Nordic Nation: Four Birkies and the World Cup with Alayna Sonnesyn
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
1y ago
Alayna Sonnesyn clocks the 5th fastest time of ski during a 10k skate pursuit in Stage 4 of the 2023 Tour de Ski. (Photo: NordicFocus) In this episode, we talk with Alayna Sonnesyn (SMS T2), who is coming off of her fourth consecutive victory at the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin. But the path between these victories, especially over the last two seasons, has not been smooth or direct.  Alayna has had standout results on the SuperTour, but that has not directly translated into consistent results on the World Cup, leaving her navigating the tricky waters of being what is often ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Prioritizing mental health and rediscovering passion with Hailey Swirbul
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
1y ago
In this episode, we chat with Hailey Swirbul, who – at just 24 years old – has been competing at the top end of the sport for quite some time. A bronze medal in the 4 x 3.3k relay at the 2017 Junior World Championships in Soldier Hollow put Hailey – and relay teammates Julia Kern, Hannah Halvorsen, and Katherine Ogden – on the map in a big way in US Skiing. Hailey has gone on to spend the better part of the last four years racing on the World Cup, earning 48 World Cup starts and one individual podium in the 10k skate in Davos in 2020. She’s currently preparing for the upcoming World Champions ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Ben Ogden Breaks Through
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by FasterSkier
1y ago
Ben Ogden finds himself in the rough during the classic sprint semi final in Les Rousses, FRA. (Photo: NordicFocus) It’s been a minute! With the arrival of host Rachel Perkins’ second baby in July and a subsequent job shift, Nordic Nation has been on pause, but we are excited to relaunch now with the hope of producing these regularly over the coming months! Our first guest of 2023 is the one and only Ben Ogden, who’s had a standout season of racing on the World Cup. Ben has cracked into the semifinals in four sprint races, while posting breakthrough results in distance racing also, like a 6th ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Rebounding From Setbacks and Gaining Momentum with Julia Kern
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
Julia Kern leads the pack during the first leg of the 4 x 5 k mixed relay in Falun, SWE in March 2022. (Photo: NordicFocus) At 24-years-old, Julia Kern is quickly becoming a seasoned veteran in her 7th year on the U.S. Ski Team. However, her career trajectory has been stepwise, not exponential.  After making breakthroughs during the 2019-20 season, including her first World Cup podium in a skate sprint in Planica, Slovenia, she faced injuries and setbacks heading into the following season in 2020-2021, leaving her walking away from that season feeling disappointed in both her World Cup an ..read more
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Nordic Nation: 2022 SuperTour Champion Rosie Frankowski in Transition
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
Rosie Frankowski races a December 2019 skiathlon World Cup event in Lillehammer, NOR. (Photo: NordicFocus) The Olympic Dream.  Perhaps the opportunity to compete at the highest level of sport would not be as sought-after and revered were it not for the inherent scarcity of opportunities to achieve it. This year, only eight women and six men were able to represent the United States in cross-country skiing in Zhangjiakou, down from a total of twenty – 11 women, 9 men – who were selected for PyeongChang in 2018.  Among those who came up just shy was 30-year-old Rosie Frankowski, who has ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Greta Anderson’s 2021-2022 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Development Program Year in Review
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Development Team Coach Greta Anderson encourages athletes racing the men’s 30k distance race during the 2022 U.S. Cross Country Championships in Soldier Hollow. (Photo: Tobias Albrigtsen / @untraceableg) Last June, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the hiring of Greta Anderson as Development Team Coach, supporting Cross Country Program Manager Bryan Fish in “all aspects of leadership and logistics surrounding the U.S. Development Pathway, including National Training Group camps, U.S. Nationals and Junior/U23 World Championships, Europa Cup, select SuperTour and other na ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Cross-Country Program Director Chris Grover on Looking Back and Planning Ahead 
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
Celebration abounds following Jessie Diggins’ Olympic silver medal in the 30 k mass start skate in Zhangjiakou, CHN. U.S. Ski Team head coach Matt Whitcomb and cross-country program director Chris Grover wear orange hats near the top-right corner. (Photo: NordicFocus) I think we can all agree that the last two years have been a wild ride. For those at the helm of the cross-country program at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, added layers of COVID safety precautions and expensive testing have increased the otherwise mounting demands of preparing for an Olympic Games. There have been numerous domestic a ..read more
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Nordic Nation: Jessie Diggins — Eating Disorder Awareness, Media, and Why What to Say Matters
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
It’s likely that today’s guest needs no introduction. Over the last decade, she has steadily worked to become the most decorated American cross country skier in history. As she gained more recognition beyond the niche of cross country skiing, she began to use her platform to become an advocate for causes she felt passionately about, opening up about her own experience struggling with an eating disorder and working hard at recovery through the Emily Program, and also becoming an athlete ambassador for Protect Our Winters (POW) to advocate for policy changes to combat climate change. &nbs ..read more
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Nordic Nation: A Backcountry Ski Race on Skinny Skis – Simi Hamilton and Ben Koons Take Second at the 2022 Montane Grand Traverse
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
The 2021 Grand Traverse saw a magical full moon under clear skies and mild temperatures. (Photo: Jesse Levine / Crested Butte Nordic) Tucked deep into snowy valleys, the tiny iconic Colorado mountain towns of Aspen and Crested Butte are separated by a mere 40 miles by foot, but roughly 200 miles by car in the winter. Separating the two is the expanse of the rugged Elk Mountain range, which features six of Colorado’s 14’ers, peaks that reach above 14,000’.  Now meccas of outdoor recreation, the two towns were historically established as profitable coal and silver mining sites, following th ..read more
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Nordic Nation: A Discussion on the Media’s Portrayal of Endurance Athletes with Rosie Brennan, Corrine Malcolm, Brian Metzler, and Nat Herz
FasterSkier Podcast | Nordic Nation
by Rachel Perkins
2y ago
Though the FasterSkier team would select other highlights from the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, one of the most read articles we produced featured the responses of members of the ski community to a story published on February 8th by the New York Times, which included the following quote: “In a sport that has so many women with massive shoulders and thighs, Diggins looks like a sprite in her racing suit, and it’s not clear exactly where she gets her power. But the power is there, as she flies up hills, and comes off climactic turns with a burst. On the downhills, she tucks low and cuts through ..read more
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