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At 24-years-old, Julia Kern is quickly becoming a seasoned veteran in her 7th year on the U.S. Ski Team. However, her career trajectory has been stepwise, not exponential.  After making breakthroughs during the 2019-20 season, including her first World Cup podium in a skate sprint in Planica, Slovenia, she faced injuries and setbacks heading into the following season in 2020-2021, leaving her walking away from that season feeling disappointed in both her World Cup and...

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The Olympic Dream.  Perhaps the opportunity to compete at the highest level of sport would not be as sought-after and revered were it not for the inherent scarcity of opportunities to achieve it. This year, only eight women and six men were able to represent the United States in cross-country skiing in Zhangjiakou, down from a total of twenty – 11 women, 9 men – who were selected for PyeongChang in 2018.  Among those who...

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Last June, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the hiring of Greta Anderson as Development Team Coach, supporting Cross Country Program Manager Bryan Fish in “all aspects of leadership and logistics surrounding the U.S. Development Pathway, including National Training Group camps, U.S. Nationals and Junior/U23 World Championships, Europa Cup, select SuperTour and other national-level competitions, as well as working on Coaches’ Education and Certification.” (Read an in-depth interview with Anderson following the announcement here.) As she...

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I think we can all agree that the last two years have been a wild ride. For those at the helm of the cross-country program at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, added layers of COVID safety precautions and expensive testing have increased the otherwise mounting demands of preparing for an Olympic Games. There have been numerous domestic and international competitions canceled, including a full season of SuperTour racing in 2020/2021, numerous World Cups canceled, and three...

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You’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the first episode of this season’s Devon Kershaw Show; we know. But it’s been a busy spring. This edition was recorded a couple of weeks ago, so apologies we’re not up to speed on all the latest developments, but we break down some retirements and other off-season news and we’ll be back soon with some discussion of equal distance racing and other news. You can email us...

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It’s likely that today’s guest needs no introduction. Over the last decade, she has steadily worked to become the most decorated American cross country skier in history. As she gained more recognition beyond the niche of cross country skiing, she began to use her platform to become an advocate for causes she felt passionately about, opening up about her own experience struggling with an eating disorder and working hard at recovery through the Emily Program,...

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Tucked deep into snowy valleys, the tiny iconic Colorado mountain towns of Aspen and Crested Butte are separated by a mere 40 miles by foot, but roughly 200 miles by car in the winter. Separating the two is the expanse of the rugged Elk Mountain range, which features six of Colorado’s 14’ers, peaks that reach above 14,000’.  Now meccas of outdoor recreation, the two towns were historically established as profitable coal and silver mining sites,...

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Though the FasterSkier team would select other highlights from the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, one of the most read articles we produced featured the responses of members of the ski community to a story published on February 8th by the New York Times, which included the following quote: “In a sport that has so many women with massive shoulders and thighs, Diggins looks like a sprite in her racing suit, and it’s not clear exactly...

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It was full sun and full gas in Falun, Sweden, for one last hurrah of World Cup racing. The three-day weekend brought us new formats, American podium performances (plural!) and any number of other highlights. Thanks for listening over the course of the World Cup tour — we’ll be back periodically during the off-season with interviews and updates. You can email us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We’ll catch up with a mailbag episode in the next few weeks.

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It doesn’t get much better than a weekend of full sun, epic skiing and meetings with the king of Norway. But that’s what we’ve got for you after another fun weekend of racing, at Oslo’s classic Holmenkollen venue. With help from Canadian retired Olympian Jess Cockney, we break down the 30 k and 50 k from Saturday and Sunday, touch on the COVID outbreak that’s hitting World Cup teams including the U.S. and take the...

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In this episode, we’ve got Chad Salmela and Kikkan Randall on to discuss the experience of calling the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games, live from a booth in Stamford, CT. The duo worked as cross country analysts, alongside long-time NBC play-by-play announcer Steve Schlanger. While Chad is a veteran in the role, this was Kikkan’s first Olympics inside the booth. During the call, Kikkan and Chad field a variety of questions on their experience –...

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There’s a war going on in Ukraine, and we touch on its impacts on the World Cup. But ski racing is also continuing, so we’re forging on, with respect for and acknowledgment of the tragedy that’s unfolding in Europe. For a few hours at least, on Thursday, the classic Drammen city sprint provided one heck of a distraction, and Devon and Nat are back to break down some performances for the ages by Norway’s Maiken...

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Has it really been a week since the Olympics already? The World Cup’s furious schedule forges on with more racing this weekend in Lahti, Finland. Special guest host, Finnish Olympic gold medalist Sami Jauhojaervi, joins us to break down those results and other Finnish highlights from this season. We also cover results from the World Junior Championships in the early part of the podcast, and finish with a brief discussion of how cross-country skiing is...

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What. A. Day. American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins scores another Olympic medal in Beijing, this time a silver, gutting out a strong race even though she was suffering from food poisoning. We break down the full 30 k freestyle race with Therese Johaug’s win and a furious chase for bronze. And we’re thrilled to welcome guest hosts Holly Brooks and Sadie Maubet (Bjornsen), the retired U.S. Olympians who joined us from Alaska. We’ll be back...

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This isn’t a spoiler, even if it spoiled some of the glory Saturday: Organizers shortened the Olympic men’s 50 k to a 28 k skate. People were mad; the athletes still raced and delivered a good show. We’ve got our own show here, featuring guest star Kris Freeman, the retired American Olympian. Alaska’s Scott Patterson threw down the best Olympic result for a U.S. man in nearly a half-century, too. We break that down, plus...

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We recently brought you a roundup of Olympic race suits from some more traditional nordic powers, focusing on those nations that had at least four men on site in Zhangjiakou and so were able to field a team in the men’s 4 x 10-kilometer relay. This article now turns its attention to athletes from some countries that you might not initially think of when you think of nordic skiing, as well as more traditional ski...

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FasterSkier previously surveyed the national-team uniforms from last year’s World Cup fashion season, starting with more traditional nordic powers (Norway, Russia, et al.) but also taking a look at some more outré ski countries (Brazil, Nigeria, Thailand). We didn’t run a comparable article at the start of this season, as there was relatively little change in most nations’ World Cup kit from last year to this year. But when the Olympics arrive, however, all bets...

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Wednesday’s Olympic team sprint offered another thrilling set of races at the venue in Zhangjiakou — we’re back to break down an epic performance by the German women, a critic-silencing race from Norway in the men’s event and a U.S. women’s result that left a medal just out of reach. Thanks to everyone for sending in questions and feedback — we’re trying to keep our heads above water on the homestretch here, but you can...

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The men’s 4 x 10 k relay itself lacked for drama, but fortunately there’s plenty going on in the Norwegian team for us to talk about. Devon and Nat are back to break down Russia’s convincing win in the relay, the most disappointing silver ever for Norway and a gold-like bronze for France. Send questions and feedback to devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We’ll be back Wednesday. Related reading: “Burmania”: Swedish xc skier’s snack-sampling video goes viral in China The...

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OMG that was awesome. Devon and Nat are back to break down an epic finish to the women’s Olympic relay, with some details on the Russian victory, the surprise German silver and Jonna Sundling helping to deliver a bronze for Sweden. Plus some notes on the Americans in sixth. Send questions and feedback to devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We’ll be back tomorrow.