Two weeks at the world nordic ski championships in Austria meant a lot of people met, a lot of stories seen and heard, and a lot of photos taken, from the ski jumper, above, flying toward the Alps, to the Seekirchl (church by the lake) in Seefeld by moonlight, below, to all the faces of nordic ski sport. Click here for the gigantic gallery, if you dare. When you get to the gallery, mouse over and click the images on the right-hand side arrow to speed up the slide show. Or just relax with a cup of something and let the show run. This is a lot of photos, but it’s the just the tip of the snowberg.
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Category Archives: cross country ski racing
The 2019 FIS world nordic championships are history. More than 100,000 tickets were sold during the two-week competition in Seefeld, Austria—about 12,000 on the busiest days, according to the organizers. Norwegians, like the fan above, were definitely smiling: They won 25 medals, more by far than any other nation. The Austrian organizers should have been happy with the way the events ran, but undoubtedly they were crushed when a full-blown blood-doping scandal erupted, complete with the arrests by German and Austrian police of several athletes, including two Austrian skiers.
Below, a turn during the 50-K race (that’s more than 30 miles on skis), the final event. Below that, Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby leaving the medal area with his son after the 50-k medals were presented. Sundby finished fourth by a fraction of an inch, but it didn’t seem to prevent him from enjoying the festivities or prevent his son from high-fiving Norwegian Sjur Rothe, who beat Sundby for the bronze. Below that, two Swedish wax testers — who hold hands to make sure they both reach the same velocity on a downhill, then let go and see who goes the farthest/fastest. And finally, I suppose all event mascots are entitled to feel a little down when their event is over. The Seefeld mascot, Snowie, bottom, did seem a bit lonely as things wound down. I’ll post a gallery from the events when I get back home next week.
It was this hot during the women’s 4 x 5-K relay at the world nordic ski championships in Seefeld, Austria, yesterday: So hot — temperatures well into the 50s and skiers fighting through slushy, slow snow — that Therese Johaug, top, Norway’s number one skier, collapsed into an instant on-snow cooldown at the finish line. She (and Norway) finished second. Jessie Diggins, the top US skier, below, cut the legs off her race suit and rolled down her striped red, white and blue relay socks. The US was fifth. Full race recap at FastSkier.com.
Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, Ebba Andersson, Charlotte Kalla and Anna Haag faced the cameras after winning the silver medal in the relay at the 2017 Nordic World Championships.
I really appreciate the recent article the Faster Skier web site did on some of my work covering the nordic ski racing scene. Above, one of the photos from the article, taken in Lahti, Finland, in 2017. You can reach the Faster Skier article by clicking here.
And I was happy that some of the photos of the Chaloux Brothers firewood business that I published in the blog back in July are in the Autumn issue of Northern Woodlands, below. The Chalouxs are great people and hard workers in a tough business. I photographed them and their firewood operation over the course of several months. Northern Woodlands is an excellent magazine focusing on the forest ecology and economy of the Northeast. Click here for my original gallery of the Chalouxs at work. Click here for a link to the Northern Woodlands article. And subscribe or buy the magazine.
The 2018 Super Tour finals brought nordic skiers from across the country to the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center for five days of racing last week. Panning (moving the camera with the action while it is set at a slow shutter speed) is often a matter of luck, and I lucked out on the above photo of the lead pack in the men’s 50-k freestyle race starting down a gradual hill. Below, the 50-K start, a skier at the finish, and young racers in the club relay held after the Super Tour relay. Bottom, America’s Olympic cross country ski medalists: left and right, Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (gold, PyeongChang, 2018); center, Bill Koch (silver, Seefeld, 1976). Click here for a gallery of all the events. Use the right arrow to speed up viewing.
If cross country ski racing is a niche sport, then ski orienteering is a niche within a niche. It involves racing on cross-country skis and finding your way to a series of checkpoints scattered around the woods on trails you have never seen before, using a map you only receive 15 seconds before the race starts. It means getting around the route as fast as you can and still hitting the checkpoints in the right order. You can ski, run or walk and take any route you want. In the week-long International Orienteering Federation races at Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center last week, competitors from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Estonia, Bulgaria, the US and Canada, among other nations, flew down wide XC trails and narrow, bumpy snowshoe paths. Often they just made their own trails, taking off through the trees. It is impressive to watch a skier speeding downhill while reading a map. Above, the eventual middle distance winner, Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson. Below, a checkpoint crash, a Swiss racer reading while driving, and a near crash when two racers arrived at a checkpoint at the same time. It was also the world masters championships, so there were older competitors (bottom). You can see a full gallery by clicking here. Click on a photo and use the arrows to see the images faster than the slide show runs.
US cross country ski team member Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minnesota) leads up the hill above the stadium in Lahti, Finland, in a photo I took at last year’s World Nordic Ski Championships. It’s the cover of the newest issue of Cross Country Skier magazine. Diggins won her first World Cup race of the year today and will be headed to PyeongChang, South Korea, in a few weeks for the Winter Olympics. Click here for info on the magazine and, if you’re a skier, subscribe!
Kaitlynn Miller (Elmore, VT) and Kelsey Phinney (Sun Valley, Idaho) hug after Miller won the SuperTour sprint race in Craftsbury, VT, Friday. Earlier in the week, Miller was named to the US Olympic team along with six other cross-country or biathlon skiers from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project. Below, the sartorial splendor of Jack Schrupp of the Williams College Purple Cows; Forrest Mahlen (Alaska Pacific University), the winner of the men’s race; and Miller, all in the sprint qualifier.
If you happen to get to the Craftsbury, VT, Outdoor Center any time this winter, take a look at the photos in the touring center (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, all winter). I have an exhibit of 22 16-x-24-inch color prints from some of the racing coverage I did in 2016 and 2017. The photos range from local racers in New England Nordic Ski Association races at Craftsbury to skiers at the world championships last February and March in Lahti, Finland. I tried to capture the action, color and beauty of gliding on snow as well as the emotional and personal side of the sport. Above, the Canadian Women’s relay team after a strong finish in Lahti. Below, US Paralympic sit-skier Andy Soule prepares for a race; Norway’s Marit Bjorgen celebrates after her team won the women’s world championship relay; and Chris Young of Jay, VT, helps his son, Jack, with pole straps before a NENSA race at Craftsbury.
Click here for more information from the Craftsbury web site.
That’s a mouthful, but biathlon is cross country ski racing and stopping periodically to shoot at targets with a very sophisticated rifle. If you do it in the summer, it’s roller ski biathlon. Skiers from across the US and Canada came to the National Guard firing range and roller ski track in Underhill, VT, over the weekend to compete. Click here for a gallery. Use the right click arrow to speed up the slideshow. Click here for an article about the event.