Meet Alexander Bolshunov, Newest (And Youngest) Star Of Skiing

Alexander Bolshunov turned 21 less than two months ago – and that makes even Johannes Klaebo to looked like a seasoned veteran by comparison.

A youngster from Bryansk, on the Russian border with Ukraine and Belarus, has become one of the Olympics’ brightest stars: four races that he run – four medals.

But his path to Pyeongchang’s glory was anything but smooth this season

Bolshunov had a brilliant start of the season, convincingly winning 15k race at the Gällivare Premiere, beating Ustiugov, Cologna and Hellner among the others
This photo was taken as the Russian skiing team was listening to announcement by the IOC’s President Thomas Bach that their country won’t be allowed to participate in the Games under its flag, no Russian anthem or coat-of-arms will be allowed either . Bolshunov was the one who took the news hardest and was heard saying that he might not want to run at all under these restrictions.
After a string of strong performances at the FIS World Cup this season, Bolshunov got a particularly nasty bout of flu that sidelined him for several weeks right after Tour de Ski
At this photo taken in Seefeld right before the first training session after his illness, Alexander efforts to smile…
…in fact, he lost a lot of weight during his forced bed-stay and his conditions are far from optimal…
Bolshunov appears to be an absolute maximalist in his skiing – even after a good race he is often seen contemplating what could have been done better
…something that he shares with his personal trainer, Yuri Borodavko – seen here cheering his skiers on a distance together with Elena Vyalbe, boss of Russian xc skiing
…but outside the tracks Bolshunov could be all smiles – like during this photo-shoot for his ski sponsor, Rossignol
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