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June 16 Roundup: Game of Thrones Quiz, USSA Membership, Sufferfest

– If you’re reeling from the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones like we are, maybe this will take your mind off the horrific death(s) of your favorite character(s). Stratton Mountain School T2 skier Annie Pokorny recently created a “Which Game of Thrones Team Would You Ski For?” quiz, and we’re obsessed. Take the quiz here to see if you’re part of the wealthy Lanister squad or a fiery Targaryen. Just remember, winter is coming…

– The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is rolling out a new membership format for the 2015/2016 season that the organization says will make its sports more affordable and accessible. Some changes include short-term membership availability, $15 entry-level memberships, and family caps of $400.

– USST’s Liz Stephen and Taylor Fletcher clocked the fastest raw times at the 2015 Sufferfest in Park City, Utah last week. The bike race, which features 3,000 feet of elevation gain over 8.8 miles, is no ordinary competition. Athletes are started at different times based two tests, the first a lactate threshold test on a stationary bike and the second a time trial bike ride up Royal Street at Deer Valley Resort. While Fletcher and Stephen clocked the fastest times in the 8.8 mile climb, their handicaps prevented them from catching eventual winner Eliza Outtrim, a retired member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. See full results here.

Park City to Bid for 2017 Junior/U23 World Championships

This is a developing story… (USSA press release) PARK CITY, UT (June 2, 2015) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is making a formal bid for the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) 2017 FIS Nordic Junior World Championships and FIS U23 World Cross Country Championships. The event will be awarded to a host city during annual FIS Calendar Conference meetings, taking place June 3-8 in Varna, Bulgaria. The USSA is putting forward a joint bid with Utah’s Olympic venues including the Utah Olympic Park in Park City and Soldier Hollow in Midway. The event also has the support of the Utah Sports Commission. The venues in the Park City and Heber City area have supported development and Olympic level athletes for well over a decade. Utilized during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, the Utah Olympic Park and the Soldier Hollow are consistently maintained and used for training and competitions…

June 2 Roundup: JN Slideshow, Bjørgen Snowed In, Nordic Conglomerate

  – While the 2014/2015 season is long gone, there’s nothing wrong with revisiting some of the season’s best moments. For many juniors those moments were from the 2015 Junior National Championships in Truckee, Calif. Mark Nadell of Macbeth Graphics captured the week’s action and recently created the official 2015 Junior National slideshow (see below). So whether you’re trying to relive the good times or motivate yourself for next year, take a look: – While most places in the Northern Hemisphere have little to no snow these days, Sognefjellet, Norway is not one of them. According to Langrenn.com, the high mountain pass was pummeled by a recent storm so severe that Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug were snowed in while training. – Tired of trying to navigate multiple foreign-language sites to get your international ski news? Ski-Lines.com thinks it can help. According to the site’s managers it is a “nordic news aggregator that links headlines from…

May 26 Roundup: Falun Profit, Russian Speedo, National Team Noms

– While it is becoming more frequent for large championship events to lose money, the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships bucked the trend this past winter. According to a recent press release, the event earned roughly 42 million Swedish Krona (SEK) or 4.96 million U.S. Dollars (USD). The Championships cost roughly 265.7 million SEK (31.36 million USD) and earned roughly 307.7 SEK (36.32 million USD), with the majority of the revenue coming from ticket sales. Organizers estimate the event sold 228,000 tickets and 281,600 spectators attended the two-week event. – Russian powerhouse Alexey Petukhov isn’t afraid to bare it all during his summer training as demonstrated by his Instagram account. An impressive show of muscles shows that the 2015 World Championships silver medalist in the team sprint is more than ready for another season of training and racing. A photo posted by Петухов Алексей (@petukhov83) on May 26, 2015 at…

May 19 Roundup: BBQ Ban, Club Certification, USSA Directors

– In the buildup to the pending 2022 Olympic host site decision set for July, Beijing has banned the use of suburban barbecuing. According to Reuters, the Chinese government blames barbecues for much of the smog that surrounds the city – a major concern for athletes and organizers. Barbecues were already banned in the city, and some critics say that it is instead factories in the area that contribute to the air quality, rather than the barbecues. PM2.5, the average levels of hazardous airborne particles, was measured at 85.9 micrograms per cubic meters in 2014, a four percent decrease from 2013. That is still far higher than the national air quality standard of 35 micrograms. – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) recently welcomed four new members to its board of directors. According to a USSA press release Dan Leever (Palm Beach, FL/ Vail, CO), Grete Eliassen (Salt Lake City),…

USSA Presents 2014/2015 Season Awards

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) presented its season awards in Park City, Utah Saturday May 16. Of the many honors bestowed upon clubs, coaches, and athletes there were several notable members of the nordic community who received recognition. Liz Stephen was awarded USSA Cross Country Athlete of the Year for her impressive performances throughout the season, while Bryan Fletcher was named USSA Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year. Matt Whitcomb and Jason Cork were awarded USSA International Cross Country Coach of the Year. Stratton Mountain School’s Sverre Caldwell was named USSA Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year. Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club was named USSA Cross Country Club of the Year. Kikkan Randall was recognized for her contribution to youth in sport with the Russell Wilder Award. Read the full USSA press release below. PARK CITY, UT – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) recognized accomplished athletes and leaders on Friday at…

May 5 Roundup: Hoffman Blog, Kowalczyk, 2021 WCH

  – Over the years Noah Hoffman‘s blog has received a considerable amount of attention from the nordic community. From his intricately detailed posts into his daily routine, to the behind-the-scenes photos of a pro-athlete (such as this starting area shot from World Championships), his blog has become a staple of the North American nordic community. According to a recent post however, Hoffman is planning on scaling back his blog to focus on other aspects of being a professional skier. Don’t worry — he still plans on blogging pictures with descriptions throughout the year, meaning there’s still a chance for those aiming to earn a mention on the famed blog. – While Justyna Kowalczyk didn’t have the season she hoped for in 2014/2015, the Polish skier is as determined as ever to be at the top of the results once again. This time, however, her season may look slightly different. According to Aftenposten, Kowalczyk…

April 28 Roundup: Finnish National Team, New Additions to Craftsbury, CXC

  A previous version of this post stated that Flanders was a skier at Northern Michigan University when in fact she competed for Michigan Tech.  – According to Kestävyysurheilu.fi, The Finnish National Team announced its members for the upcoming season in late April. Highlighted by skiers such as Anne Kyllönen, Kerttu Niskanen, Krista Pärmäkoski, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Matti Heikkinen, and Iivo Niskanen the Finns will look to find further success in the 2015/2016 season. See the full list below: National team Women / Sprint + normal tours: Society Anne Kyllönen Kainuu Hiihtoseura Mona-Liisa Malvalehto Kouvola Hiihtoseura Laura Mononen Hämeenlinna Hiihtoseura Kerttu Niskanen Vieremän Koitto Krista Pärmäkoski Ikaalisten Athletes Riitta-Liisa Roponen Oulu Hiihtoseura Aino-Kaisa Saarinen Lempäälän race Men / Sprint: Martti Jylhä Vuokatti Ski Team Kainuu Toni Ketelä IF Minken Juho Mikkonen Kuhmo-Ski Anssi Pentsinen Jämsänkosken Ilves Matias Strandvall IF Minken Men / distance: Ristomatti Hakola Jämin Tendon Matti Heikkinen Vantaa Hiihtoseura Perttu Hyvärinen Riistavesi…

Sverre Caldwell Named USSA Domestic Nordic Coach of the Year

(press release) Park City, Utah – Stratton Mountain School Nordic Program Director Sverre Caldwell has been named the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). This is the country’s highest coaching honor, and one that Sverre has won three times prior in 2009, 2003 and 2001. “I’m honored that USSA has named me Domestic Coach of the Year,” Caldwell said. “Our athletes have had a great year, and I’m proud to share in their success.” In the 2014-2015 season, the SMS Nordic Team and SMS T2 Team scored four top-10s at World Championships (including one silver medal), two top-10s at U23 World Championships, a sixth-place finish at World Juniors, and 14 of 21 team members qualified for Junior Nationals, and eight of these 14 earned All American status (top-10 or top-3 relay). At Junior Nationals, the SMS Nordic Team extended its streak…

April 23 Roundup: OTP, Winter Olympic Future, Northug Drama

– According to a press release from Cross Country Canada, the country’s high-performance athletes will receive more financial support in their quest for success through the Own the Podium program. The Canadian government committed to match up to $20 million over four years of private sector investment to support the next generation of athletes who are anywhere from five to eight years away from potential Olympic or Paralympic medals. The increased funding will allow for additional coaches, improve training opportunities, and give athletes increased resources to pursue their respective sports. – Will there always be a Winter Olympics? The writers at Vice Sports suggest that we shouldn’t take the world’s most competitive event in snow sports for granted. Due to climate change and a lack of water and precipitation they make the case that it will become harder and harder to pick a Winter Olympic venues that can and want to host the event….