Norway has had excellent athletes at the top of the Ski World Cup for decades – such as Lasse Kjus and Kjetl Andre Aamodt, Aksel Svindal, Kjetil Jansrud and Sebastian Foss Solevag, Aleksander Kilde and Henrik Kristofferson, Lucas Braaten and Atle Lie McGrath. How does this nation manage and what makes Norway different from Austria?
In Norway, young skiers are taken to the training camps with the pros from an early age. There are joint training sessions with the juniors, you often train on the same glacier. I’ve felt that way myself. When I was young I had no idea what World Cup riders do and how they train. The first time I learned a lot was when I took part in a training camp for the first time. So as a young athlete you have the feeling that the World Cup is not that far away from you. We Norwegians are also really good at having skiers who can finish on the podium or finish in the top 10 for decades. We’ve been able to do that for many years because we simply have a brutally cool team with a really good atmosphere. We are all together a lot, have a lot of fun together. If your teammates drive really well in a race, but you can’t do it yourself this time, then you’re still happy for your teammates and the atmosphere is always good. And those who drove well know that they also have team spirit to thank for their good performance. Henrik Kristoffersen is a little different here, he is the exception.