…Financial markets are falling, coronavirus continues its spread – oh, and the winter was an utter piss-poor affair in most of the key markets. But life goes on, there is a hope that one day humanity will go back en masse to the most noble of winter sports, that of cross country skiing.
When it happens, young ladies & gentlemen who now compete in Juniors shall become talk of the town.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the just finished World Juniors & U23 championships in Oberwiesenthal.
Winners’ pallet is possibly the most diverse ever. There are used to be surprising champions because the level of competition was similar to mom&pop affair on church weekend with participants having to wax their own skis – situation favoring a prodigy. Nope, not any longer – it’s all gone pro and at least ten nations are pouring serious resources both into finding/training talents AND providing level of support hitherto seen only at the World Cup level.
In fact, paddocks of the competition were full of faces familiar from the World Cup: coaches, team doctors, physios, waxers – people without whom the victory in pro-skiing is unimaginable.
Poland proves that concentrating & applying limited resource pays off: 3 medals – and should really have been 4 and budding star called Izabella
..Siri, Gus, Helene, Iza…Fantastic talents on the horizon. Talents that will be nurtured to become viable competitors to Johaug, Klaebo and Bolshunov within next few years, money allowing.
Could have done better :
What’s with the Finnish team? Not a single medal . In relays, that measure of overall team strength, Finland was 8th, 10th and 11th, respectively.
Germany and Russia underperformed, but only compared to resources and overall expectations.
With Sweden that puzzling trend continues: all 9 medals are won by women, men are nowhere near the podiums. Anybody could try to explain?
Losers: no one – except for us, the broad community of those who care about either cross country skiing in general or personalities in it (not the same thing!). Five, six thousands on average watching that free livestream of competitions? That’s all we’ve got, seriously??