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— In light of the approaching 2014 Sochi Games, Langrenn.com features a story this morning on the government-backed institution that is Russian skiing. The Russian men won the nation’s cup this year on the World Cup (6814 points to Norway’s 6034) thanks in large part to their strong sprint results, and Langrenn asks whether this can be seen as evidence of heightened preparation for the 2014 Games, where success seems to have significant political importance for its host country.

To read the [translated] article, click here.

— Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) has been training in on the glacier in Ramsau, Austria for the past week and says on her website that she has felt no ill effects from the knee surgery weh underwent in March. She has been training three hours every morning on the glacier and cross training in the afternoons, according to her coach Alexander Wierietielny.

— Among nearly 40,000 other participants in the Holmenkollstafetten on Saturday in Oslo, Norway were local skiing celebrities Marit Bjørgen, Therese Johaug and Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset. The running event claims to be the biggest relay in the world: it starts at Bislet stadium in the middle of Oslo, climbs uphill through the city to the Holmenkollen ski jump, and finishes back in the stadium for a total distance of 18.4 k. The relay has 15 legs of varying lengths; the shortest being 400 m and the longest 2800 m. The 2,727 teams that participated this year was a record for event organizers.

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