Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Made it to Denver!

Minnesota wind farm

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The right people, the right places and the right time.

The final finish line.
My season could not have ended in a more exciting way as I crossed the finish line in the Mass Start competition in Oslo in March. Not only a personal best for myself, it was also a personal best for US Biathlon. I crossed the line with the truest satisfaction of reaching my highest potential in the final week, race and minutes of my season. I felt this so strongly because the Final World Cup in Oslo would also be the final World Cup of my biathlon career. For that, it is a moment and a place I will never forget.

Right time.
I started both the sport of skiing and biathlon because I was in the right place, had inspiring people around me and the right opportunities all at the right time. This is also one of those times. I have a great sense of completeness now that the season and my career is done. It is with that satisfaction and trust that I know it is the right time to move on and forward from my elite athletic career and on to new and challenging pursuits. 

I believe that my true athletic potential has yet to peak and that it would be realistic to set my sights on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. However, my priorities have changed and I truly believe in the next pursuits of personal excellence in other areas of life. I am looking forward to moving to Denver, Colorado, completing my bachelor’s degree at the University of Denver, getting married and continuing to ski. I am really excited to see how my connection to skiing and biathlon will manifest in new ways over the next few years. 

Thank You.

I have been ski racing for nearly 20 years, doing biathlon for the last 14, and could not have accomplished any of it without a massive support system that reaches as far as Europe and as close as home. I thank all of you for being a part of it! 

I know that I would not have had such a successful career had I not had such a deep and devoted support system of friends, family, ski clubs, ski teams, coaches, ski shops, bike shops, schools, mentors, community members, community parents, venue staff, school kids, teachers, business owners, historians, companies, organizations, doctors, printers, dogs, medical professionals, artists, philanthropists, newspapers, young skiers, old skiers and teammates - especially all of those locally in the Adirondacks and Aroostook County, Maine. Listing them all would be like listing the phone book. Having such a diverse group of mentors was key to keeping my biathlon career sustainable, and it is from these people that I have learned the greatest assets of respect, integrity, commitment, perseverance, determination, passion, listening, professionalism, compassion, quality and excellence. Even though my motivations are almost entirely intrinsic, these folks have had a profound affect that will last longer than a ski race and influence much of what I do throughout the rest of my life. 

Best Regards,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Champlain Bridge in progress!

April 29, 2011

Kind of a neat thing around here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

School Food Tour

Empowering students to advocate for healthier school meals. Powered by bicycle.

A lot of reasons can lead one to being interested in promoting active healthy lifestyles and healthy eating styles. For me being apart of the ski world is definitely one of them. 

And for many others, too - like a former biathlete, Sara Salo, who I competed with back in high school who is about to embark on a "6,000 mile bike tour that will advocate for healthier school meals and promote cycling for transportation and recreation."

Check out the website to see if she'll be riding through your neck of the woods, doing a class visit at your school, visiting your local farm or organizing a community ride. If you'd like to join her on her ride, either by bike, donation or support click here.

Plus there is lots more to read on her site about the tour, mission, and ideas about inspiring communities, schools and kids to create healthier learning environments.

Good luck Sara!

Found a little gem of a story from the caters at the Fort Kent Biathlon World Cup

Guiding Stars Blog - the author's hometown is Fort Kent, Maine and her career as a chef for the Guiding Stars nutrition program brought her back to the St. John Valley to head up the catering for the athlete's tent. At each world cup the organizing committee sets up a restaurant/cafeteria of good hot food and local specialities. It is great for the coaches and wax techs who spend all day at the venue, and for us it is usually a perfect place to grab a snack or meal after training or a race. Some venues are memorable - like the cappuccinos in Antholz - but Fort Kent was, hands down, the best. Awesome hot meals and sides that ranged from sweet potatoes to lasagna to lots of extra treats like a juicer, waffle maker, and baked goods.

I came across this blog because of an article on Ployes - which are native to the St. John Valley in the crown of Maine. The leading buckwheat farm is run by a great family up there, who upon seeing me said I could swing by to get my personal batch of ployes:).

"Recipe Riffs Episode 1: Your guide to finding stars in local food"

"Extreme Biathlon World Cup catering"

Bouchard Family Farm - you can order them here, too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

May 10 NYC Fundraiser for "The Next Generation of Olympians"

In NYC on May 10th? Check this event out:

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Thank You for Relief Donations"

(Photo courtesy of Detlef Ekert
During the races in Holmenkollen Itsuka Owada and Fuyuko Suzuki cheered on teammates and took advantage of international media coverage by taping, "Thank you for relief donations" in both English and Japanese to their team uniform.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan definitely had an effect on me while racing in Oslo the following week. I could not help thinking about the Japanese team and the loss and devastation that they soon would fly home to. I do not personally know the Japanese team that competes with us on the World Cup circuit, but my heart still goes out to them: Natsuko Abe, Naoko Azegami, Itsuka Owada, Fuyuko Suzuki, Saturo Abe, Kazuya inomta, Junji Nagai, Hidenori Isa and their staff. 

Once home, I had the opportunity to ski with the Lake Placid Elementary School's gym classes, and in particular the 4th and 5th grade classes I had been visiting all year. I of course enjoy skiing with them and talking to them about the sport's benefits and where it has taken me. But, I also really enjoy using it as a vehicle to look at the world in a different way, a perspective which can most easily be shared with a group of attentive kids fresh in from a ski themselves. I snagged that opportunity when their ears were open for new ideas after our our ski to talk to them about the current events in Japan and about my involvement with Skiers Helping Japan. 

(Photo Courtesy of Matt Young, LPES Gym Teacher)

I decided to contribute to Skiers Helping Japan by donating some of my World Cup point earnings from this season - in particular what I earned during the World Cup competitions in Norway just after the March 12th earthquake and tsunami. It felt right to share this information with the classes because they too are contributing to the relief efforts. One of the Elementary teachers set up a box in the office for the school kids to collect coins that will be donated to the Red Cross for Japan.

Another thing I enjoy are the international paper selection on the final flight home out of Munich, Germany at the end of the season.  A 9 hour flight offers luxurious amounts of time to catch up on the world's news from cover to cover in English. I came across an interesting Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal written by the chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corp, Howard Stringer. Mr. stringer talked about Japan's shared sense of community and the spirit that arises from it, especially in times of disaster. The phrase fukutsu no seishin, which means never give up, describes this spirit and the character of Japan at this time. Stringer believes it is the country's instinctive ability to never give up that will help them endure and to rise above the absolute devastation the earthquake and tsunami created with "grace, generosity and common cause."[Stringer, Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2011] I hope so too and in my note that accompanies my donation I chose to write: stay strong Japan.

I'm one of many skiers who have joined in the effort. You can read about the Men's Norwegian relay team who donated their World Championship Relay earnings to Japan here: Norway Donates.

If you are interested in learning more and would like to help go to:

The latest update from the newly formed organization is that they continue to seek out local charities to donate to instead of the larger organizations involved in large scale relief effort.

fukutsu no seishin
(Photo courtesy of Detlef Ekert

Friday, March 25, 2011

LINK to Julie Foudy's presentation

My post on Julie Foudy's presentation, "Unlocking Greatness in Girls: Developing Leadership through Sport" has been one of my most popular. I blew through 13,000 hits this week (recording only since July) and am thankful people are interested in learning about the life of skier both on and off the trail.

The following link takes you to a page where you can either download the wedinar or view the presentation slides.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Wholesome Discontent" - Julie Foudy, US Women's Soccer Team Captain

This afternoon I had the opportunity to listen in on the webinar “Unlocking Greatness in Girls: Developing Leadership through Sport” that was presented by Julie Foudy, US Women’s National Soccer Team captain, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time World Champion. Among many of her current jobs, she runs the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, and it is from this position that she gave her presentation.

Right now I am feeling the classic signs of post-season trans-Atlantic jetlag and still reveling in the fact that I raced in Holmenkollen only days ago, so will only jot down a few points that I thought were important and good to share with this community.
  • Leadership is a choice. Choose to Matter. -JF
  • Leadership is personal not positional. –JF
One of Julie Foudy’s influential and quiet leaders from her National Team:
Mia Hamm Foundation
  • Find your own leadership style. -JF

Offer tangible examples about how to lead in life, “on the field” or “on the trail” even if you don’t think you have such leadership qualities. Here’s one example that Julia Foudy uses at her Academy: Emmanuel’s Gift

Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy
  • “Pressure is a privilege.” -Billy Jean King
  •  “Success is a peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable.” John Wooden

Dove self-esteem project – Dove Evolution

Fact: Words are only 7% of your communication the rest is made up of your tone of voice and body language. -JF
  • Celebrate who started the goal. Recognize all of the different plays that it took to get the ball to the net. This includes everyone involved and isn’t just about who scored the goal. -JF

“Wholesome Discontent” = after success or set back it is the attitude to positively push your self and your team to be even better. This was the standard set by the Olympic Gold medal winning women’s soccer team and was a fundamental formula for their years of success. 

I think I will be emailed a transcript of the presentation and will post if possible. Enjoy and best of luck to the end of the season!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Thanks to Kikkan for contributing this website and information to and sharing it with the nordic world. 

My heart goes out to Japan, and especially to the ones whom I compete with. I have had a few opportunities to let them know that I am thinking of them and their country. Especially, now as all the world cup skiers prepare to finish their season in Europe and travel back home to see the devastation first hand for the first time. Missing home and family takes on a new light when compared to what that means to them as they fly half way around the world to return back to Japan.

I am glad to have found the website that Kikkan reported on:
I will take the time to learn more about it and would like to contribute in anyway I can.

Final Race in Holmenkollen!

Mass Start!
2pm (9am EST) Women's Mass Start 12.5km

I started the week knowing I still had some good racing left in me and started the Sprint race know I felt that good. But I also ended the Pursuit yesterday knowing I still had more in me. And in a few hours I am psyched to get to do it. The Pursuit was fun and was an exciting new challenge since this is only the third Pursuit I've started in this year. Except starting a little closer to the front put me right in the mix of the top women. With difficult shooting conditions skiing the loops felt relatively calm. I didn't have superb shooting, but for the day it was good enough. I was confident with my strategy going into the wind and knew what I had to do. Because of this I was able to be bit a more active out on the course and work for every position every chance I got. I had great skis and used them as best I could out there. Actually they must have been the best because they helped sail pass the likes of the Russians, Germans and French. I moved into the top 15 a few times after the range, which felt great and I used it as motivation for only a quick moment. Anything can happen in biathlon, so I continued to stick to my own pace no matter the place. I don't have a lot of experience in high level pursuits so I don't always know how much I have left for the sprint at the end, so I pushed it on the last lap anyways, just to see. I might have made an uphill pass too early and wasn't able to go "full gas" into the final homestretch, but that's okay. I'll take that experience. Especially since I get to use nearly 24 hours later in today's Mass Start. Yesterday was a great reminder to stay calm, go for each hit and enjoy super fast skis!

The other neat thing about today is that I think this is the first we've had 2 women starting in the Mass Start!! All together, we have had 3 women compete in the Mass Start this season. I've been doing this sport for awhile now and I am proud to be a part of this momentous step forward. So, cheers to today's race! 

Just a few shots from this week in Oslo:

The stadium takes on a new configuration for the biathlon world cup compared to last weeks nordic World Champs. 

Typical Scandinavian trail-side picnic.

Watched the Norwegian Birkebeiner on TV the morning of the Pursuit. This guy was being interviewed at one of the pit-stops during his race. I hope I can do a 54km race when I am that age!

Waffles and jam never tasted so good. Holmenkollen has been such an amazing experience, especially after being in Russia and after a long season, that everything is just a little bit sweeter here.  

The view from our wax room. We can look straight down into the shooting range. A bit scary really.

After the Sprint I took the T-bahn down into town to do my recovery jog on flatter terrain. I was in Oslo 11 years ago and Vigelund Sculpture Park was one of the neatest places. These two women are typical human sculpture's that form the sculpture park. The layout of the park makes feel more like a monument for humanity because collectively all of Vigelund's sculptures represent human emotion, interaction, growth and phases of life. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 tykes and a fjord

Checking out some of Holmenkollen's trails and spectators after the Sprint on Thursday.

World Cup Final Pursuits today:
2pm (9am EST) Women
4pm (11am EST) Men

......Or you can watch anyone of these races happening in the world today:
Cross-Country World Cup Final Men's and Women's Pursuit races in Falun, Sweden
Norwegian Birkebeiner (I'm watching the finishers come in now)

Enjoy the final days of winter!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Final World Cup schedule, local time:

3.17 Thursday 11am Women's Sprint
2pm Men's Sprint

3.19 Saturday 11am Men's Pursuit
2pm Women's Pursuit

3.20 Sunday Women's Mass Start 2pm
Men's Mass Start 4pm

Friday, March 11, 2011

Congrats to the US Men's 6th place Relay!!! - w/ photos

Lowell in the mix of it on the first lap.

Congrats to Lowell, Jay, Tim, Leif and the USBA staff for an excellent World Champs Relay!!!!

26 men's teams on the firing line.

Tim, Austria and Canada.

Amazing sunset and typical Eurosport shooting view.

Ecstatic Russian fans - Russia had a great home race placing 2nd. 

Photo finish! The results show the shooting results: USA 0 penalty loops + 14 extra rounds, 38.1 seconds beyond. Germany on the other hand, with 3 penalty loops and 16 extra rounds.

The boys getting their flowers at the Flower Ceremony.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A lot more of Russia before the World Champs Relay

With three days in between our Individual race and the Women's Relay, I knew I needed to have a day to mentally re-charge, take a break from the range and normal routine in order to be fresh and excited about training and the final competition of World Champs. I'm back to the training plan today and am truly look forward to getting back out there after the Individual race. I felt much better skiing, so I know I continue to move on the right track even as the season comes to a close. Shooting still eludes me, but today is another day. Despite my challenges in biathlon, there is always another chance - another shooting stage, another loop, another race, another year. 

Yesterday I took the time to get back into town to see the Nature and Man museum in the morning and spent the afternoon classic skiing on a bunch of side trails off the race loops. Annelies and I joined up with the Canadian team to check out a museum that you could spend hours in trying to decipher the history of the Yugra region in order to gain a better understanding of life in Siberia beyond the snow, cold and sterile stone buildings of Khanty-Mansiysk. Siberia is perhaps one of the most interesting place skiing has taken me.

Their prize Siberian fossils are woolly mammoths.  

Did you know woolly rhinoceras even existed?

Typical native garb for a child. They look like small animals and their clothes are decorated with beads and colored cloth to ward off evil spirits. This children's display was the introduction into the incredible and mysterious arctic culture. Their creative dress and pagan rituals give a lot of color and spirit to this otherwise seemingly harsh and cold region.  

In the matter of an hour or so our tour guide led us through the people, customs, traditions and history of the region. Nothing unusual for a museum - artifacts, replications, old photos, etc. But one artifact stood out as a stark reminder of different this location in the world is compared to any other place I've been. Below is a map from the 1701 Chart Book of Siberia.   
It looks like an ordinary map until it was explained that the orientation is opposite than what we might think. The Moscow and Ural Mountains looked like they were on the "wrong" side. Maps at this time and place were drawn in orientation from the North Pole looking down to Russia. The west was now on the right, the east on the left, the north on the bottom and the south on the top. 

Display rooms of the native Siberian tribes quickly transitioned into rooms of a more recent past. During the Russian Revolution the Ob river valley was increasingly populated by political exiles. The Ob river valley is a confluence of many large and small rivers, as the map above, illustrates. These rivers also brought together many different peoples, often fatally, as the region was established and populated over the last century. 

A few decades ago oil became the dominate natural resource.

The museum also had a special biathlon exhibit for World Champs.

Zina Kocher, of Canada, Annelies and I and the endless sites to see in Khanty.

On the walk back to the hotel shuttle - the following contrasts seem to speak for themselves.

And now its back to training. The Men's Relay is tonight!
6:30pm local time 8:30am EST