Fredrik Aukland turned down the offer to become Norway’s next head coach for the men’s national cross country team.
“I don’t want to accept this position due to my family situation. At the same time, it would be a dream come true for me to coach the Norwegian national team, and I would like to work with the national team at a later point in time,” Aukland said to Norwegian television station NRK on Sunday.
The 32-year-old is the father of two young children, and his wife is expecting their third baby soon. To Aukland, that is not compatible with the more than 200 days of travel each year that is a part of the job description for the head coach position.
“It was a huge surprise that Morten Aa Djupvik decided to retire and that this position would be open. I have considered the offer carefully, and after discussing it with both my family and national team director Åge Skinstad, I’ve concluded that this is not the right path for me at the moment,” Aukland explained.
Fredrik Aukland will continue to be the personal trainer for Dario Cologna (SUI). Aukland will also be the athletic director at the high school elite sports academy Wang in his hometown Tønsberg.
Aukland’s decision to decline the position was not entirely surprising. However, after Aukland pulled his name out of the running, the short list of candidates is down to three names. According to the report from Norwegian news agency NTB Saturday, those three are Trond Nystad, Tor Arne Hetland and Kåre Tønne.
From Langrenn.com, May 8, 2011. By Geir Nilsen, translation by Inge Scheve