Home > Marcus Hellner, Petter Northug > Wake Me Up When September Ends

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I know, I know, I realize that the title might be a little pre-emptive and using the title of a Green Day superhit just oozes with cheese, but the title couldn’t be more fitting. The problem with being an avid fan of cross-country skiing is that (interesting) news in the off-season occurs about as often as a negative drug test coming out of Russia’s ski team last year. At the end of last season, I mentioned I would try to have one blog a month in the off-season just to round out what has happened on the monthly basis. As July rolled around, I began to realize that ski news in the summer is almost all filler, and very little killer.

The biggest news of the summer ironically had more to do with poker rather than skiing. It was the epically unsatisfying Las Vegas weekend showdown between Northug and Hellner. With such reputable sites such as Faster Skier, Ski Trax, and Norway’s Vi Menn (We Men in English, a little more racier than magazines Maxim and FHM, Juvenile and Junior skiers will love it) the hype that the event received, seemed like cross-country skiing was going to earn some publicity in North America media. How can it not? Something that might not be totally socially acceptably in the average American eye (grown men balancing on two objects that look like modified roller blades sans 2 wheels and dressed in pants that make skinny jeans look like your Sunday grey sweatpants) in Las Vegas should surely get at least some air time with local news sources as an interest piece…

Ney, I won’t go into the detail as you can read them on Faster Skier. When I first heard about this roller-ski race in Las Vegas being organized by Norway’s equivalent of Men’s Health?, I was a little optimistic when I thought it would garner a decent sized crowd, perhaps a couple hundred would’ve sufficed. Instead, the video of the race showed a lethargic, almost depressing image of very large empty parking lot with a handful of people and some traffic pylons and gates laid-out to border the 400m figure-eight loop.

I realize that you have to crawl before you can run, and therefore run. But if this was the turn out, not only cross-country skiing, but all nordic sports are going to be crawling for a long time in North America media. Convincing North America that cross-country skiing is cool will be harder than trying to convince the Pope that death metal should be played during the gospel on Sundays. Perhaps my view of the event is a little pessimistic, but how can you not be after the and then what actually proceeded. Oh ya, Hellner also made it to the second day of the WSOP while Northug made it into the money on the their day and ended up walking away with $21000USD.

On the North American front, the Canadian and American teams were down in New Zealand at the Waiorau Snow Farm for a 16 day camp to get some quality time on the snow. You can read all about it in all five blogs of the Canadian athletes who traveled there; Crawford, Kershaw, Harvey, Babikov and Kuhn to get a pretty vivid picture of what happened and whether they spent more hours training or play Monopoly. At the end of the camp there were some FIS sanctioned races which were summarized nicely over at SkiFaster.net.

In other news, the women’s talent pool continues to get decimated by the retiring of Nystad and Smigun-Vaehi. It’ll be very interesting to see how the women’s field plays out this year, but I’ll delve into that issue in a later blog post. On the men’s side, unfortunately Tore Ruud Hofstad has decided to end his career. Watching this guy skate was like porn for technique perfectionists. It was interesting to see a Norwegian be so good at the freestyle technique as they have stereotypically labelled as the classic guru’s of the world. I always like Hofstad, mainly because of how smooth his technique was, but also because before the Northug era, he was the man when it came to the anchor leg for the Norwegian relay team. I had the picture of him crossing the finish line on one ski holding the Norwegian flag at the Oberstdorf 2005 World Championship pinned up on my wall for a couple of years when I was younger as a source of inspiration. So, best of luck to him in the future and to bad that his career finished with a flicker instead of a bang.

If you want to see how the retired athletes fared, Joran at Statistical Skier had done a great job with career retrospectives, statistically speaking. Definitely check them out if you like numbers and trend patterns.

– Falun was awarded to 2015 World Championships.

– Roger Aa Djupvik (brother of Norwegian coach Morten Aa Djupvik) of Team Manpower got a frisbee in the eye during a game at a camp in Inderøy, Nord-Trøndelag in Norway and had to go to the hospital for the injury.

– Swix nows owns Toko almost creating a monopoly on wax and tools.

– Tomas Northug has followed in the footsteps of his brother and has signed with Fischer to be his equipment supplier.

So yes, news is slow over the past two months and for the large part, uninteresting, but the title of this post does earn some merit. Stay tuned to the NX Twitter account for the continuing stream of news bits all the way until the start of the season and beyond. Also, if you like what you read here and want to share it with others, you now can, just click on the Facebook/Twitter/StumbleUpon/Digg buttons to share Nordic Xplained with the world!

Til next time, enjoy the last days of summer.

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  1. cth
    September 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    About the Las Vegas race between Northug and Hellner, I think the organizers did an insufficient job promoting this event. Prior to this race taking place, I looked online (googled) but couldn’t find any detailed info (time/date/address) about this, at least in English. And I only knew about this event because I was reading this blog. If the organizers had spent more time/money promoting the race to the general public, I’m sure many more people would have showed up. At least I would have.

    Hope this will happen again next year, ‘cuz I’m definitely going. P.S. I don’t care about poker.

  2. Kieran
    August 31, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Solid blog man. I like it almost as much as I like the fact that you have Bwin Betting and Fantasy Nordic as two of your top ski sites.

    • September 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Kieran! I think the blogrolls goes in alphabetical order, but regardless, Bwin and Fantasy Nordic are imperative to my ski knowledge :).

  1. September 3, 2010 at 11:06 am

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