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

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