RACES: *Beringia Race (Kamchatka, Russia) **Nadezhda Hope Race (Chukotka, Russia) **Chukotka Sprint Championship (Chukotka, Russia) Kuskokwim (Alaska, USA) Top of the World (Alaska, USA) Yukon Quest (Alaska, USA to Yukon, Canada) Iditarod (USA) * = Top-3 finish , ** = Champion
Mikhail (Misha) TelpinSenior Musher
Mikhail (Misha) Telpin
November 26, 1963 -- Yanrakkynot, Chukotka (RUSSIA)
Mikhail Telpin – also known as Misha – and his team of Chukchi dogs carried the Olympic torch on its way to the opening of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. He is the most accomplished Russian musher of all times — the first and only Russian musher to finish both the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race and the Iditarod. Mikhail is born and raised on the tundra in Chukotka where his community of Yanrakkynot is now located.
“Sled dogs are part of our ancient culture in Chukotka—the oldest remain of sled dogs, bones more than 8000-years-old, have been found on our land in Chukotka. In that way our dogs, the Chukchi sled dog, is likely the ancestor of the traditional sled dogs from Alaska, Canada and Greenland. Sled dogs have been my life since I was born. As a child the dogs took us hunting and transported us; that is still the way for me today. Today I have about 25 dogs with my family in the community of Yarankannot on the coast of the Bering Strait; we hunt seal and walrus with the dogs, even travel across the tundra in this way on steel runners when it is covered with grasses instead of snow during the summer time. I cannot imagine a life without my dogs. I race every year too—my first race was in 1994, the first time I raced in our national race in Chukotka, Nadezhda, This race brings us great pride as we travel from community to community sharing the traditions of dogsleds and traditional dancing. I am married with Soya and I have a son and two daughters; my hometown and my family are my world.” — Mikhail
photo courtesy of Scott Chesny