It’s all about the story

Q&A with ice dancers Kseniya Ponomaryova and Oleg Altukhov By Erin Barney To casual figure skating fans, ice dancing and pairs routines often appear the same—spins, lifts and dazzling costumes. But ice dancers aren’t allowed to do showy overhead lifts and throw jumps. Instead, they need to wow fans and judges with their storytelling. Without […]

Icy debate over alternative therapies for athletes

By Erin Barney Justina Di Stasio put on a surgical mask, cotton gloves, thick socks and rubber shoes. A tank top and shorts left her arms and legs exposed to -120 degree temperatures, and after only 30 seconds, she lost feeling in her muscles. She went completely numb in the remaining two minutes of her […]

Biathlon: Mastering the heartbeat of skiing and shooting

By Erin Barney Breathe in. Exhale halfway. Hold it. Ignore pulsing temples, burning muscles, and the crack of an adjacent rifle. Focus. Pull the trigger. In a moment requiring absolute stillness, Olympic biathlete Lowell Bailey said it’s rarely quiet enough in his head to achieve the necessary Zen. He has to hit a four-and-a-half-inch target […]

When ice is more than ice

By Erin Barney Bill Wood uses a language only a select few can appreciate. He communicates in numbers, physics, and most importantly, frozen water. Wood, 46, is a member of the research and development group working toward perfecting curling ice. He’s one of just six in the world to have that specific skill set and […]

Curling: A sport where the beer is always cold

By Erin Barney Mike Rane, a 50-year-old lawyer, kneeled on a long sheet of bumpy ice and shoved a 40-pound granite stone toward a red-and-blue target 114 feet away. Two teammates used brooms to sweep a path for the rock, a fourth monitored its trajectory, and all four yelled at each other to sweep harder […]