossland, British Columbia, Julien Locke, of the Black Jack Ski Club and Canadian National U25 Team, won the men’s 1.4-kilometer freestyle sprint final on his home trails by just one-hundredth of a second over Evan Palmer-Charrette, of the National Team Development Centre (NTDC) Thunder Bay, in 2:38.13. NTDC Thunder Bay had two on the podium with Julian Smith in third, 0.4...

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  VERNON, British Columbia — For the second consecutive year, the Sovereign Lake NorAm was combined with the SuperTour for an expanded field of racers. The warm, sunny, and windless conditions on both days were a welcome change from the previous season’s cold weather and falling snow. What didn’t change was the ‘south of the border’ feel to the leaderboard. The race formats were similar to that of the Davos World Cup, just nine time...

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NorAm/SuperTour (Sovereign Lake near Vernon, British Columbia): 10/15 k freestyle VERNON, B.C. — The combined NorAm and SuperTour event at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre continued with individual-start distance races and continued with the theme of U.S. domination of the leaderboard. Ian Torchia, of Northern Michigan University (NMU) and the U.S. Ski Team D-team, started the day with a big victory in the men’s 15 k freestyle, finishing in 36:29.7 minutes and on the heels...

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“I’m un-retiring for six months,” 34-year-old Zina Kocher said with a laugh on the phone earlier this week.  Kocher, who lives in Canmore, Alberta, announced via Instagram on Oct. 2 that she was returning to elite-level racing with the one-and-done hope of making the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. As she referenced in her social-media post, Kocher’s return to the trails will be “4k” (kilograms) lighter — her current run at the Olympics...

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Few nordic ski racing and biathlon venues are as awe-inspiring as the Canmore Nordic Centre in Alberta, Canada. Just south of the venue, amidst the geologic upheaval that is the Canadian Rockies, punches the Zina Kocher, a three-time Canadian Olympic biathlete, fostered a deep connection to Boruta as she emerged onto the Canadian biathlon radar. Kocher told FasterSkier on the phone that she qualified for the national championships in 12th grade at age 17. To...

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CANMORE, Alberta — Canadian Nationals went to Canmore for 2017 and Canmore delivered. Famous for challenging courses, well-trained volunteers, and erratic weather; the Canmore Nordic Centre showed all three at their best during the eight-day event. Each day delivered warm sun, cold winds, snow flurries, and warm winds (often all occurring in a single race lap) to more than 600 racers. The first races each morning were held on fast, transformed snow that transitioned to slow and soft in the afternoon. While...