The Penalty Loop Podcast

Join Jordan Gottschalk and regular guest RJ Weise in a discussion on the world of biathlon

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About Us

Jordan Gottschalk from Penalty Loop and RJ Weise from Biathlon Analytics break down the world of biathlon, focusing primarily on the IBU World Cup, but touching on a few other important areas as well. In the summer months we interview athletes, coaches and other people related to biathlon, with a main focus on understanding life of an athlete, coach, etc. in the IBU World.

All this with a little structure, but mostly our own unique spin based on the history and data of biathlon.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy it! If there is anything in particular you would like us to talk about or you have any help critiques we would love to hear it on social media (Jordan on Twitter - Jordan on Instagram -  RJ on Twitter - RJ on Instagram

Episodes

Monday Jan 01, 2024

Recorded the night before racing started in Lenzerheide, Polish Women's Head Coach Tobias Torgersen very generously granted us far more time than we had any right to expect or a fantastic interview. In this discussion we touched on:
- Coach Torgersen's personal history including growing up a fan of cross country and biathlon racing
- We discuss his coaching career as he quickly moved up the ranks including his time with the Chinese biathlon federation. 
- We get into the successes he's seen over the last two seasons including Kamila Zuk last season, and Anna Maka, Joanna Jakiela, and Natalia Sidorowicz
- Finally we do a little discussion on biathlon at large in the 2023-2024 season.

Tuesday Dec 26, 2023

Merry Christmas! We got together just before the holiday weekend to share our thoughts on the first trimester and all of the action from Oestersund, Hochfilzen, and Lenzerheide! We discussed many many things including:
- Did wax affect the racing so far this season?
- Our favorite moments of the season (so far!)
- Our thoughts on some of the top men/women of the season
- Athletes who look to have taken a step forward
- Athletes who look to have taken a step back
- Norwegian men and the fight for the World Cup bibs
- How the Simon Fourcade coaching is going for the French men
- RJ's analysis of xc women who have made the switch to biathlon
- My proposal for a new silly event
- And more

Monday Dec 18, 2023

The World Cup makes the first ever visit to Lenzerheide and we are here to break it all down! In this episode we discuss
- The amazing Justine Braisaz-Bouchet weekend
- JT Boe is back on top
- Emilien Jacquelin is Emilien Jacquelin
- Norwegian men had some adventures with the rifle and RJ gives a breakdown of the rules issues at play and exactly what happened
- We finish up with some rapid fire thoughts on some athletes with bright weekends including: Endre Stroemsheim, Deedra Irwin, Marketa Davidova and many many more

Monday Dec 11, 2023

Another week of exciting racing down and another new podcast to recap it! We touch on a number or big things that happened in Hochfilzen including:
- COVID is causing havoc
- Lena Haecki-Gross' HUGE weekend
- Tarjei Boe in yellow?!?
- Is JT Boe all the way back?
- Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold's growing into the Norwegian leader
- Elvira Oeberg looks ready to contend again
- Knotten, Gandler, Perrot, and more!

Monday Dec 04, 2023

The first full week of biathlon is in the books so we reconvene to discuss the latest action! If you missed part 1 which came out late last week it covers the mixed relays, the individuals, and the women's relay. 
In this show we talk about:
- The freezing weather, wax, the skis and how it all affected the racing
- The Sturla Holm Laegreid question and the dilemma facing the Norwegian men
- Sebbe Samuelsson's big finish
- Lou Jeanmonnot is here and for real!
- Preuss and Voigt looking strong
- Surprisingly strong Norwegian women
- and more!

Thursday Nov 30, 2023

Jordan and RJ get together for a phrenetic recap of the first five events of the IBU World Cup season. This episode was recorded just after the Women's Relay in Oestersund but before the Men's Relay, so we discuss everything from season opening Single Mixed Relay through the Women's Relay on Wednesday. Fair warning, we were REALLY excited about this so we jump from topic to topic very quickly. Just like the athletes, we'll warm into the season!

Wednesday Nov 22, 2023

Danish athlete, coach, and Danish TV2 national biathlon commentator Kristian Wulff joins to help us prepare for the upcoming season! We get right into the #1 issue of the upcoming season, waxing and how it will dramatically affect the racing. We also touch on a few of Kristian's other stories to watch, some under the radar athletes, and his predicted top 3. 
Jordan and RJ then close out our season previews with some final thoughts and Jordan forces RJ to make 10 predictions for the upcoming season. Enjoy!

Tuesday Nov 21, 2023

The biathlon season is finally here! This is part 1 of our 2 part season preview. We start out with a look back at some of the big stories of last year including JT Boe and QFM as well as the new generation of biathlon on the men's side and Julia Simon, Wierer and Vittozzi coming on strong, and Elvira Oeberg looking not quite like herself. Then we try to think of some major questions/storylines for some of the major teams this season:
- Is the next generation of Norwegian women ready to lead?
- Which of the exciting women's teams will see the most new blood?
Plus plenty more!
And don't miss part 2 in just 2 days!

Tuesday Nov 07, 2023

In the conclusion to our fantastic talk with rising Swiss biathlon start Niklas Hartweg we hit a number of really great topics including
- Listening to your body for training and competition
- The new generation of Swiss biathletes and coaches changing the team
- What it's like racing in Switzerland
- The best snacks
- Hartweg's plans for a Swiss kit

Tuesday Oct 31, 2023

As the 2023-2024 season rapidly approaches we continued our efforts to interview some of the top new names in biathlon, this time with Niklas Hartweg. This episode starts right in the middle of a discussion between Nik and RJ about Hartweg's artistic side. It was going on before we started recording and because it was so interesting I just hit record to catch as much as possible. After that we hit several great topics including:
- Nik's vacations
- His friendly rivalry with Tommaso Giacomel
- The amazing 2022-2023 Blue Bib race
- How to learn to listen to your body 
Part 2 coming soon!

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Welcome to the Penalty Loop Podcast

The brilliant RJ Weise of BiathlonAnalytics and I have launched what will eventually be a weekly podcast! We'll do our best to break down the world of biathlon, focusing primarily on the IBU World Cup, but touching on a few other important areas as well. Our hope is to try to discuss the important topics of the day but to do so with our own unique spin. Hopefully you'll enjoy it! If there is anything in particular you would like us to talk about or you have any help critiques we would love to hear it. 

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