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Stars of 19/20 For You To Look At. Part 1 – Women

And we mean what we sayin the title of this story: these are those who will star among the skiers.

To be one these days it’s not enough to win races. Clearly, it’s a big part of it, hard to become an object of mass fascination if you keep in finishing at the bottom.

But to become a proper star, you have to build a presence outside the tracks, to do and to say things people would notice – and luve or hate.

Luckily, most of the World Cup’s top contenders are just like that:

Therese Johaug is a red-hot favorite to win the Cup these year and for a good reason: when it comes to distance racing she’s from a different planet compared to the rest of the already super-talented field. Sprints are a bit of an Achilles foot though. Competitors will try to exploit that
The multiple Olympic and world champion remains the face of the Johaug brand that she actually sold and onworks many other ventures and sponsorships, vying for the title of the most in-demand skier with Johannes Klaebo
Ms. Johaug is bona-fide celebrity in Scandinavia. News about Therese, her partner Nils Jakob Hoff and their dog Jeger are absolute must in Norway, Sweden – and well beyond
Frida Karlsson is widely expected to be Johaug’s main rival in distance racing this year and this one of the main contenders for the Cup. Nobody ever won that at 20 which adds to anticipation
The Swedish wonderchild is starting to compete with Johaug outside the tracks as well with sponsors and media crowding to latch ( in the best possible meaning of the word, of course) on the 20 year old talent.
Compared to the Norwegian-Swedish duo, Natalia Nepryaeva had somewhat more subdued profile among the fans, but it’s fast changing. Especially since her two main rivals in the Russian team ( and WC 18/19 Top 10) are skipping the season through pregnancies. Natalia looked absolutely formidable through the summer training months, switching to train with men as no one in the national team comes anywhere near her, on either distance
Unlike Johaug and Karlsson who will have to rely on their distance racing skills, Nepryaeva is truly universal and could win literally any competition on the planet, be it distance or sprint. With that versatility she will be a top contender for the title that eluded her last season when she finished 2d
Kristine Skistad is unlikely to win the overall title – but will most probably star in sprints. Combined with Scandinavian media obsession with a sharp-tongued 20 year old, we likely have a new star rising
Never underestimate Krista Parmakoski – on or off the tracks. A 28 year old has chosen to train separately from the rest of the Finnish team this year – the fact that added to interest to her & her results from media and fans
Ingvild Oestberg shall, sadly, miss the beginning of her title defense season through unspecified health condition.
Another strong contender, Ebba Andersson, is also benched “until the end of the year” through injury
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