HomeCategory Interviews

Interviews with racers, coaches and other relevant individuals within the Nordic ski world.
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U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith. To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed...

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Elections at FIS Congresses are normally not the scene of political intrigues, particularly when there is only one candidate for President. Yet, in a surprise twist, a bloc of powerful ski nations walked out on FIS President Johan Eliasch’s uncontested election and voted out Dexter Paine, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard representative, as well as a FIS Vice President and Councilor. Prior to the vote for President on May 26th in Milan, Italy, Croatia’s representative...

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Since the opening of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1956 there have been 448 members inducted, only two of whom are female cross-country skiers. The Hall of Fame website states that, “the honored members voted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame represent the highest level of national achievement in America, featuring prominent athletes and snow sport builders whose accomplishments showcase American skiing and snowboarding.” The first woman cross-country...

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U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith. To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed...

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After eight years at the helm of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 team, head coach Pat O’Brien is in the process of taking a few steps back, passing the reins to Perry Thomas, who has spent the last five years as the assistant coach at the University of Vermont. Perhaps highlighting this transition and the sharing of responsibilities the two are in the process of navigating, FasterSkier connected with Thomas in mid-May while he...

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Part 1 of this story details Eliška’s experience coaching through pregnancy and the birth of her son. Keep reading to learn about the challenges she, like many women, experienced during the postpartum recovery process, and what it took to navigate year one of life on the road with baby Viggo. Expectation versus reality.  When preparing to interview Eliška Albrigtsen about her experience pairing NCAA coaching with new motherhood, I expected the challenges she faced during...

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On April 27th, Gus Schumacher and Jessie Diggins headed to Washington, D.C. with six other winter Olympians and Paralympians as members of the Protect Our Winters (POW) athlete alliance to advocate for progressive changes in climate policy. While Diggins has been partnered with POW for several years, Schumacher only recently came on board, making the trip his first experience lobbying for climate activism; it was also his first trip to the nation’s capital.   While in...

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With a cohort of some of the best U23 skiers in the country, the program is setting a trend for young American skiers pursuing international-level and college skiing simultaneously.   After the first day of this year’s NCAA Championships, held at Soldier Hollow, Utah, the team scoring was close. The familiar schools were all there, the University of Utah (UU) at the front, with the University of Colorado (CU), Denver University (DU), and the University...

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On April 13th, Rosie Brennan wrote in an Instagram post, “The world is constantly changing and I’m trying to move with it.” The post announced the launch of an online auction for a limited edition NFT, in partnership with the organizations Parity Now and VereNFT. The NFT, titled “Perseverance Trail”, was designed by artist Kerri Schiff and features a mountainous ski trail with a variety of images of Brennan racing in her Team USA suit....

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A look at what’s ahead for the Birkebeiner, and its former home at the Telemark Lodge. When I reached out to American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) Executive Director Ben Popp before Christmas to set-up an interview discussing the Birkie’s plans for the now-defunct Telemark Lodge property, he was already putting plans into action. An interview would have to wait until after the holidays, because that weekend ,the Birkie was hosting a SuperTour race which would...

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with Katharine Ogden, also commonly known as KO, can tell you that she is humorous, kind, and thoughtful – both in regard to others as well as in her own self-introspection. She is also a wicked good skier, proving herself both nationally and internationally in competition. Ogden recently shared that she was stepping away from professional skiing, having already experienced a range of career ups and downs...

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“So after the World Cup, Olympics, and NCAAs, is that it for you this season?” “Well…I think I’m going to race the Rikert Grand Prix this weekend.” (He won). I couldn’t have stumbled upon a more apt soundbite to describe Ben Ogden, and he offered it up ten seconds into our interview. Skiing for the US Ski Team and University of Vermont (UVM), Ogden is primed to write the next chapter in American men’s skiing...

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When reaching out to Sun Valley’s Annie Pokorny to learn more about her decision to become a technical delegate and her experience so far, it was also on the radar that Pokorny’s friend and former teammate Kelsey Phinney was also engaged in the process. As it turned out, Pokorny had been a leading influence in Phinney’s decision to become a TD herself.  Like Pokorny, Phinney is a 2016 graduate of Middlebury College, before continuing with...

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Skiing-wise, Ian Torchia has nearly done it all. And now, in life, he’s ready to do some more. In an Instagram post following the American Birkiebeiner, Torchia announced that he is retiring from professional skiing with his trademark blend of gratitude and humor, saying, “In the end I won’t remember the races won (a few) or lost (many more) but the lifelong bonds of teammates, the support of friends and family, and how special the...

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The role of a wax technician seems both secretive and extremely public. As spectators, we don’t see what happens on race day inside a wax truck or trailer. We aren’t privy to the tips and tricks that are employed to work magic on an athlete’s skis. Conversely, when the wax is off for a racer, that error is on full display for the public as we watch an athlete struggle through a race on skis...

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At the end of September, Madshus USA announced that they had hired Lina Hultin as the new Race and Service Manager. According to the press release, “Lina will work towards finding, developing, and retaining the most talented and influential Nordic athletes in every age category. She will also work closely with the rest of the Madshus team to develop, and execute, a club and coach program that supports the brand and its dealers throughout the...

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Perhaps the only downside of a love for cross country skiing is the general inability to slide on snow year-round, without significant travel. Consequently, those looking to keep the spirit (and specific strength) alive are bound to find themselves with a pair of wheels strapped to their feet during the snow-free months of the year. The frequency of this phenomenon exists on a spectrum.  For athletes training to race, rollerski sessions are an integral part...

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While no one would wish for the circumstances, a fall running of the Boston Marathon is perhaps a skier’s dream. The iconic foot race is on many a bucket list; however, the third Monday in April is early for those who spend the winter strapped to skinny skis rather than pounding pavement.  After cancelling the April, 2020, running in light of the descending COVID-19 pandemic, and deciding against an April date for the 2021 event,...

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This summer, the U.S. Ski Team announced that it had hired Greta Anderson as the new Development Team Coach. FasterSkier caught up with Anderson on the afternoon of the official announcement to delve deeper into her coaching philosophy, precise job description, and only sort of tongue-in-cheek plans for world domination. Anderson’s hire was widely praised by both current and former athletes. Here’s Luke Jager, who’s known Anderson for nearly a decade starting in Alaska junior...

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“She Showed Us What We Young Americans Can Achieve.”  This article was originally published in the Italian publication www.fondoitalia.it. This translated version, lightly edited for clarity, was shared with FasterSkier by the author.  If Hailey Swirbul can be considered the most successful American cross-country skier ever at junior level and last season was able to get her first World Cup podium  in Davos’ 10km classic, the “blame” or merit is — at least in part...