Best Young Distance Skiers: 2009-2010

“Young” is a relative term, of course, which becomes clearer to me with each passing year.  But there are successful cross-country skiers over quite a wide age range, so it might be fun to focus in on some of the younger ones.  They are likely the names we’ll be seeing over and over down the line.

I have very arbitrarily picked the age of 24 as my cutoff.  So this will include skiers who were 24 or younger during the 2009-2010 season.  (Keep in mind, though, that I’m calculating people’s ages by simply subtracting their year of birth from the year the race took place in.  So if you happen to know some of these people’s actual birthdays, you might notice some ages are off by a year.)

The following plots are in the same style as my end of year ranking graphs.  I’ve lowered the requirements slightly so that a skier only needs to have done four races to be included, but other than that the method of construction is identical.  So the error bars here represent the variation (FIS points) in each skier’s best four races last season.

Of course, some “young” skiers are also the best skiers in the world these days.  (Marcus Hellner just missed my age cutoff.)  So setting Northug and Cologna aside for the moment, we’ve got the well known up and coming Frenchman Manificat, followed by Canadian phenom Alex Harvey.

One thing that stands out to me is that the Kazakh’s have quite a few fast young skiers in the pipeline.  It will be interesting to see how they develop over the next 4-5 years.  Another thing I notice is that aside from Northug, Ole-Marius Bach is the only Norwegian here.  This may reflect the Norwegian men’s reputed lack of depth in distance skiing these days, but of course we’re potentially ignoring some genuinely fast skiers who did fewer than four World Cups last season, so maybe not.

Now for the women:

Once again, let’s set aside Kalla, Haag and maybe Johaug for the moment.  (I didn’t realize Johaug was so young!)  Certainly no lack of young Norwegians on the women’s side, eh?  A handful of 20 year olds stand out here, at least compared to the men.  Is it easier for women to break into the World Cup scene at a younger age?  Might that be a physiological thing or simply a numbers game stemming from there being more male xc skiers?


Related posts:

  1. How Well Prepared Are World Cup Rookies? (Part 1a: Distance)
  2. Is It Panic Time For The Norwegian Men’s Distance Skiers?
  3. Most Improved: Women’s Distance
  4. Most Unimproved Men: Distance
  5. Post-WJC/U23 Development: Norway

About Joran


4 Responses to “Best Young Distance Skiers: 2009-2010”
  1. Skidfan says:

    Woah! Alex Harvey – his performance REALLY stands out.. give him two years and he could be one of the five best skiers in the world..

    Gössner – Brodin – Flugstad-Östberg will be interesting to see. I know that Hanna Brodin has closed a large part of the gap up to Ingvild F-Ö the last year. Gössner is a biathlete, would be interesting to see her career choice and development in the future. She’s allready mighty fast on skating.

    Greetings from Sweden.

  2. Martin says:


    What a great blog! I really found it interesting and i will certainly keep following it. I also mailed you a question. Keep up the good work!

  3. Leslie Mahoney says:

    Hi there-

    Although I have skied for years, I have only recently started following your site. I am a student at the University of Lethbridge, and I am currently enrolled in a stats class. We have to do a project on stats that we find interesting, and I plan on doing skiing. My prof was pretty vehement about using sources appropriately so I thought I would check in. I see you are under a creative commons licence, so I hope that means I can cite your work. If not, please let me know, and I will find another source. Thank you in advance.

    Leslie Mahoney


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] took a look at some of better younger skiers from last […]

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!