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Who Woke Me Up?

Jon "Fast Big Dog" Schafer

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The podcast arm of nordicinsights.news, your source for North American cross-country ski news with integrity and intent. Join host Fast Big Dog as we sit down for unfiltered conversations with a wide range of people involved in and impacting nordic skiing in this country. We aim to both educate and amuse. Podcast content does not reflect the views of Nordic Insights or its advertisers.
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The Nordic Nation podcast is a production of FasterSkier.com, the premier cross-country ski website in North America. The podcast features interviews, commentary, and news updates.
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Jessie Diggins should not need an introduction at this point, but for anyone who needs a quick reminder: This episode of the Devon Kershaw Show features the best American cross-country skier of all time. Diggins has three Olympic medals to her name, a gold from the last World Championships and, most recently, a crystal globe she was awarded a few d…
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Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated. Apologies for the tardiness of this episode, but we're back with a wrap from Falun, the last World Cup weekend of the season. It's just Devon and Nat kicking it old school again here, but we'll return soon with some guests. Seriously. Send us your 2025 predictions, Russian troll comments and Gjøran Tef…
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Long distance in Oslo, city sprints in Drammen. The World Cup takes its late-season swing through Norway and Devon and Nat have a full breakdown, with special guest Sam Hendry, a Canadian athlete who's had some standout results late this season. We're sprinting to the finish of the 2024 podcast season. Send your long-shot requests for off-season co…
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You had questions: about ski choice, about differences between ski brands, about what really distinguishes World Cup stock, about listed weight ranges and flex, about how to find the best skis for you, about release angles (!), about testing skis, and so much more. We have some answers for you! Tune in for a Q&A episode with Zach Caldwell, a man fo…
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No frills, no guests, just Devon and Nat breaking down six races from Lahti, Finland, as the World Cup returns to Scandinavia. Two more weekends to go after this one — stick with us. Send feedback, comments and anything else at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com.By Devon Kershaw and FasterSkier
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It's been a minute. We, and the World Cup circuit, took a break from racing, and podcasting, last weekend, but things are about to heat up again in Lahti, Finland, and we thought now was the perfect time to bring you an interview Nat did in Canmore with up and coming Swedish talent William Poromaa. Nat and Devon will be back with a recap after the …
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Julian Robert and Jeff Courter of Rossignol are back for the second of two sponsored episodes. Would you like to know a ski manufacturer’s philosophy on factory grinds? What structure testing looks like at the World Cup level? Which is more important at the citizen-racer level, hand structure vs. ski choice? Two men who have more knowledge about fa…
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Julian Robert and Jeff Courter head up research and development at Rossignol, the longtime ski brand of podcast host Fast Big Dog. Join them to learn how ski designers work with athletes to develop skis, how to make the best use of demo days to find new skis that work for you, and their biggest tip for someone looking to buy a new pair of skis. You…
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What a weekend. If you weren't able to make it to Minneapolis, we had the good fortune of taping this episode of the podcast in front of a live audience at a local brewery, and we think it brings through a little of the amazing atmosphere. British skier Andrew Musgrave joined us in-person, Ben Ogden zoomed in from mono jail and a very special guest…
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We caught up quickly with Claire Wilson, lead organizer of the Minneapolis World Cup and head of the Loppet Foundation, to get a sense of what's going on in the lead-up to the racing. We'll have more podcasts this weekend. We also set a time for our live show: Come hear us and join in at Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave N #700 in Minneapolis. It's a…
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We're back, with our fourth? Fifth? episode in the past week. It's been a whirlwind, but we're still here to wrap up the last day of World Cup racing in Canmore. Amazingly, Nat is posting this podcast from a moving airplane between Calgary and Toronto, with Victoria Carl and Katharina Hennig sitting a few rows up. We'll be back with more action fro…
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We're grinding on with our third episode in four days. Hope you're still listening. If you don't get the hat reference, read our coverage. We'll be back with another episode after the last race in Canmore. To keep you from podcast withdrawal later in the week, we'll roll out some interviews we did with a couple of international athletes here. Then …
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We're bringing Fast Tracks back so you can hear directly from top U.S. and Canadian athletes! Today we're posting parts of our interviews with U.S. skiers Jessie Diggins and Jack Young. Diggins was the top American in the women's sprint and Young, an up-and-coming talent from Vermont, was 11th in the qualifier in his first-ever World Cup.…
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We're back, in less than 24 hours since hour last pod. Devon is burning the midnight oil in Norway to bring you this new episode recapping the excellent sprint races in Canmore today. Stay tuned for another episode after tomorrow's race and a bonus episode where Nat will interview Sweden's William Poromaa. Email us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@…
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Coming in hot from Canmore, Alberta, where the World Cup circuit makes its North American return after five years away. We've got a preview here of sorts, featuring an interview with JC Schoonmaker, the California-raised U.S. Ski Team member who made his first World Cup podium earlier this season. We cover his rude awakening to the demands of elite…
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Goms! These races, in Switzerland, were unambiguously awesome. Wipeouts, sun, fondue, North American podiums and breakout performances. And an Alaskan guest who watched the races firsthand. We really went above and beyond the call of duty this week — we've got sounds from the side of the trail and even a profanity-laced tirade from Devon if you sti…
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Find out everything you need to know about ski waxing, plus many things that you didn’t know you needed to know but will benefit from now knowing, in this masterclass on waxing and ski preparation from wax tech to the stars Zach Caldwell. Kick, glide, fluoros, non-fluoros, paraffins, tools, race waxing, everyday waxing – you name it, he talks about…
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Prince of Quebec Alex Harvey and his protege on the Canadian team, Tony Cyr, check in with us after a three-day weekend of racing in Germany. We went kinda long. Also: We have a first-of-its-kind waxing and service report from U.S. Ski Team technician Eli Brown. Let us know what you think: We're at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We'…
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Did Devon Kershaw once jump over a cattle guard, on rollerskis, at 40 miles an hour? Is a seven-and-a-half hour classic ski a wise choice in the middle of the racing season? Where are Tiril Udnes Weng and Simone Mocellini? These are among the many questions Devon and Nat fielded during the 2024 edition of the show's yearly mailbag episode. We had f…
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The Iowa caucuses were this week, and on this episode of the hit New York Times podcast The Daily, we have a recap of the results with our distinguished political correspondent, Reid Epstein. Wait, sorry, we got confused. This is still a cross-country skiing podcast. But this is, in fact, the crossover skiing-politics content you've been waiting fo…
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They've reached the summit — the athletes, have, anyway. Devon certainly has not, thanks to frozen pipes in his Oslo apartment. He and Nat persevere to bring you the recap of this year's final Tour de Ski stages, which featured some spicy and sloppy racing in Italy. Stay tuned til the end for an ode to Le Gruyère cheese. Next week, during the break…
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Wax tech to the stars Zach Caldwell holds forth on everything citizen racers need to know about ski selection and fleet management. Don’t have a dozen pairs of race skis? No problem. He’ll tell you what you need to prioritize. Plus a healthy dose of banter and anecdotes that will both educate and entertain.…
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We're in deep to the Tour de Ski now, after a couple of legitimately rad days of racing in Davos, Switzerland. Mikael Gunnulfsen of Norway joins us to talk about the stunning performance of Henrik Doennestad, and of course we catch you up on the latest successes of Americans Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan and, oh yeah, Gus Schumacher. Get at us a…
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American star Gus Schumacher joins us from Switzerland to break down the first three stages of the 2024 Tour de Ski. And Devon gives us the goods on Norway's social event of the year: Therese Johaug's wedding. Send us your questions and feedback: devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We'll be back in a couple days.…
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Eli Brown, a member of the U.S. Ski Team's waxing and ski service staff, joins us this week to talk about his job and the new enforcement of the rules banning fluorocarbons on the World Cup circuit. We recap another strong weekend for American athletes, along with all the hijinks that happened in Trondheim, Norway at the test event for next season'…
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Last weekend JC Schoonmaker was at the top of the ski world, going stride for stride with Klæbo en route to the first American men’s World Cup podium since Simi Hamilton. But just six weeks ago he was suffering through a low-grade virus that wouldn’t go away, and already thinking that maybe this just wasn’t his year. Join us for real talk on what’s…
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Multiple U.S. podiums. Near-misses. Coaches barging into the classic track. This past weekend was pretty fun. We get up-and-coming Alaska star Luke Jager to join us for a recap and go through it all. Reach us with your questions, comments and feedback at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We'll be back next week after Trondheim.…
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American skier Rosie Brennan is second in the World Cup standings right now, after a double podium in the season's first weekend of racing. She's a veteran with numerous podiums to her name and top-fives at championship events. Rosie joins us from Sweden to talk about her hot start to the season. Reach us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskie…
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Sophia Laukli is the American who lives and trains in Norway, the nordic skiing Olympian who is also the reigning champion in international trail running, the late bloomer who didn’t start rollerskiing till age 17. She’s forged her own path in both skiing and running, finding balance along the way. Hear her speak about how she’s done it, and what o…
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More smashing results from U.S. women, boring-on-paper but fun-to-watch racing from the Norwegian men's distance team and some interlopers wearing similar colors, and a poorly-attended relay. Devon and Nat break it all down. Keep the feedback and questions coming: nat@fasterskier.com and devon@fasterskier.com. We'll see you next week.…
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Damn. What a weekend for the U.S. Ski Team, with three podiums in three days of racing at the World Cup opener in Finland. Erik Bråten, a Norwegian who coaches the Swiss ski team, joins Devon and Nat to recap and share his experiences across a range of international ski cultures. Send us questions, feedback and anti-vax screeds to: devon@fasterskie…
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We're off. The 2023-2024 winter kicks off with season opening races across Scandinavia, and the World Cup launches next week. Devon and Nat go old-school, no guests to recap a bevy of interesting results so far. Send us your comments, questions and criticism: devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We'll be back next week.…
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Ben Ogden speaks. We listened. The brightest star in American men’s skiing is also its most interesting and its most unassuming. Want to know what advice Ogden has for young skiers? How he recalibrated his mental prep when moving from college to the World Cup? The one thing he really wants to ask Klæbo? Find all that, and more, only here. Now ft. g…
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The third and final guest in our opening series of skiers-turned-mountain-bike-racers, Carter Hall discusses getting in his cycling training while working long hours on the road as a wax tech for BSF Pro Team. Plus the advantages and disadvantages of starting high-level bike racing late in life, what you learn from nordic skiing that you don’t from…
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Who’s weirder, distance runners or nordic skiers? What’s the hardest sport between running, nordic skiing, and mountain biking? What should a college athlete trying to keep up training while moving on in life consider when taking those next steps? Evan Arthur sits down with Fast Big Dog to answer these questions and more.…
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John Wessling has lived all over and has pretty much done it all in sport, both endurance sports and skill sports. He self-effacingly describes himself as “the best of the worst” in most of these endeavors, but he’s also a three-time Cat 1 national champion in cross-country mountain bike racing, so take that last assessment with a grain of salt. We…
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A couple of years ago, Swedish Olympic medalist cross-country skier Maja Dahlqvist matched with U.S. sprinter Kevin Bolger on Tinder. They've since become one of their sport's highest-profile couples. The two of them, during an altitude camp in Utah last month, joined Nat for a joint interview. We'll be back as the World Cup season kicks off in a f…
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A few weeks ago, Nat got a Facebook message from one Haakon Klæbo — father of Johannes Klæbo, also known as one of the greatest skiers of all time. What followed was a visit by Nat to Klæbo's training camp in Park City, Utah, where he and Johannes taped this episode of the Devon Kershaw Show. Join us to hear an interview with the five-time Olympic …
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We know, we know...we're way overdue for the promised summer content. Is it even summer any more? Anyway: We're excited to bring you this episode with Jostein Vinjerui, one of the coaches with Team Aker Daehlie, the international squad that boasts athletes from Great Britain, Latvia and, for the first time this upcoming season, the U.S., in Sophia …
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Oh, you thought we were done? Nat had the chance to interview Norwegian cross-country skiing legend Petter Northug Jr. for his story for the New York Times about the Holmenkollen ski marathons. Rather than leave the audio on the cutting room floor, we thought we'd share it with you. Sorry about the audio quality and the frequent interjections from …
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This is the end. Of the 2023 racing season. Devon and Nat go without guests and are here to take you through the last three events of the winter in Lahti, Finland. And we cover a couple of retirement announcements from U.S. skiers. We're taking a little break after this but, we promise: We won't leave you hanging for the whole off-season. Stay tune…
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Estonia put on one heck of a show at a city sprint in the nation's capital, Tallinn, this week. We give you a full recap with the help of an on-site expert, Vahur Teppan, and break down some complaints about a new system designed to level the waxing playing field — which may not have worked. We'll be back for one more recap after the Lahti Ski Game…
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The World Cup's penultimate weekend of the year took us to Falun, Sweden for a trio of races, including two more fun 10 ks and a mixed relay. Canada's Katherine Stewart-Jones joins us to recap her sensational season and what's ahead for her next year. We'll be back after Tuesday's city sprint in Tallinn, Estonia. Get at us at devon@fasterskier.com …
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No rest for the weary (except those who skipped Holmenkollen): We're back with recaps of, objectively, the most lit series of races on the World Cup circuit, in Norway. We've got the goods from the Holmenkollen 50 k races, including the first-ever for women, and the always satisfying Drammen sprints. We'll be back next week. Reach us at devon@faste…
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In this episode, we talk with Alayna Sonnesyn (SMS T2), who is coming off of her fourth consecutive victory at the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin. But the path between these victories, especially over the last two seasons, has not been smooth or direct. Alayna has had standout results on the SuperTour, but that has not directly translat…
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We've made 10 podcasts in 11 days and I have no juice left to come up with snappy episode titles or show notes. So this is what you get. Click play and listen to us talk. It was a cool 50 k. Get at us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com. We'll be back after the first-ever women's 50 k, with both Devon and Nat on scene in Oslo.…
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This race had it all — a solo breakaway, chase packs and a nail-biting performance from America's Rosie Brennan. Devon and Nat ditch the guests to break down the race themselves. We'll be back tomorrow with a last World Championships episode. Thanks for your support. Reach us at devon@fasterskier.com and nat@fasterskier.com.…
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Canada threw down an impressive fifth place finish in Friday's men's 4x10 k relay, finishing just seconds from the medals. We caught up with the team afterwards in the mixed zone — here are our interviews with, in order, Tony Cyr, Graham Ritchie and Olivier Leveille. (We interviewed scramble leg skier Xavier McKeever earlier in the day, which is wh…
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