Mystery Skier: Revealed
As at least one reader correctly guessed, the skier I was referring to in my previous post was Johann Mühlegg. Probably the biggest hint there was the implication that I was talking about a skier who continued racing after ~1998-1999 and reached the podium after that time. Or in his case perhaps we should say “podium”.
That little tidbit caught my eye mainly because it highlights the fact that Mühlegg wasn’t a terribly slow skier for much of the 90’s and I would guess that for much of this time he wasn’t doping. The change in his performance level was, shall we say, sudden.
Behind Mühlegg there were 7 skiers with a string of 5 seasons with at least one top ten distance result, but no podiums. They were (in no particular order) Mathias Fredriksson, Kris Freeman, Magnus Ingesson, Petra Majdic, Kristin Meurer Stemland, Valentino Shevchenko and Alois Stadlober. Quite a range of careers there. Fredricksson is an interesting contrast to Mühlegg as someone who skied for much of the 90’s and did put together some strong seasons, but his eventual improvement wasn’t nearly as sudden as Mühlegg’s.
As a follow-up, there are two skiers I’ve found with similar streaks in sprinting, having gone 6 seasons (a long time, given how long sprinting’s been around) with a top ten at least once per season but no podiums. One’s male and one is female. I’ll leave the answer in the comments by the end of the week.