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Rarest Of Races: Skiathlon. Why Is It Only Once A Year And What Happens Day Before

The skiathlon is, probably, the most challenging ski race of them all.

Challenging for the athletes who have to run switching style halfway.

Challenging for the organizers who have to prepare two separate courses (same true about relays. In theory anyone could have it but in practice only the biggest, the most established ski stadiums like famed Birkiebeiner in Lillehammer are willing & able to.

Perhaps,the most challenging the skiathlon is for the teams’ski technicians who have double the load preparing for the races.

Today we’ll show unsung heroes of pro-skiing. At work.

On the day before the race many a top skier do lap after lap with her/ his assigned waxer trying to find the best combo of waxes. Cue Charlotte Kalla and her specialist. We have to apologize: we don’t know his name as well as many others pictured here, alas
Sadie Maubet-Bjornsen and her ski technician. In mid-size teams it is rare even for the leaders to have personal waxers – they work for several athletes
Clearly, the leaders get extra attention when it comes to ski preparations.Johannes Klaebo and his ski specialist here
The biggest teams – like Russia and Norway – that have more that a dozen techs on staff could afford to do the final wax choosing on the actual morning race – it’s, obviously, more accurate. Doesn’t mean , of course, that no preps are underway. Team leader of the Russian ski technicians, Urmas Vyalbe, has clealry found some magic recipe for tomorrow
… Teresa Stadlober and her assistant also appear to be happy with their choices
The work is done in active collaboration with ski makers own race specialists – like Rossignol’s senior race support manager Simon Caprini here
The work ahead of skiathlon is absolutely aplenty and the techs stay on the stadium long after the athletes went to rest before the race
Somewhere in one of those bags is a formula tomorrow’s victory. Or not – we shall see
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