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By Julia Kern
(Cambridge Sports Union/New England)
In the beginning of the summer, I headed up to Anchorage, AK to check out APU and train with them. I joined the APU Elite Team on the one and only Eagle Glacier! I have been once on Eagle Glacier before a few years back and was stoked to go again!
For those who have not been up on Eagle Glacier, this video gives a sneak peak on how AWESOME it is! I have to admit, it is not all sunshine all the time. The week we had up there was actually quite wintery with about 3 ft of new snow and complete white-outs, leading us into quite the adventures at times!
One thing is for sure, there is nothing better than skiing on snow in June with some of the fastest skiers out there and with Erik Flora doing it all. His passion and love for the sport clearly shows when he is coaching, grooming, and even building a jump for us in the middle of a white out!
Enjoy the video, feedback is greatly appreciated!
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By Julia Kern
(of the Cambridge Sports Union/New England)
In the beginning of the summer, I headed up to Anchorage, AK to check out APU and train with them. I joined the APU Elite Team on the one and only Eagle Glacier! I have been once on Eagle Glacier before a few years back and was stoked to go again!
For those who have not been up on Eagle Glacier, this video gives a sneak peak on how AWESOME it is! I have to admit, it is not all sunshine all the time. The week we had up there was actually quite wintery with about 3 ft of new snow and complete white-outs, leading us into quite the adventures at times!
One thing is for sure, there is nothing better than skiing on snow in June with some of the fastest skiers out there and with Erik Flora doing it all. His passion and love for the sport clearly shows when he is coaching, grooming, and even building a jump for us in the middle of a white out!
Enjoy the video, feedback is greatly appreciated!
1 comment

The 2014 Basin Peak Relay crew (Photo: Mark Nadell/MacBeth Grapics)

The 2014 Basin Peak Relay crew (Photo: Mark Nadell/MacBeth Grapics)

By Mark Nadell

Three years ago, in July, 2011 — one of the heaviest snow years in the history of the Sierra Nevada—Auburn Ski Club hosted the Independence Day Sprint Races on the trails of the Training Center at 7,200 feet elevation. This year, one of California’s driest, a group of diehard Nordic skiers needed to hike to over 9,000 feet on the crest of the Sierra to find a patch of snow suitable for a skate loop.

The brainchild of Far West Nordic’s Elite Team member Spencer Eusden, the north slopes of Basin Peak held just such a patch, and a group of Nordic skiers from Sugar Bowl Academy, Auburn Ski Club, and the Far West Nordic Summer College Training program made the long trek past the slopes of Castle Peak and onto the snow of the Basin Peak Sprint Relay course.

As with any proper Sprint race, the day started out with a preliminary race around the very short loop Eusden designed, with 8 teams of 2 comprising the relay. Then, heats of 2 teams each squared off against each other until a winner was crowned.

The A Final of the Sprint Relays went to the team of Eusden and Heather Mooney of Middlebury College, narrowly edging out the second place team consisting of Sam Zabell (Sugar Bowl Academy) and Lizzie Gill (University of New Hampshire).

Other athletes included Calvin Swomley, Britta Clark, Mac Groves, Erin Perryman, Shelby Aseltine, Blaine Ayotte, Kate Mulcahy, Hallie Grossman, Ryland Belisle, Aaron Deeter, and Brandon Herhusky.

For a complete gallery and video of the Basin Peak Sprint Relays, check out http://macbethgraphics.smugmug.com/Training/BASIN-PEAK-JULY-SKI-2014.

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(Press release)

Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club is sad to announce that Adam Kates is stepping down from his position as the club’s Head Coach. After 6 years in this role, Kates has decided to pursue a new career outside of coaching. Past President Martin Kaiser attributes much of Big Thunder’s growth and success to Kates. “Under Adam’s guidance, the club has developed an outstanding core of volunteer coaches as well as an excellent year-round training program that has allowed our athletes to compete at the highest levels. His passion and pursuit of excellence has been an example to our athletes both on and off the race course; his impact has been felt throughout our ski community.”

Reflecting on his experience as Big Thunder’s Head Coach, Kates “feels lucky to have worked with so many amazing athletes and so many people who are so passionate about skiing.”  Kates plans to remain in Thunder Bay and continue to be involved with the club. “Our club and our sport are my passion and both will remain such.  You will still see me on the trails and roads and will still hear me on the hills during races.”

“Moving forward”, Kates adds, “there will certainly be change, however I am extremely confident that the club structure is strong and that there are many quality people involved who will ensure that our program continues to thrive.” This sentiment was shared by Big Thunder’s President, Heikki Luoma: “While we are saddened about Adam’s departure, we are excited for him in his new opportunity and we wish him the best success in the future. Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club is committed to building on our past successes and we will continue to build our club’s offering of high quality cross-country ski training, coaching, and support activities to our members and athletes.”

Big Thunder’s Board of Directors has begun to implement a transition plan to ensure that the club’s athetes continue to receive coaching support while a permanent replacement is hired for the Head Coach position.

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(Press Release) 

PARK CITY, Utah (July 9) — Women’s Ski Jumping USA is excited to announce Melissa Brooke as the foundation’s new Executive Director.

Brooke, of Park City, Utah, will support the top-ranked Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team and the new Fly Girls Athlete Development Program as the foundation continues to grow and flourish thanks to the success and debut of women’s ski jumping in the Olympic Winter Games.

Melissa brings over 20 years of corporate communications, marketing and non-profit leadership experience to WSJ-USA. After spending the past few years as director of communications for a Fortune 500 company based in Baltimore, she recently returned to her western roots, now residing in Park City with her husband and two children.

“I am incredibly honored to help lead WSJ-USA into its next exciting chapter. This team has shown incredible tenacity and talent over the last several years, facing some pretty big obstacles on and off the hill while proving themselves as world-class athletes.” Brooke said. “Now we have the opportunity to expand our organization, providing determined young girls across the nation with the opportunity to soar to new heights.”

Brooke replaces Robbie Beck, of Park City, who was brought in two years ago to help lead WSJ-USA through the critical Olympic-debut period. Beck resigned in June and is working on new projects.

“Robbie has been invaluable to the organization and we’re grateful for her excellent service,” said Deedee Corradini, WSJ-USA president. “The next four years promise to be some of the most exciting in our team’s history and we’re thrilled to see Melissa take the reins and lead WSJ-USA into the future.”

Brooke and Alan Alborn, head coach and athletic program manager, will concentrate efforts on maintaining the excellent National Team program and growing the newly launched Fly Girls initiative, which aims to recruit more young girls into ski jumping, help identify and mentor rising stars in the sport, and continue to advocate for women in sports.

Brooke also will be working closely with existing sponsors and donors to the team as well as ramping up efforts to attract new supporters.

“We have one of the all-time most inspiring Olympic stories to share and we’re looking to align with companies and individuals who believe in our athletes and our values,” Brooke said.

WSJ-USA’s new chapter kicks off July 17 as part of the foundation’s gala from 6-9 pm at the Montage Deer Valley. For info and tickets, visit www.wsjusa.com.

“Our annual fundraiser is critical in the success of our athletes. We’ve already raised $25,000 online toward our overall event goal of $100,000, but to reach that we need the community to join us on July 17,” Brooke said.

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Holly Brooks reclaimed the top position in the 2014 Mount Marathon race on Friday, July 4. The annual fourth of July race, which consists of over 3,000 feet of elevation gain and loss in roughly 5 k, is one of the most popular running races in Alaska.

Brooks finished the Seward, Alaska race with a time 52 minutes and 49 seconds, holding off a charge from 2013 champion Christy Martin in the final stretch. The scene was all too familiar for Brooks who has been passed on the final stretch after previously leading twice in the six times she has participated in the race.

This year she was able to maintain her lead into the finish to reclaim her champion status which she also gained in 2012.

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The U.S. Olympic Committee has selected Alaska Pacific University Head Coach, Erik Flora, as the 2013 Coach of the Year. Flora has received several awards in the past, including the 2007-2008 USSA Domestic Development Coach award and the 2008-2009 USSA International Coach award. Flora is coach to to many successful APU athletes including U.S. Ski Team member Kikkan Randall, the first female World Cup gold medalist and the first female World Championship silver medalist in the history of U.S. cross country skiing.

(Press Release)

U.S. Olympic Committee Announces 2013 Coaches of the Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 2, 2014

U.S. Olympic Committee announces 2013 Coaches of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced its annual award recipients for 2013 national coaches of the year. On the Olympic side, Erik Flora (cross-country skiing; Anchorage, Alaska) was recognized as National Coach of the Year, while Adam Bleakney (Paralympic track & field; Champaign, Illinois) took home Paralympic National Coach of the Year honors. Additionally, Kathleen Johnston (triathlon; Nashville, Tennessee) was named Developmental Coach of the Year, Bienvenido “Benny” Roman (boxing; Brooklyn, New York) was selected Volunteer Coach of the Year and Gordon Uehling III (tennis; Alpine, New Jersey) took home the Doc Councilman Science Award.

“It’s an honor to recognize these coaches for their impact on countless athletes around the country,” said Alan Ashley, USOC chief of sport performance. “Their tireless efforts and dedication to helping athletes strive for excellence is an inspiration to all.”

National Governing Bodies selected their 2013 Coaches of the Year as part of the USOC Coach of the Year Recognition Program. Three national finalists in each category were selected by a panel of coaching and sport education professionals.

National Coach of the Year – Erik Flora

As head coach of the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club, Flora directed four cross-country athletes from the 13-member U.S. team that competed at the 2013 World Championships, including 2013 team sprint world champion Kikkan Randall. The win marked the first world championship gold medal in cross-country skiing for the U.S., and the first medal of any color in a team event. Under Flora’s guidance, Randall and Holly Brooks also led the U.S. women’s team to its first relay podium finish in world cup history, and Randall became the first American woman to finish in the top-three of the overall FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings. Flora also aided other top U.S. skiers to breakthrough results in 2013, including Sadie Bjorsen, Erik Bjornsen and overall SuperTour champion Rosie Brennan. For his success, he was recognized as the 2013 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Coach of the Year and the 2013 USSA International Cross-Country Coach of the Year.

Finalists:

Aimee Boorman – Gymnastics

Adam Soldati – Diving

Paralympic National Coach of the Year – Adam Bleakney

A four-time Paralympian, Bleakney helped U.S. athletes earn 13 medals at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France. As head coach for the University of Illinois wheelchair track & field program, Bleakney played a key role in developing world champions Tatyana McFadden and Raymond Martin. At the 2013 World Championships, McFadden led the U.S. medal haul with a historic six gold medals, while Martin – the 2013 USOC Paralympic SportsMan of the Year – became the first man to win five world titles. Overall, Bleakney coached nine athletes on the U.S. world team, including men’s 800-meter champion Josh George and women’s 200 bronze medalist Chelsea McClammer. Following the world championships, Bleakney aided McFadden in becoming the first to win the marathon grand slam with victories at 2013 London, Boston, Chicago and New York City marathons.

Finalists:

Angie Bengtsson – Table Tennis

Brett Wolf – Judo

Developmental Coach of the Year – Kathleen Johnston

Johnston led the Southeast Junior High Performance Triathlon Team to the 2013 USA Triathlon Developmental Team Championship title. Under her guidance, three athletes earned top-three finishes at the 2013 USAT Junior Elite National Championship, and two athletes finished in the top three of the 2013 USAT Junior Elite rankings. Johnston was named the U.S. head coach for the 2013 Pan American Triathlon Confederation Junior Championships and International Triathlon Union Junior Elite World Championships, as well as co-head coach for the USAT Junior Elite Women’s Camp. As the southeast regional athlete development coordinator for USAT, she also held clinics for coaches and parents in the Nashville area, launched the Southeast Junior Elite program and directed the Tennessee chapter of Team in Training.

Finalists:

Sue Phillips – Basketball

Jim White – Archery

Volunteer Coach of the Year – Bienvenido “Benny” Roman

After being selected by USA Boxing to serve as a training camp coach, Roman joined the coaching staff for the 2013 Continental Championships, women’s junior and youth world championships and the 2013 SportAccord World Combat Games, in which he aided American athletes to 26 medals (12 golds, five silvers, nine bronzes). In addition to his coaching role at the Atlas Cops N’ Kids gym in Brooklyn, New York, Roman aided Christina Cruz to a national title and Edgar Berlanga to silver medals at the 2013 Junior World Team Open and 2013 Junior National Championships

Finalists:

David Lee Moneypenny – Speedskating

Landon Powell – Baseball

National Doc Counsilman Science Award – Gordon Uehling III

Uehling was invited to speak at the 2013 International Tennis Federation World Coaching Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to present his advancements in balance control and slip-step technology. Using video analysis and CourtSense TV, Uehling trained more than 500 junior athletes each week at the CourtSense tennis school in New Jersey. The technology helped players improve their technique by using split-step light coupled with neuro- and biofeedback. His work was featured in the August 2013 issue of Men’s Journal and on the Tennis Channel, which highlighted his mentorship of Olympian Christine McHale. He is currently working with the U.S. Tennis Association to create a pilot program for PlaySight, a revolutionary technology that would allow coaches and players to make line calls.

Finalists:

Shane Domer – Speedskating

Larry Hodges – Table Tennis

All-Time USOC Coach of the Year Award Recipients

National Coach of the Year

The National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

1996 Tara VanDerveer, U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Coach

1997 Frank Carroll, Olympic figure skating coach of Michelle Kwan

1998 Ben Smith, U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey coach

1999 Chris Carmichael, Cycling Coach of Lance Armstrong

2000 Richard Quick, U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Team coach

2001-02 Pete del’Giudice, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2003 Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting National Team coach

2004 Mike Candrea, U.S. Softball Women’s National Team coach

2005 Eddie Reese, U.S. Men’s National Swimming Team coach

2006 Bud Keene, U.S. Snowboarding coach

2007 Guy Baker, U.S. National Water Polo Team coach

2008 Hugh McCutcheon, U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team coach

2009 Bob Bradley, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team coach

2010 Brian Shimer, U.S. men’s bobsled head coach

2011 Rick Bower, U.S. Halfpipe Snowboarding Team coach

2012 Adam Krikorian, U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team coach

2013 Erik Flora, Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Club head coach

Paralympic National Coach of the Year

The Paralympic National Coach of the Year is presented to a coach of an elite-level club, collegiate or national-level team, or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level of his/her sport.

2004 Mike Hulett, USA Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team coach

2005 Randi Smith, U.S. Paralympic Archery Team Head coach

2006 Julie O’Neill, U.S. Paralympic Swim Team head coach

2007 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Track coach

2008 Ken Armbruster, U.S. Paralympic Women’s Goalball head coach

2009 Scott Moore, Denver Judo coach

2010 Ray Watkins, 2010 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team coach

2011 Dave Denniston, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2012 Tom Franke, U.S. Paralympic Swimming head coach

2013 Adam Bleakney, U.S. Paralympic Track & Field coach

Developmental Coach of the Year

The Developmental Coach of the Year is presented to a coach at the youth club, high school or junior level, or a coach who is directly responsible for training athletes to reach the junior and/or elite level.

1996 Jeff Shaffer, University of Southern California

1997 Dianne Holum, Speedskating

1998 Mike Stafford, Millvale Golden Gloves Gym (Cincinnati)

1999 Tom Healy, Northbrook (Ill.) Speedskating Club

2000 Fred Zimny, Luge (Lake Placid, N.Y.)

2001-02 Mike Eaves, U.S. National Under-18 Hockey Team

2003 Bob Fraley, Fresno State (Calif.) University Track & Field

2004 Dwayne Miller, Norfolk (Va.) Real Deal Track Club

2005 Tammy Gambill, U.S. Figure Skating

2006 Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, U.S. Figure Skating

2007 Paul Yetter, USA Swimming

2008 Rajul Sheth, Table Tennis (Milpitas, Calif.)

2009 John Wingfield, Director and Head Coach of USA Diving National Training Center

2010 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2011 James Hrbek, USA Judo

2012 Michael Nyitray, United States Bowling Congress (Miami, Fla.)

2013 Kathleen Johnston, USA Triathlon

Volunteer Coach of the Year

The Volunteer Coach of the Year is presented to a coach who does not receive payment in any form for his/her involvement in coaching at any level.

2003 Carol Hardemon, Metro Dade (Fla.) Track Club

2004 Barry Hunter, Washington, D.C. Boxing coach

2005 Cindi Hart, IndySpeed Sport Club head coach (speedskating)

2006 Booker Woods, LA JETS head coach (track & field)

2007 Sherman Nelson, USA Taekwondo coach

2008 Rita Gladstone, Area Tennis League coordinator (Volusia County, Fla.)

2009 Brian McCutcheon, Oahu Taekwondo Center instructor

2010 Dave Farmer, Aurora (Colo.) Saracens Rugby Club coach

2011 Tom Waga, Brigham Young University Rugby coach

2012 Don Showalter, USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team coach

2013 Bienvenido “Benny” Roman, USA Boxing Training Camp coach

Doc Counsilman Science Award

The Doc Counsilman Science Award recognizes a coach who utilizes scientific techniques and equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods or has created innovative ways to use sport science.

2004 Joe Vigil, USA Track & Field

2005 Dr. Kyle Pierce, USA Weightlifting

2006 Kate Arbour, U.S. Figure Skating

2007 Sean O’Neill, U.S. Paralympics Table Tennis

2008 Dave Bennett, USA Wrestling

2009 Heidi Thibert, U.S. Figure Skating and Edora Pool and Ice Center coach

2010 Dr. Grant Schaffner, U.S. Bobsled & Skeleton Federation

2011 Neal Henderson, USA Cycling

2012 Doug Eng, U.S. Tennis Association

2013 Gordon Uehling III, U.S. Tennis Association

 

 

United States Olympic Committee

1 Olympic Plaza

Colorado Springs, CO 80909

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Cross Country Canada’s Board of Directors and provincial/territorial chairs elected Jamie Coatsworth president this weekend at the organization’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Canmore, Alberta.

In an email, Chris Dornan, who manages high-performance public relations for Cross Country Canada (CCC), confirmed the outcome of the election for the volunteer position, which is a two-year term.

Coatsworth was previously a board member and is currently the president of Nordic Insurance Consultants, Inc., in Toronto, according to his Linkedin profile.  He was nominated and elected in the same weekend following the recent resignation of previous president Richard Lemoine.

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By Todd Eastman, who placed third overall with his eight-man relay — Beavers Tree Service — in the 2014 Ski to Sea

I was set to volunteer at the ski leg at the Ski to Sea when a buddy called with a feeble voice declaring that his 102f fever meant he needs someone to race for him the next day at the Ski to Sea relay.  I had sworn off the event as I detest the training needed not to be a chump at this event that is stacked with World Cup skiers…

… I caved and our team consisting totally of booger eating locals (Beavers Tree Service) got 3rd overall for the first time and crushed our division.  As a terminal retro-grouch about silly events, I had to admit it was fun, but I plan on volunteering again next year as the race without training was somewhat uncomfortable!

The Start

The start of the 2014 Ski to Sea relay (Courtesy photo)

The start of the 2014 Ski to Sea relay (Photo: BellinghamHerald.com)

The rest of the story:

My friend and neighbor from right across the street is a fellow named Logan.  Logan is a pro mountain bike racer that skis well.  I had been up to the course the day before to show him some tricks and work on his technique.  We were chatting in his driveway when the sick friend called and in that feeble voice interspersed with horrible coughing asking for help.  I had sworn off this race and had rejected offers from many top teams saying I was done with the event, wanted nothing to do with racing in it, and should be considered officially retired, done, and stabbed with a fork… DONE WITH IT!  Logan heard this go down and was none too happy with the geezer across the street getting call out of retirement.  As Logan is in his mid-20s, I can fairly claim to be twice his age but also likely with half of the aerobic firepower.  The stage was set for the real battle of the day; who is the tough guy on the 2200 block of D Street in Bellingham.

Well there I was getting up at 3:30am, shoveling a “Wee Gillis” load of oatmeal down and being too much of a zombie to have any race anxiety.  The above pic features a fellow cleaning himself like a dog with worms…

The race played out in epic fashion as the battle of D St. was waged between the crafty geezer and the kid with the biggest motor in the state.  There were lead changes, there were stomach heaves without the technicolor yawn, and there were sneaky moves designed to crush the other’s spirit.

Early in the race, me in red hat, Logan with no hat behind to skier’s right:

Early in the race, me in red hat, Logan with no hat behind to skier's right (Photo: BellinghamHerald.com)

At the end of one of the meanest mass starts in North America is this little headwall.  I was told today that he was not sporting a smile but rather a signature grimace:

Todd Eastman

In the end I won the Battle of D St and ended up 11th and Logan 12th by maybe 5 seconds. We were “chicked” by Caitlin (5th) who had sported a tee shirt with the word “Chicked” on the back for the guys to ponder as she crushed.  She got screwed out of the Olympics this year though she was clearly the best distance skier in the US by a margin, some things never change, eh?

Caitlin Gregg in the 2014 Ski to Sea (Photo: Todd Eastman/BellinghamHerald.com)

Caitlin Gregg in the 2014 Ski to Sea (Photo: Todd Eastman/BellinghamHerald.com)

Not all teams were serious:

Ski to Sea 2014 by Todd EastmanNor were we too serious; fun was had, lots of skiing with friends after the race, beer sipped afterward, and me swearing, never again…

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The USSA Club Development Program recently named 10 ski and snowboard clubs as the first podium-certified clubs of its new club development program on May 14 at the annual USSA Club Excellence Conference in Park City, Utah. The recognized programs underwent a process the USSA described as a “rigorous self-study and peer review of best principles and practices for ski and snowboard clubs.” USSA High Performance staff and other leaders in the ski and snowboard club community reviewed each team as part of the certification process.

In addition to the 10 programs that have reached the podium level, four others are continuing the certification process while another 20 teams are scheduled to start the process in the 2014-2015 season.

Of the podium-level clubs, five are nordic programs: the Stratton Mountain School, New York Ski Education Foundation, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Burke Mountain Academy and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Most notably, the SMS team has produced recent Olympic cross country skiers like Sophie Caldwell, Jessie Diggins, Simi Hamilton, and Andy Newell, while other teams on the list such as SVSEF have created development teams centered on international success.

According to SVSEF’s Executive Director Rob Clayton the certification process has made for better programs and better development for U.S. skiers. “The resources available through club certification … to actually show some care down to the club level and give direction and professionalism and leadership in that regard to the overall institutional advancement of each club and organization is a really great service to be offered to us by USSA. To be a Best in the World club is to be a small part of the whole,” he said in a USSA press release.

Gold Level Clubs with nordic programs

Stratton Mountain School

New York Ski Education Foundation

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail

Burke Mountain Academy

Silver Level Clubs with nordic programs

Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

Complete list

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