Boxing great Vitali Klitschko once said “the fight begins long before the first bell”
John McEnroe made a comment on his opponent-to-be that people remember decades after: “I’ve got more talent in my pinkie than ( Ivan) Lendl has in his whole body”
While commonplace in martial arts and other pro-sports with huge payday check, psychological pressure & attacks on opponent (s) is not normally associated with cross country skiing.
Or is it by now?
Perhaps, the first salvo of the Olympic season was fired today
View this post on Instagram
Готов…………………………………….Сегодня провели два теста, первый – на определения мощности Аэробного и Анаэробного порогов, второй – тест до отказа. @alexanderlegkov прошёл по рекордному показателю четырёхлетней давности (год Сочи) в первом тесте и уступил несколько секунд своему лучшему результату (также сезон Сочи) во втором тесте… #flgr #adidas #russianskiteam #назлорекордам #ждите
The comment to the video posted by Egor Sorin, an assistant to Markus Cramer ( and world-class skier on his own right) reads:
2 tests today: the first to determine aerobic/anaerobic treshhold, the second – maximum exertion. @alexanderlegkov has repeated his personal best result of four years ago ( the year of the Sochi Olympics) in the first one and missed his PB by only a few seconds in the second one.
The post ends with hashtag #ждите that is directly translated as #expect with a tinge of ‘you better believe it!’
Legkov won 50FT in Sochi with a fantastic sprint on the last uphill. A year and half after, however, the Russian was suspended by the International Ski Federation (FIS) based on Richard MacLaren report – and missed almost all of the last season
No proof of doping in case of Legkov ( as well as five other Russians, including Sochi 50FT silver medal winner Maxim Vylegzhanin) has ever emerged – and the CAS all but cleared Legkov & Co for a return to the world skiing circuit, including the Olympics.
Many a competitor were wondering how strong is a 34 year old Russian theese days – now they have their answer.
Who’s next to throw a virtual gauntlet?
Andrew Musgrave from Team GB has posted a strong video ( no mentioning of personal bests though)
Lucas Chanavat vs Richard Jouve duel looks good ( both French and Russian teams are in Oberhof now – would they hold a mini-match between themselves?)
— Richard Jouve (@Richardjouve) September 10, 2017
Norwegian Langrennsgutta featuring Messrs Iversen, Krogh, Krüger and Røthe has posted their update from Valdidentro, Italy
check out that ‘kangaroo-poling’ at the end!
The rest of medal contenders are keeping fairly quiet so far. One could be sure, however, that there will be more Instagram/Twitter/FB reports of “personal bests” and “excellent form” as we approach the season. And we like it!
- IOC Suspends Second Russian Olympic Champion In One Week But Russia Gets To Keep Golden Medal
- CAS ( Finally) Issues Verdict on Suspended Russian Skiers
- Petter Northug Got Stuck In Russia Indefinitely. Or Not
- How To Be Ski Fan
- Markus Cramer Explains What Russian Skiers Got To Know By Working With Him – And What He Learned From Them