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Wild Rumpus Sports
 

November Roundup: Big News! IBU World Cup Coming to Canmore and SoHo in 2019

— The International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup is coming to Canmore and Soldier Hollow in 2019, according to an IBU press release earlier this week. The IBU Executive Board met from Nov. 18-19 to decide upon, among other things, the 2018/2019 IBU World Cup calendar. Canmore, Alberta, will host World Cup races from Feb. 4-10, 2019, and Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah, will host the following week, Feb. 11-17 (the last World Cup before 2019 Biathlon World Championships in Östersund, Sweden, from March 7-17).

 

— Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has obtained a digital trove of information that could expand the revelations about Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. Since late October, the agency has been in possession of “an electronic file that was long considered a final piece of the puzzle revealing the contours of the doping system”, the Times wrote, and it came from a whistle-blower. Its information is expected to present more evidence against the Russians as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continues to investigate Russia, and decide how to penalize the nation’s sports federations, before the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. President Vladmir Putin has criticized the recent disciplinary decisions, calling them an American attempt to undermine Russia.

 

— Stina Nilsson of Sweden is on the list of prominent skiers who will likely skip the Tour de Ski in order to focus on the Olympics, according to Dagbladet. Nilsson said that she has Plan A, Plan B and Plan C and, as of late October, the Tour de Ski was not part of her Plan A. However, she hadn’t completely ruled out the possibility of starting at least one of the races in the multi-stage Tour. Her teammate, Charlotte Kalla has also said that she would be skipping the tour this year to prepare for the Olympics.

 

— With the FIS World Cup to opening Friday, Nov. 24, in Kuusamo, Finland, organizers were already expecting to host more nations than ever before. Athletes from 34 countries were expected, beating the previous record of 29, according to Inside the Games. For the first time, Iceland will be represented in cross-country and Turkey will make its debut in ski jumping.

 

— Norway’s Niklas Dyrhaug will not be racing the first FIS World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland, from Nov. 24-26 due to a lower-back injury. He damaged a disk in his lower back and needs to take more time to heal before he makes his return. As of Nov. 14, Dyrhaug planned to make his debut in Lillehammer, Norway, at the start of December. He finished eighth in the overall World Cup standings last year.

“Of course it is very boring and disappointing to miss the first weekends with competitions,” he told  Inside the Games. “The form has been very good this fall and I have been looking forward to getting started, but now I have to look forward to coming back as quickly as possible.”

 

— As of earlier this month, the 13 venues for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, were “99.7 percent” complete, according to the organizing committee as reported by Inside the Games. Among these venues, the Gangneung Oval, which will host speed skating, is now South Korea’s largest-ever structure with a total floor area of 37,846 square meters.

 

— Olympians can now be designated by name, much like a doctor would by a Ph.D., thanks to the World Olympians Association‘s OLY post-nominal letters initiative, which it unveiled at the 8th International Olympic Committee (IOC) International Athletes’ Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier this month. The first Olympian to receive these initials? IOC President Thomas Bach, an Olympic fencer from Germany. World Olympians Association (WOA) President Joël Bouzou, a former French athlete and World Champion of modern pentathlon, presented Bach’s certificate and encouraged other Olympians to sign up to use “OLY” after their names as well.

“By participating at an Olympic Games, Olympians have achieved something unique and for that, they must be recognized,” Bouzou said in a press release. “They are truly leaders and role models in society and as ambassadors of the Olympic Movement. That is why the OLY initiative is so important. Much like a doctor, a lawyer or a university professor, becoming an Olympian takes many years of hard work and requires a diverse range of skills. I believe this initiative will provide Olympians with the professional recognition they deserve.”

 

— The Visma Ski Classics has increased its overall prize money this season as well as added a new award, the Visma Skier of the Day. The prize money went from 200,000 Euros to 235,000 for the 2017/2018 season. The Vasaloppet awards the most money of the marathon series’ events, with 10,000 Euros for both the winning man and woman. The Visma Skier of the Day will be handed out to the most “offensive” (in other words, aggressive skier) in each event “if there are one”, according to a press release. “The goal is to create more action within the races and award the skiers who dare to step forward and take charge, even if it might not lead them to victory,” the release explained.

“We believe the extra prize money will add excitement to the upcoming ski tour,” Ski Classics CEO Øystein Moan said. “Visma Skier of the Day rewards the hard work of athletes who usually wouldn’t get any distinction, and will contribute to creating even more positive experiences between our brand, the skiers and the teams.”

 

— Team United Bakeries, which competes in the Ski Classics series, has changed its name. After 10 years, the team has officially changed its name to Team Koteng to reflect its new sponsor, Koteng Eiendom AS, according to a Ski Classics press release. The property management company is based in the team’s home of Trondheim, Norway. Team Koteng consists of John Kristian Dahl, Tore Bjørseth Berdal, Torleif Syrstad, Astrid Øyre Slind, Stian Holgaard, Masako Ishida and Team Director Bernhard Rønning.

 

— A 30-year veteran of the American Birkebeiner has compiled the results from every race since 1999. It is a database containing of 75,000 individual results. Jim Coors, a professor emeritus from the University of Wisconsin Madison, created this database in search of answers to questions, such as, how does age affect performance?

“Cross country skiing may be unique among endurance sports in that excellent performance can be extended well into the sixth decade and beyond,” Coors explained in an email to FasterSkier. “Other questions involve how classic and freestyle techniques compare historically, or whether relative performance of male and female skiers has changed over the years. There’s also the perennial question of whether wave assignments are done appropriately.”

The ‘Birkie Stats‘ website is free and accessible to anyone at http://xcskistats.info/

 

— Earlier this month at the historic New York City MarathonShalane Flanagan became the first American to win the race in 40 years. A few notable nordic skiers raced as well, with the Czech Republic’s Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová, who has primarily focused on marathons since the leadup to the 2016 Rio Olympics, finished in 36th overall in 2:29:41. Anja Gruber, a former University of Vermont skier and current assistant nordic coach at Montana State University, finished in a time of 2:51:11 for 474th overall, and Annie Pokorny, a former Middlebury and SMS T2 skier, finished in 3:44:27. Results

 

— Does the name Chummy Broomhall sound familiar? If so, send him a note on his 98th birthday.  Friends are requesting that cards be sent to the two-time Olympian and oldest living member of the Chisholm Ski Club in Rumford, Maine, who turns 98 on Dec. 3.

“Last year, the Chisholm Ski Club sponsored a card campaign for Chummy’s birthday and he received almost 150 cards! Let’s blow that number out of the water this year and start sending him birthday wishes now. Send cards to Wendell ‘Chummy’ Broomhall, c/o Maine Veterans’ Home, 477 High St., South Paris, ME 04281,” an article in the Sun Journal encouraged.

“Chummy donated 300 acres to the Chisholm Ski Club, used to create skiing facilities in the Rumford area after returning from World War II. These efforts culminated in the formation of Black Mountain of Maine, a ski resort that opened in 1962. The site has hosted numerous national cross-country skiing championships.”

 

— Ian Tovell and Alex Kochon

Sept./Early Oct. Roundup: National Champs, Snowmaking in Lake Placid; PyeongChang News

— This past weekend, American ski jumpers and nordic-combined skiers flew high over the Olympic Jumping Complex at Lake Placid, N.Y., for the 2017 U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships, part of the Flaming Leaves Festival, from Oct. 7-8. Lake Placid native Nina Lussi, captured national titles in both the women’s ski jumping and nordic combined events, besting her USA Women’s Ski Jumping teammates Nita Englund and Abby Ringquist (who placed second and third respectively) in the normal-hill ski jumping championships. Lussi notched the longest and third-longest jumps of the day with her distances of 94.5 and 88 meters. Just two women competed in the nordic-combined championships, where Lussi started 4 1/2 minutes ahead of Gabby Armstrong (also of USA Women’s Ski Jumping) based on their jumps. Lussi went on to hold off Armstrong by 2 minutes and 46 seconds for the win. Armstrong recently graduated from Lake Placid High School. “I feel relieved, honestly,”…

Aug 31 Roundup: Nygaard and Dahlqvist Top Alliansloppet, Durango Nordic Center Saved, WADA Committee Hoping for Change

-One of the major rollerski races of the summer is the Alliansloppet in Trollhättan, Sweden. Held last weekend, it is a 48 k classic race of three loops. On the men’s side, Andreas Nygaard took top honors in a sprint finish, one tenth of a second ahead of fellow Norwegian Torgeir Thygesen and three tenths before Sweden’s Karl-Johan Westberg. Maybe not surprising: Nygaard, of Team Santander, has won the Visma Ski Classics sprint title for the last two years. Petter Northug broke a pole tip and finished 26th. In the women’s race Sweden got revenge with Maja Dahlqvist beat out Maria Nordström by five seconds. Third place to the Katerina Smutna of the Czech Republic, the 2015 overall winner of the Ski Classics, and University of Utah alum Maria Gräfnings was fourth. Swiss-Canadian Heidi Widmer placed 17th, +9:47.9. -Just 23% of available tickets for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, have been sold. According to Inside The Games, this might be the lowest mark…

End-of-July Roundup: New Club Hires; NENSA’s Coach of the Year; Olympic Trials

— On July 17, the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) out of Lake Placid, N.Y., announced that Shane MacDowell would take the reins as new head cross-country ski coach on Sept. 1, 2017. Originally from Peru, Mass., MacDowell attended Burke Mountain Academy and raced for the University of New Hampshire. He most recently served as an assistant coach for the Northern Michigan University nordic team. According to outgoing cross-country coach Margaret Maher, who held the position for more than 11 years, she was “excited to see a fellow UNH Wildcat take over the NYSEF program and look forward to watching the athletes grow and excel to the best of their abilities,” she stated in a press release. Starting in September, Maher will transition to a full-time job as a registered nurse in orthopedics and sports medicine, while MacDowell will work alongside Maher in August to finish the summer training season.  …

July 2 Roundup: RUSADA Can Test Again; Rollerskiiing Record Attempt in UK

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) can now plan and coordinate its own testing based on a decision from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC). In a June 27 press release, WADA explained that allowing RUSADA to resume testing, under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), is an “important step forward” in the “roadmap toward compliance”, in the words of WADA President Sir Craig Reedie. WADA’s Foundation Board accepted the CRC’s recommendation on May 18 after both entities were convinced Russia had fulfilled its initial requirements in “rebuilding” its anti-doping program, according to Reedie. Those requirements included: Changing the RUSADA Statutes to require that the Chair and Vice Chair are secluded from the independent members of the RUSADA Board Providing the CRC with a RUSADA conflict of interest policy for approval Releasing all Athlete Biological Passport blood samples at the Russian Anti-doping Center…

June 9 Roundup: Ward Tapped as Biathlon Canada HP Director; John Bower Passes

– Biathlon Canada has a new high-performance director: women’s national-team coach Roddy Ward. The announcement was made on Biathlon Canada’s website, following the departure of Eric de Nys earlier this spring. “We are delighted to have Roddy in the role of High-Performance Director,” Biathlon Canada General Manager Andy Holmwood said, according to the press release. “He brings a strong understanding of biathlon at the international level combined with unique insight to the sport. We are confident both our development and high-performance programs will progress under his leadership.” A Canmore native, Ward previously competed in biathlon and earned a master’s in education with an emphasis on coaching from the University of Victoria. He has spent “the past several seasons” as a Biathlon Canada national-team coach and will continue to coach the women’s team “in a dual role through the 2018 Olympics”, according to the press release.   – On Tuesday, June 6, former nordic-combined athlete and U.S. Ski…

May 26 Roundup: CAS Date for Johaug, Chevalier Hit by Car, Russian Athletes May Miss Paralympics

– Therese Johaug has a date for her hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). A schedule published by CAS shows that Johaug is on the docket for June 6th. The Norwegian Olympic Committee suspended the Norwegian cross-country ski star for 13 months for testing positive for the steroid clostebol; the International Ski Federation (FIS) is appealing that decision, seeking a longer ban. – French biathlete Anais Chevalier, the bronze medalist in the World Championships sprint this past season, was hit by a car while training and has broken her collarbone. The 24-year-old will take about a month away from regular training to recover. “I’m angry, motorists, we are naked when we are cycling!!” she wrote on her Facebook page, according to a translation. “Thanks for not playing with our lives.” – The Visma Ski Classics long-distance race series has released its 2017-2018 competition schedule. Two of last year’s events have been…

May 18 Roundup: Britain Hires Norwegians, Northug News, Weng Runs for a Cause

-The British Nordic Team has announced the appointment of two Norwegian coaches, Hans Kristian Stadheim and Jostein Vinjerui. Stadheim joins the team as the distance coach. He was previously with marathon specialist Team Leaseplan in Norway, and before that coached the two-time Norwegian relay champions, Lyn Ski. “I want to help Great Britain to become a nation to be reckoned with in Cross Country – not only in the build up to Pyeongchang 2018, but also as we work towards Beijing 2022,” Stadheim said, according to Inside The Games. Vinjerui will be the sprint performance coach. He previously coached the Norwegian Ski Federation’s regional team, and already was working with a British athlete, Andrew Young. Vinjerui was the coach for the Icelandic national team for two seasons as well. “I am delighted to work with Hans Kristian to help develop the team towards PyeongChang and beyond, and also look to help them win…

May 4 Roundup: South Korean Team Shakeup; Lamy Chappuis Returns

— Four male cross-country skiers from South Korea were recently suspended from the national team after being caught drinking during the Asian Winter Games in February in Sapporo, Japan. The four athletes were banned for six months after being caught drinking at the Games and reportedly saying they drank two cans of beer, according to the Korea Herald. Wanting to send a message, the Korea Ski Association handed the four men six-month suspensions to discourage a similar incident from happening again at international competitions. The South Korean men’s national team is now down to two skiers, Kim Magnus and Cho Yong-jin, who did not take part in the drinking.The KSA decided not to renew three coaching contracts and will hire a new staff for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.   — Jason Lamy Chappuis is making a comeback after a year away from competing in nordic combined at the highest level, according to…

April 7 Roundup: Ski Tour Canada Wins; Weng Top Earner; Østberg Potentially Done?

-The 11th annual Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Prestige awards happened own March 21st in Ottawa, Canada according to a press release from Cross Country Canada. These awards recognize events from local to international championships and tournaments as well as honoring outstanding volunteers and organizations. Ski Tour Canada 2016 won the Canada Sport Event of the Year award. The tour consists of 12 days with the world’s best skiers coming from over 25 nations. It was part of the first World Cup Finals ever staged outside of Europe. By live streaming, the event it was able to reach an international audience of over 52 million viewers. The events were held in Gatineau, Montreal, and Quebec City, Quebec, and Canmore, Alberta. –Heidi Weng of Norway was the World Cup’s top earner with winnings of about $274,000 U.S. dollars according to News in English. Though Marit Bjørgen dominated the World Cup races she…