Recent FIS News
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New Season, New Faces: Cross-Country coach changes
Sweden’s head coach Joakim Abrahamsson already announced his retirement during the World Cup Finals in Falun and his successor was appointed in April. Lars Öberg (45) assumed the position of head coach for both ladies’ and men’s teams. Another major change in the Swedish Cross-Country team happened at the end of the World Cup season as Ulf Karlsson was named Cross-Country Manager. The model with two national coaches (Abrahamsson and Grip) was abandoned. Öberg became the only head coach having Rikard Grip as the ladies’ coach and Arild Monsen as the men’s coach. Big changes also happened amongst the waxing staff with tong-time chief of Swedish waxers Larry Poromaa resigning after the World Cup Final in Stockholm and Urban Nilsson took over.
In Germany, Jochen Behle surprisingly decided to step down as the head coach after ten years in that function. Under his leadership, German Cross-Country Skiing went through the most successful period ever. René Sommerfeldt won the overall World Cup title in 2004, Axel Teichmann in 2005 and Tobias Angerer in 2006 and 2007. Long-time biathlon coach Frank Ullrich was announced as Behle’s successor. Ullrich himself was a successful Biathlon athlete, in 1980 he won gold medal at the Olympic Games in sprint and also became a nine-time Biathlon world champion. As the head coach of the German biathlon team he brought his squads to four gold medals at the Games and numerous medals from World Championships. After his resignation he was looking after the German biathlon juniors. Already at the beginning of the last season he took over Axel Teichmann’s and Jens Filbrich’s training plans.
The US Coaching staff lost the men’ team leader at the end of April as the two-time Olympian and longtime Cross-Country coach Pete Vordenberg announced his resignation after 10 years of coaching to spend more time with his growing family. Vordenberg had been with the U.S. Ski Team for a total of 16 years, first as an athlete for six years and then as a member of the coaching staff for 10. Vordenberg led the US team through some of its most successful years including the first World Championship medal won by a US lady and first World Cup trophy in 25 years.
The US men’s Cross-Country team has been taken over by the veteran regional Cross-Country coach Jason Cork who has become an assistant coach. He will work under the leadership of Cross-Chris Grover who will serve as interim men’s head coach following the resignation of Vordenberg.