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Athlete Blogs and Websites
By:  Sheila Kealey   (2007/05/31)


In North America, cross-country skiing doesn't get the media coverage it deserves, but the internet allows many us to stay in touch with the nordic scene. A fairly recent development is athlete blogs and websites. Many of them make for good reading, providing a personal perspective the day-to-day life of a full-time skier, and the nitty gritty details of the international racing scene. Checking these websites during the racing season is a great way to find the human story behind a race result, but if you're at all curious about how some national team skiers train and live, they're worth checking out any time.

The XC Ottawa links section lists these athlete websites, but here is a short summary to whet your appetite.


Perianne Jones (Team 2010) has been providing regular updates on her training and racing.  Last year she shared her experiences at team training camps, the Tour de Ski, and will make you feel lucky the next time you collect your ski bag after a flight (the airline lost hers for more than 3 months!). Always a good read.

Olympic gold medalist Chandra Crawford (Team 2008) updates us two to three times a month with great stories about her travels, racing, and training. Her positive have-fun attitude and commitment to women's cross-country skiing are evident in her posts.

You can follow Devon Kershaw's (Team 2008) training and racing on his new website. Considering his amazing progress on the international racing scene, it will be fun to read in his own words how he prepares for another undoubtedly successful season.

Dasha Gaiazova (Team 2010) wrote frequent updates throughout her 2006-07 ski season, often posting same day race reports, allowing readers to get an in depth view of the racing action. Let's hope she keeps up the momentum for her 2007-08 season.

Sprint specialist Sean Crooks (Team 2008) posts fairly regular updates on his racing and training on his fancy website. He currently describes getting back into high hours of training, and how he has a "sore body most days of the week" (somehow it's reassuring to hear that even the fastest get sore . . . ).


Wonder what it's like to train 20+ hours most weeks of the year, with freqent 5-hour workouts? Check out Kris Freeman's website, where his eloquent coach Zach Caldwell details his training, racing, and the reasons Kris thrives on this volume-based training.

Laura Valaas wins the award for the most consistent and frequent writing. With almost daily reports and pictures, she talks about her training, writes detailed and timely race reports, and shares whatever else is on her mind. Last year's readers could follow Laura's stellar season and progression as an athlete, where her sprinting abilities earned her a trip to the World Championships and spot on the US Ski team this year.

Keep up with US sprint star Kikkan Randall on her website, and you might get to read play-by-plays of some of her successful sprint races. The 2006-07 season saw Randall earning a third-place photo finish, which was a first podium for U.S. women in the history of the FIS World Cup circuit.

Besides skiing VERY fast, Andy Newell is also into making XC ski movies, as is reflected by his website. Although mainly dedicated to his movies, Andy also provides updates on his life and training.


North American XC skiers certainly aren't the only ones talking about their training and racing. Here's a sampling of athletes from other countries:

Australia: Paul Murray

Finland: Virpi Kuitunen

France: Vincent Vittoz

Germany: Claudia Kunzel

Itlay: Piettro Piller Cottrer

Interesting Reading. . .
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