December 5th, 2013
To get you in the spirit, how many nordic athletes can you spot? We found at least four…
Maybe we should come up with our own video … (“and FasterSkier interviewing me!”)No comments
December 4th, 2013
The innovator behind the Territorial Experimental Ski Training (T.E.S.T.) program in the Yukon Territory, Father Jean-Marie Mouchet died in Whitehorse on Monday night at the age of 96, CBC News reported.
Born in France in 1917, Mouchet started cross-country skiing at age 4 and developed a passion for it. Part of the French Resistance army during World War II, he survived a concentration camp and emigrated to Canada after the war, working at missions in Teslin and Watson Lake in Yukon. He ended up at Old Crow in northern Yukon where he lived for 25 years, skiing and teaching others to do the same.
At the time, he recognized that the way of life for people in northern Yukon was shifting away from a nomadic connection to the land.
“He also recognized that the fitness levels of northern people at that time, was on par with the levels of elite athletes,” according to the blog, Foxglove, Fireweed and Common Encounters.
In the 1960s, Mouchet established the T.E.S.T. program in Old Crow as a result, to provide the community with “more self-esteem and confidence, motivation and a tool for the rest of their lives in a complex and complicated world,” Mouchet reportedly said.
T.E.S.T. travelled to Inuvik and then to Whitehorse, where it developed a world-class training program for some of Canada’s top cross-country skiers. Two skiers from Old Crow and two more from Inuvik qualified for the Canadian National Ski Team and the Inuvik athletes went on to make the 1972 and 1976 Olympics.
After starting with Mouchet in 1965, Sharon and Shirley Firth became the first Aboriginal women to compete internationally as nordic skiers and raced at four consecutive Olympics in 1972, ’76, ’80, and ’84. On April 30, Shirley Firth died at 59 after battling cancer for a year and a half.
In 1993, Mouchet received the Order of Canada recognition for his half-century of dedication and work in the North. According to CBC News, he fell earlier this year and went to the hospital with a concussion.
“At his age it was pretty hard to recover from that, but you know up until last night his mind was quite there,” his nephew Philippe said. “He passed away knowing what was happening and fully aware of his last journey.”2 comments
December 4th, 2013
After sitting out the last part of the 2012/2013 season then declining a spot on the Canadian National Ski Team in April, Chandra Crawford was told she’d need to meet some markers to rejoin the World Cup Team in the leadup to the Olympics this winter.
Head coach Justin Wadsworth said she needed to finish in the top 12 between three FIS skate sprints in Sweden. She had three weekends to do so, and on the second on Nov. 30, she did so in Idre — placing third in the sprint final.
According to a Cross Country Canada (CCC) press release, “Chandra made a major stride towards making the Olympics by finishing 3rd in a Swedish Cup skating, sprint race in Idre, and therefore meeting the requalifying standard for a Canadian team position on the World Cup (top 12).”
After qualifying in sixth, 5.5 seconds behind Swedish qualifying-and-eventual winner Hanna Falk, Crawford took third in the final after Falk and Jennie Öberg, respectively. According to CCC, Crawford will likely stay in Ostersund, Sweden, this weekend instead of starting her World Cup season in Lillehammer, Norway, with the 10 k classic and 4 x 5 relay (Canada doesn’t have enough women to field a team).
“She will likely meet up with Dasha Gaiazova in Ostersund and then travel to Davos for the World Cups the following weekend,” CCC reports.No comments
December 2nd, 2013
If you are a World Cup ski racing fan, you may have noticed that video highlights on the International Ski Federation (FIS) are not viewable in the United States.
Clicking on a FIS video results in a message reading “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”
According to FIS Cross-Country Media Coordinator Jeff Ellis, the issue is on the YouTube side, “not a decision by FIS.”
Ellis wrote in an email that the videos have been geo-blocked by YouTube in both the United States and Germany, and that the issue “is being worked on.”
Anecdotally, it appears that the problem is relatively new, starting in the last few weeks.
December 1st, 2013
BEAVER CREEK, CO (Dec. 1) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is looking to elevate the reach of ski racing in America. EUROVISION, operated by the European Broadcast Union, and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) have sealed an agreement giving USSA the media rights to the 2015 and 2017 FIS Alpine and Nordic Ski World Championships, including the 2015 Alpine Ski World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
Under the deal, the USSA will manage rights distribution in the USA for major national networks, sports networks and other cable broadcasters, including exclusive multiplatform exploitation in the USA of these showcase FIS events, with rights for television, radio, online and mobile platforms. The joint venture is the first time a National Ski Association has entered into a broadcast partnership at this level with a global rightsholder like EUROVISION.
· EUROVISION, the global rights holder for the International Ski Federation’s Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships, announced a partnership with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association for the 2015 and 2017 domestic broadcast rights.
· Showcasing the partnership will be U.S. domestic broadcast rights to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek. The partnership is anticipated to be a key component of increasing domestic exposure for the Championships.
· The partnership with a National Ski Association is a first for a global rights holder like EUROVISION, but one that is expected to bring greater diversity in distribution. The USSA has long been engaged in broadcast production and distribution of its own U.S. World Cup and Grand Prix events, but this marks its first foray bringing international events to America.
· The investment in the World Championships rights is part of a broader strategy by the USSA to expand broadcast and digital coverage of ski racing worldwide into the U.S. market.
· As the domestic rights holder, the USSA will enter into subsequent partnerships with national and cable broadcasters, as well as digital media partners, to create an expanded content distribution network.
· The USSA’s goal is to create daily TV coverage on a blended network, along with live streaming and mobile distribution, for both Alpine and Nordic World Ski Championships.
· As a precursor to the agreement, EBU subsidiary Eurovision Production Coordination (EPC) managed production of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cups Beaver Creek as test events for the 2015 Alpine Ski World Championships, where the EPC will be the host broadcaster.
· The production test allowed the USSA to upgrade its production quality, offering a high definition broadcast for the first time.
· In addition to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek, the package also includes the 2015 Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden along with 2017 Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland and Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland.
Bill Marolt, President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
This innovative partnership between EUROVISION and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association is a game-changing move that will bring greater value to our fans and partners, including the International Ski Federation. Beginning with the 2015 World Championships right here in Vail/Beaver Creek, it will positively change the way we bring our sport to the public in America and set a new standard for how ski racing is viewed worldwide.
Michael Jaquet, Chief Marketing Officer, U.S. Ski an Snowboard Association
As the National Ski Association for skiing in America, we have a personal stake in the success of this partnership. We aim to bring our fans, and the public at large, a more extensive distribution package than ever before, using the platform of the FIS World Championships to bring more fans to ski racing.
While the cornerstone of our domestic distribution will be a strong national broadcast and cable partner, we are anxious to also carry coverage through live streaming, a mobile platform and more expansive news access across America.
Ingolfur Hannesson, Head of Sports Rights, Winter Sports, EUROVISION
We are pleased to move in this direction with the USSA, just to underline the flexibility of EUROVISION on the market where we aim to provide our clients with tailor-made services through a partnership approach. This is a win-win situation for all parties.
Gian Franco-Kasper, President, International Ski Federation
We are pleased that the USSA has taken the initiative to manage its domestic media rights for the FIS World Championships in 2015 and 2017 to capitalize on its strong team performances. The home 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek is an ideal opportunity to increase television exposure throughout the country.
Mike Imhof, Senior Vice President, Sales and Operations, Vail/Beaver Creek 2015
Elevating the sport of ski racing and skiing in general to a new level is one of our main objectives for 2015. The domestic broadcast rights aligning with our partner USSA allows us to shape and control our message to an unprecedented USA audience at this momentous event
EUROVISION, operated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), is the industry’s premier distributor and producer of top quality live sport and news, as well as entertainment, culture and music content. The EUROVISION satellite and fibre network is the largest and most reliable in the world directly plugged in to public service media everywhere. EUROVISION’s staff of experienced media professionals acquire and manage media rights on behalf of EBU Members, and provide network, transmission and events services to the broadcasting industry.No comments
November 27th, 2013
Peter Hale, a cross-country skiing institution unto himself, passed away two weeks ago. A memorial was held on Friday, November 22nd.
Below is the eulogy presented by Nat Brown.
We are all together today, whether physically present or not, to remember and celebrate our dear friend Peter and the shining spot he was in all our lives.
But having known and worked with Peter for 38 years, my automatic response is “Is Peter here yet?”
I somehow don’t expect him for another forty-five minutes or so…
Eric sent me an e-mail asking if I might have a few words to say about Peter. In the same e-mail was a letter from Marko Gracer, the Head Coach of the Slovene national team, in which he said, “I’m at the moment in Lillehamer on training camp, yes where we should be once again together, I’m sure also Peter would be with us on certain way…” And in the same mail, another friend, from the UK wrote. “I don’t believe Peter ‘is no more’, even though he’s finished his natural life… God is love. Insofar as any of us love, however imperfectly, we are held fast by God. I have no doubt (from what you’ve said) that Peter loved: his daughter, you, and… very many others. “
I had never thought of it quite that way, but Peter was gifted with a great capacity to love. He loved skiing, us, the little things that make life interesting but are so easy to pass over, good company, travel… He helped, he gave – there are so many stories of Peter loaning skis, or working late to install a new set of bindings for some young racer, or doing wax for someone skiing on a another brand of skis… Peter never stopped giving, any more than he ever stopped loving all the things that made his life so rich.
Oh, there were times when he’d fall asleep in a supermarket parking lot – he did it one time less than two miles from my house, when he was too tired to keep going. And we all know how much he loved paper work…
But at the middle, where it counts, Peter was filled with love. If you had known his parents, and if you know his sisters and brothers, you know it was a Hale characteristic. I was often envious of the riches Peter found all around him. It was a gift.
Let us hold onto Peter: that giving, that enjoyment, that love.
We are all so much richer for his passing through our lives.
I’m not sure if Peter is here yet – but I do know one thing: he’ll stay with us for the rest of our lives.1 comment
November 24th, 2013
Norwegian up-and-comer Sondre Turvoll Fossli churned out a veteran performance on Sunday, winning the men’s 1.4 k freestyle sprint final after dominating the qualifier, quarterfinal and semifinal.
Fossli, 20, won each of his heats and ultimately the final in 2:33, just one-tenth of a second faster than teammate Finn Hågen Krogh. Norway took the top four with Krogh in second, Eirik Brandsdal in third (+1.0), and Øystein Pettersen in fourth (+1.5). Germany’s Sebastian Eisenlauer placed fifth after qualifying in 23rd but finishing second in both his heats.
A lucky loser after placing fourth in a fast semifinal (behind Fossli, Krogh and Pettersen, respectively), Andy Newell of the U.S. Ski Team (USST) placed sixth in the final. Newell qualified in fourth and was third in his quarterfinal.
Also on the USST and Stratton Mountain School T2 Team (SMST2), Simi Hamilton placed 27th after qualifying in 15th and placing sixth in his quarterfinal. Torin Koos (Bridger Ski Foundation) missed qualifying for the heats by 0.39 seconds in 32nd. Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess (Bend Endurance Academy) tied for 54th, and Mikey Sinnott (Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation) was 71st.
Men’s 1.4 k freestyle sprint final
1. Sondre Turvoll Fossli (NOR) 2:33.0
2. Finn Hågen Krogh (NOR) +0.1
3. Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) +1.0
4. Oystein Pettersen (NOR) +1.5
5. Sebastian Eisenlauer (GER) +4.4
6. Andrew Newell (USST/SMST2) +4.6
November 24th, 2013
Kikkan Randall was in it for the long haul on Sunday, placing seventh in the 1.2. k freestyle sprint qualifier to easily make the heats at the final FIS race in Beitostølen, Norway. The U.S. Ski Team’s reigning World Cup sprint champion then took second (just tenths of a second behind the winners) in both her quarterfinal and semifinal before capturing the big win in the final.
Randall edged Slovenia’s Vesna Fabjan by 0.8 seconds for the victory, and another Slovenian Katja Visnar, took third, 2.3 seconds behind Randall’s winning time of 2:17.
Norway’s Marit Bjørgen did not make the podium, placing 12th in the qualifier and fourth in the final (+3.2). Qualifier winner Celine Brun-Lie ended up fifth (+3.8) after winning both her qualifier and semifinal, and a third Norwegian, Ingvild Østberg was sixth (+4.1).
Also on the U.S. Ski Team (USST), Ida Sargent (CGRP) placed 13th after qualifying in 13th and placing third in hear quarterfinal (behind Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla, who ended up seventh, and Mari Eide, who placed 10th). The U.S. took 17th through 19th with Jessie Diggins (SMST2), Sophie Caldwell (SMST2) and Sadie Bjornsen (APU), respectively. Diggins qualified in eighth, Caldwell ninth, and Bjornsen 14th.
Women’s 1.2 k freestyle sprint final
1. Kikkan Randall (USST/APU) 2:17.0
2. Vesna Fabjan (SLO) +0.8
3. Katja Visnar (SLO) +2.3
4. Marit Bjørgen (NOR) +3.2
5. Celine Brun-Lie (NOR) +3.8
6. Ingvild Østberg (NOR) +4.1
November 23rd, 2013
Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby won his second straight in Beitostølen, Norway, beating runner-up Anders Gløersen on Saturday in the men’s 15 k freestyle FIS race by nearly 34 seconds in 33:32.6.
“I [had] good race today,” Sundby told NRK, according to a translation. “I am particularly pleased [how] I managed between four and 11 kilometers. … I fell slightly down on last lap. It was heavy.”
Starting 126th of nearly 150 men, Sundby was fastest through the 5 and 10 k checkpoints. Gløersen improved from the fifth-fastest time at 10 k to finish second (+33.9), and a third Norwegian Sjur Røthe, rounded out the podium (+41.2). Norway continued to sweep the top six with John Kristian Dahl in fourth (+42.5), Finn Hågen Krogh in fifth (+45.7), and Chris Jespersen in sixth (+48.2).
One of the U.S. Ski Team’s strongest distance skiers, Noah Hoffman placed seventh (+49.0), up from 42nd in Friday’s 15 k classic. Another American and former Michigan Tech skier, Jesse Smith placed 122nd (+5:04.3)
Men’s 15 k free (top 7)
1 Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Roa IL 33:32,6
2 Anders Nøstdahl Gløersen, Rustad IL 33.9
3 Sjur Rothe, Voss IL 41.2
4 John Kristian Dahl, Strindheim IL / Team United Bakeries 42.5
5 Finn Hågen Krogh, Tverrelvdalen IL / Aurora City Ski Team 45.7
6 Chris Jespersen, Byåsen IL / Team United Bakeries 48.2
7. Noah Hoffman (USST/Team HomeGrown/SSCV)
November 23rd, 2013
On the second day of FIS racing in Bruksvallarna, Sweden, Charlotte Kalla capped Friday’s victory with another on Saturday, winning the 10 k freestyle race by 58.5 seconds over another Swede, Britta Johansson Norgren. Over a minute back from Kalla’s winning time of 24:34.3, France’s Coraline Hugue took third place (+1:04.5).
In the men’s 15 k free, Sweden’s Tiio Soederhielm robbed Calle Halfvarsson of his second-straight win with the fastest time of 33:47.4. Halfvarsson was 5.3 seconds back in second, and France’s Jean Marc Gaillard placed third (+12.4).
Teammates on the Canadian Para Nordic Team, Brian McKeever and Erik Carleton placed 36th and 59th, respectively, out of 125 male finishers.
Women’s 10 k free (top 5)
1. KALLA Charlotte SWE 24:34.3
2. JOHANSSON NORGREN Britta SWE 25:32.8
3. HUGUE Coraline FRA 25:38.8
4. BONER Seraina SUI 25:53.2
5. JEAN Aurore FRA 25:53.7
Complete women’s results
Men’s 15 k free (top 5)
1. SOEDERHIELM Tiio SWE 33:47.4
2. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE 33:52.7
3. GAILLARD Jean Marc FRA 33:59.8
4. RICHARDSSON Daniel SWE 34:02.7
5. SVANEBO Anders SWE 34:11.7