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FS Podcast: Boom! Babikov Retires, Becomes Canada’s New Coach
Ivan Babikov and his son, Sergei, in 2008. (Photo: Ivan Babikov)

Ivan Babikov and his son, Sergei, in 2008. His oldest son is now 13. (Photo: Ivan Babikov)

A ski-career-ago, Ivan Babikov (35, he’ll turn 36 on Monday, July 4), made a bold move. Back in 2003, he immigrated to Canada from Russia. With it came a new language, a new culture. Babikov’s ski results on the Canadian domestic scene ultimately fast tracked him up the Cross Country Canada (CCC) hierarchy.

In 2007, Babikov became a Canadian citizen and represented his new home country at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. And since 2009, he’s been a pillar of the Canadian men’s national team. With a solid finishing result at the Ski Tour Canada — he placed 14th overall — Babikov seemed to have regained his confidence after beginning the season in a lull.

Canada's Ivan Babikov (11) skiing ahead of Norway's Petter Northug during the men's 15 k freestyle individual start at Stage 7 of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta. Northug placed eighth and Babikov finished 10th on the day. (Photo: Salomon/NordicFocus)

Canada’s Ivan Babikov (11) skiing ahead of Norway’s Petter Northug during the men’s 15 k freestyle individual start at Stage 7 of the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alberta. Northug placed eighth and Babikov finished 10th on the day. (Photo: Salomon/NordicFocus)

At this year’s Canadian National Championships he placed third in the 50-kilometer classic mass start and second in the 15 k free. His results indicated he still had game amidst his Canadian peers.

Then on June 24, CCC announced Babikov was its new hire for national team coach. Babikov will be what’s described as generally a World Cup B-team coach rather than head or lead coach.

FasterSkier reached Babikov on the phone Thursday for a podcast interview. Currently, Babikov is in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, helping lead, along with national-team lead coach Louis Bouchard, his first camp in a leadership role.

Now retired from international racing, Babikov will have an opportunity to lead an experienced team toward the 2017 World Championships and 2018 Olympics.

“Right now I don’t feel really that much different,” Babikov said. “I’m still spending lots of time with them and going out for some training and some rollerski workouts. But I think I will feel it more when the season actually starts, when they are going to start racing and I’ll be on the sidelines. For now I am totally fine with what I do, I love what I do. Hopefully the guys will feel the same way; that I am doing some, that I am helping them with the stuff they need help with.”

(Press the play button below to listen to the full audio interview.)

Bootfitting – weil das Wohlfühlen im Skisport auch Fuss-Sache ist
Ein wichtiger Bestandteil in der passenden Einheit zwischen Fahrer und Material ist der Schuh. skionline.ch hat "Schuhmacher" Kilian Lochmatter bei seiner Arbeit besucht.

Stepanova eligible to compete as independent: IAAF (Reuters)
Russian doping whistleblower Yulia Stepanova's application to compete as an individual athlete has been accepted, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Friday. Stepanova could now make a comeback as soon as July 6 in the 800m after European Athletics approved her participation at the continental championships in Amsterdam. The IAAF said its doping review board unanimously accepted Stepanova's application and that they had received more than 80 formal requests from Russian athletes seeking exceptional eligibility to compete in an individual capacity.
Planungen zur Verbindung der Gletscherskigebiete von Sölden und dem Pitztal
Der Pitztaler Gletscher soll mit dem Skigebiet Sölden verbunden werden, wenn es nach dem Wunsch der Bergbahn-Betreiber geht. Ob das gigantische Projekt tatsächlich umgesetzt wird, entscheidet sich in den nächsten Monaten ...
Der Markenwechsel und seine psychologischen Hintergründe – Teil 2
Am Ende der Suche nach dem optimalen Material steht für viele Athletinnen und Athleten der Markenwechsel. In einem dreiteiligen Text zeigt skionline.ch in Zusammenarbeit mit Sportpsychologe Hanspeter Gubelmann auf, dass ein Wechsel des Ausrüsters eine intime Angelegenheit ist. – Teil 2.

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Der Markenwechsel und seine psychologischen Hintergründe
Am Ende der Suche nach dem optimalen Material steht für viele Athletinnen und Athleten der Markenwechsel. In einem dreiteiligen Text zeigt skionline.ch in Zusammenarbeit mit Sportpsychologe Hanspeter Gubelmann auf, dass ein Wechsel des Ausrüsters eine intime Angelegenheit ist

French Biathlete Anaïs Bescond Takes Summer Training to Canada
Left to Right: Canada's Julia Ransom, Sarah Beaudry, Emma Lunder, France's Anais Bescond, and Canadian Rosanna Crawford  during their first bike session of "Wine Camp" in Kelowna, British Columbia this June. (Courtesy photo)

Four Canadians Julia Ransom (l), Sarah Beaudry (second from l), Emma Lunder (c), and Rosanna Crawford (r) with France’s Anais Bescond (second from r) during their first bike session of “Wine Camp” in Kelowna, British Columbia this June. (Photo: Rosanna Crawford)

Along with peeling off the layers, summertime ski training runs often entails guest-star appearances. Many college athletes depart school and return to club programs, clubs may combine training sessions or camps, and even internationally, skiers from different countries coordinate their training schedules. Given the choice, 2016 two-time World Championships silver medalist Anaïs Bescond of France didn’t need to think twice about her crossover team: Canada.

Anais Bescond of France racing to fifth in the women's 12.5 k mass start at 2016 IBU World Championships in Oslo, Norway. (Photo: JoJo Baldus)

France’s Anais Bescond racing to fifth in the women’s 12.5 k mass start at 2016 IBU World Championships in Oslo, Norway. (Photo: JoJo Baldus)

After discussing the possibility of banding with the Biathlon Canada’s women’s team with Canadian head coach Matthias Ahrens and her friend Rosanna Crawford, Bescond bought a plane ticket to Kelowna, British Columbia, and arrived on June 14.

“It was just an easy decision,” Bescond, 29, said during a phone interview. “Because when I am coming in February for the World Cup I find Canmore and Canada people really nice … So, I asked to Matthias and Rosanna if it’s possible to plan to coming during the summer to train a little with the team and it was OK, so good for me.”

Bescond spent the past two weeks training with the Canadian team, taking part in their “Wine Camp” during her first week in Kelowna. With two more weeks of training left alongside her adopted Canadian teammates, Bescond can expect to also partake in the Biathlon Canada’s “Test-ival” — what Crawford described as “the festival of [training] tests” — the crew’s current undertaking this week in Canmore, Alberta.

“With Anais being from France, where they make delicious wine and Kelowna makes delicious wine, it just felt appropriate,” Crawford explained on the phone, referring to the Kelowna training camp name (she said the women also had to compete with the Canadian men’s camp names: “Beast Camp” and “Man Camp”). “We weren’t consuming as much wine as one might think, but we did have a couple glasses.”

Left to right: Canadian Sarah Beaudry, Anais Bescond of France with Canada's Julia Ransom, Emma Lunder, and Rosanna Crawford during a rollerski in Kelowna, British Columbia. (Courtesy photo)

Rosanna Crawford leads her Canadian teammates Emma Lunder (second from r) and Julia Ransom, along with France’s Anais Bescond (l) during a rollerski in Kelowna, British Columbia. (Photo: Rosanna Crawford)

This summer, Bescond is one of a several international training partners in Canada. The Swiss men’s biathlon team is also presently rollerskiing, running and biking in Canmore.

After Wine Camp, the Test-ival and a final week with the Canadian women’s team, Bescond will leave Canada on July 18 and fly to Norway. There, she will train with the Norwegian women’s biathlon team.

“I think what is really interesting for me is to share our different experience about training,” Bescond said. “Spend[ing] time with different people, it’s really instructive I think. With kind people, it’s always nice.”

“We weren’t consuming as much wine as one might think, but we did have a couple glasses.” — Rosanna Crawford, Canadian biathlete, on her team’s ‘Wine Camp’ earlier this month

Crawford, 28, also pointed out that international camaraderie is just as important as international competition. Their training sessions together afforded the two not only a chance for more tête-à-têtes, but also the opportunity to push each other.

“I speak French and we usually stay at a couple of the same hotels throughout the winter, so we’ll have a couple meals together,” Crawford said. “But this is definitely the most time we’ve spent together and we’ve gotten to know each other’s personal lives a little bit more. … The Canadian’s women team has been growing with Julia [Ransom], Emma [Lunder], Sarah [Beaudry] and myself, so having Anaïs train with us creates a nice opportunity to grow as a team and learn from her.”

“There’s so much more to sport than just exercising,” she added. “You spend so much time with these people, it’s important to get along with them.”

Lindsey Vonn als Fechterin, Reiterin und ... Mutter?
Lindsey Vonn sorgt in den USA immer wieder für News. Nun berichtet CNN vom Kinderwunsch der 31-Jährigen, Vonn selber liefert daraufhin ein (halbes) Dementi.

Gemeinsamer Sprung in die WM-Saison 2016/17
Rund 40 Athletinnen und Athleten von Swiss Ski haben sich in St. Moritz ein, um während einer Woche Energie für die WM 2017 zu tanken. Nach einem ersten Zusammentreffen am Montagabend, folgte am Dienstag (29. Juni) ein gemeinsamer Kick-Off Tag am WM-Berg.

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