Marty Hall was the first full-time paid US Cross Country Ski Coach and a true pioneer and innovator. Marty coached for the US Ski Team from 1970 through 1978 and for Cross Country Canada from 1981 through 1992. Most notably from my perspective are the many innovations and solutions that Marty found to common problems leading to breakthroughs in training and technology. This is a problem solver and man of action who changed the landscape of Nordic ski racing. If you want to be inspired by an animated interview full of great stories and by a uniquely capable person not afraid to share his opinions and ideas, this is your great opportunity. I present to you the iconic Marty Hall.
After 35 years of coaching the Northern Michigan University ski Nordic ski team, Sten Fjeldheim retired in the spring of 2021. Wining 4 NCAA Nordic Ski Team National titles, coaching 12 skiers who represented the US in the Olympic games, and guiding 7 NCAA individual champions since NMU joined the NCAA in 1993 is amazing and impressive. So is being named the United States Ski Association coach of the year 6 times and being awarded over 30 times some type of coach of the year award. However, to me, none of these accolades capture why Sten is a true legend. His athletes and community revere him not only for amazing achievement but also for the profound change he has made in them.
This interview was so wonderful to do. I'm sure that any passionate Nordic skier would regard it as the treasure that it is and would enjoy every minute of it.
Dani Aravich is on the US Paralympic team for Nordic skiing and Biathlon. She was a member of the US Paralympic team this past summer in Tokyo in track and field. Her goal is to compete in the Paralympic games this winter in China.
We spoke about any differences there might be for a paralympic athlete compared to an able-bodied athlete, any technique adjustments that she might make or consider as a para-athlete, and a bit about the program and coaches.
Nancy Fiddler came late to elite ski racing having had started skiing in college. Her world cup career started when she was 31 years old. Despite this Nancy won 14 US National Championship titles. She participated in both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic games. At the 1991 World Championships she finished 15th place. Nancy also coached and worked in the ski industry at Mammoth Mountain. Recently Nancy in a collaboration with others finished the book Trail to Gold which tells the story of the US Female Olympic Nordic ski racers.
The interview exposes how things were in the US and elite ski scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Nancy also gives her thoughts on many topics and some really valuable advice at the end. I think this is an important interview with an amazing athlete and person. I hope you think so too.
Stefan Jung started working for Toko as the head chemist in January 2021. He is an avid telemark skier and also participates in other outdoor sports such as skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. The purpose of this interview is to introduce Stefan and give him the opportunity to explain about new Toko High Performance, Performance, and Natural Waxes. My opinion is that Stefan is the most important person in the company and I think that any passionate skier and anyone who waxes skis or snowboards will find this interview enlightening and highly interesting.
We discussed the new wax ingredients, a bit about application process, ECO friendliness vs Peformance, and also the currently developing fluorine free topcoats which are coming soon.
Sydney Palmer-Leger won both races at the 2021 NCAA championships as a freshman in college. Sydney is on the US Ski Team B Team and is the 6th ranked US distance skier. She is also a 5 time US Mountain Bike National Champion. Sydney is just 19 years old and skis for the University of Utah and Sun Valley SEF.
We talked about a wide range of topics. I'm sure listeners will find this an important and interesting interview.
Ben Odgen has 5 individual top 10 finishes at World Juniors as well as 2nd, 1st, and 1st in the Junior relay. Also 11th in 2021 U23 Classic sprint after finishing 3rd in the qualifier. Ben finished 17th in the 2021 World Championship Classic sprint. Clearly this is one of the most talented and capable young racers we have ever had. Ben is John Ogden’s son against whom I used to race and is the brother of Katharine who skis World Cups and Charlotte who is a promising young skier. Ben, 21, skis for Stratton and is a senior in college also skiing for UVM.
This interview has a lot of wisdom in it ranging from focusing on a total approach rather than a ski only approach and also how to keep things fun and light while in the pursuit of excellence.
JC Schoonmaker finished 26th in last winter’s World Championship Classic Sprint in Oberstdorf, Germany. His top World Cup results are 14th, 18th, and 18th. He was also 13th in World Juniors the Classic Sprint in 2020. JC is a US Ski Team A Team member and is from Tahoe City, CA and is just 21 years old.