Carrie interviews collegiate coach and NBC Olympics commentator Chad Salmela! Chad shares his scientific approach to training and discusses challenges he faces as a coach. They also chat about his breakthrough into NBC Olympics commentary and his role as a husband and father.
Recorded June 17, 2017
Photo Credit: FasterSkier.com
As a junior competitor, Chad was one of the Midwest’s top junior cross country ski racers, then switched to the sport of biathlon at age 19. After eight years of competing nationally and internationally as a member of the United States Biathlon Team, he moved directly into the assistant coach position for the U.S. Biathlon Team in 1998, while finishing his college degree at Middlebury College in Vermont. After graduation, Chad built and coached a national junior development program for biathlon, managed the 2002 Olympic Games biathlon competitions in Salt Lake City, served as assistant coach and wax technician for the U.S. junior world championship biathlon team, coached cross country running at the Marshall School in Duluth, and announced ski events across the country and on television. Chad was the biathlon color commentator for NBC’s coverage of 2006 Torino Olympics and added cross country skiing and Nordic combined to his duties at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, he was the analyst of the cross country ski events, biathlon and the cross country skiing portion of the Nordic Combined. Chad became a household name for his exciting calls of the action. He began his first season as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach at St. Scholastica in 2016. Salmela had been the school’s men’s and women’s Nordic ski head coach the previous 10 years. He will also assist with the men’s and women’s track & field programs. In his 10 seasons coaching CSS skiers, Chad led both the men and the women to Central Collegiate Ski Association (CCSA) Championships in 2015. He coached Paul Schommer to the programs’ only All-America honors in 2014. In total, under his tutelage, the Saints had 12 NCAA qualifiers in his 10 seasons, including 10 since 2012. Chad was an assistant under recently retired Coach Steve Pfingsten for the first few years at St. Scholastica and prior to that had a role as a high school running coach. Since then he has spent time consulting several elite and master-elite marathon and distance runners.