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Posts Tagged ‘Norwegian national team’

July 11 Roundup: Northug All-In Through 2016; Skier Makes CrossFit Games

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

– A shoe-in with the Norwegian National Ski Team, Petter Northug recently committed to another four years on the squad. According to the Norwegian Ski Association, he renewed his contract with the team through 2016.

“I depend on the very best support and the very best training conditions,” Northug said in a press release. “I do this to avoid speculations. There is no doubt that I will find the best support and training conditions in the national team. … Also the training partners and the atmosphere in the national team are important to me. I look forward to many championships with the Norwegian flag on my chest.”

– From cross-country skier to CrossFit competitor, Debbie Mizikowski does it all. The 55-year-old skier and cyclist from Fairview, Penn., is headed to the CrossFit Games on Friday-Sunday in Los Angeles, the Erie Times-News reported. One of the top women at this year’s North American Vasa 50 k, Mizikowski qualified for the CrossFit championships in April. She’ll compete in the 55-59 masters division.

– The Tour de France riders aren’t the only ones competing in the French Alps. The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team did a mountain stage of their own on Wednesday with a team time trial up the eight-mile L’Alpe d’Huez. While its not entirely clear who won, Billy Demong tweeted that he beat Taylor Fletcher:

“Managed to hold off @TFletchernordic on l’Alpe, I swear everytime I start those bottom 3km ill never race it again!”

Fletcher’s brother, Bryan, also posted on Twitter about the workout: “Time trials up L’alpe d’huez hurt. Especially after yesterdays 7 hour ride! #usnoco #tdf12″

The team is in France for a week watching the Tour de France before heading to Sochi, Russia, for the FIS Nordic Combined Grand Prix on July 21-22. L’Alpe is about a three-hour drive south of where the Tour’s 10th stage took place (from Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine) on Wednesday.

– Sweden’s Anders Svanebo and Norway’s Kathrine Rolsted Harsem finished the FIS Roller Skiing World Cup on top Sunday in Markkleeberg, Germany. In the last of three races, Svanebo won the men’s 20 k freestyle pursuit and Harsem took first in the 12 k women’s pursuit.

Both also won the first races of the series — the men’s 8 k and women’s 4 k, respectively. Ragnar Bragvin Andresen of Norway took the freestyle sprint title on July 7, and Russia’s Anastasia Voronina was the women’s sprint winner.

Complete results


June 27 Roundup: Rydqvist Not Keen on OneWay Ad; Only Oslo Wants 2016 Biathlon Worlds

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Maria Rydqvist isn’t a fan of OneWay‘s recent ad campaign, and the Swedish cross-country skier wasn’t afraid to blog about it.

“They can do what they want. But I still think you should say what you think,” Rydqvist wrote in response to the Finnish company’s advertisement picturing a scantily dressed woman holding skis over the words, ‘Too hot for you’.

“You lift an eyebrow when you see this kind of campaign,” she added.

Fredrik Heikki of OneWay’s Swedish branch stood behind the marketing.

“It is positive that we dare to do something different even though we are aware that it is a controversial campaign,” he told

“We are not forcing anyone to buy this ski,” Heikki added, adding that the target group was 18- to 29-year-olds.

– Looks like there’s a good chance Oslo will host the 2016 Biathlon World Championships. According to NRK, the Norwegian city is the only bidder to have submitted an application on time. With all entries due by last Friday, the International Biathlon Union issued a list on Monday that verified Norway was the only candidate for the 2016 championships. NRK’s biathlon expert Halvard Hanevold said Oslo would almost undoubtedly earn hosting rights, but hesitated to say it was a done deal. The last time Oslo hosted biathlon worlds was in 2000.

“We have worked so hard to get there, so it costs little to stay the course,” Hanevold said. “But it will be a great championship, if it should happen. Also the foreigners think we deserve this.”

When it came to confidence in hosting the event, Norway’s biathlon president Tore Bøygard didn’t hold back.

“It has never happened that the World Cup has been given to an applicant who has not complied with the deadline. It would be unserious,” he said in a translated interview. “Now we can start planning in earnest.”

– Wondering what the Norwegian national teams are up to? As expected, they’re training — the men in Lillehammer and the women at the Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi in the Italian Dolomites – and head coach Åge Skinstad told Langrenn they’re right on track.

“We are where we should be about five months before the World Cup beginning in Gallivare,” he said in a translated interview.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian sprinters are gearing up for a two-week camp in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Several of the team’s athletes plan to race in Norway’s Blink Festival, a series of rollerski events, from July 19-21.

Former Norwegian, Canadian coach Inge Bråten Dies at 63

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Legendary Norwegian national team coach Inge Bråten passed away on Friday morning at the age of 63 after a brief illness, reports Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Inge Bråten. Photo:

Bråten was one of the most successful coaches in Norway’s history, and is largely credited with reviving the national program in the 1990s, during which time his athletes, including Vegard Ulvang, Bjorn Daehlie, and Thomas Alsgaard, won 15 World Championship and Olympic gold medals. He left the national team after the hugely successful Lillehammer Games.

In 2005 he returned to coaching, this time for the Swedes, and led them to three Olympic golds in 2006. He left Sweden in 2007, and later joined Canada’s coaching staff for the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

Afterwards Bråten became the Swiss head coach, but left after five months. Most recently, he worked as a commentator for Canal+ and Eurosport.


Northug Nabs Norway’s Second Relay Win

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

After Norway’s women showed their strength in winning Sunday’s earlier relay in Sjusjøen, Norway, its men repeated the feat with an 0.8-second victory in the 4×10 k relay in 1:35.24.8.

Petter Northug secured the win after third-leg Lars Berger gave him a 0.3-second lead. Berger worked his way into the front pack after Eldar Roenning (1st leg) and Finn Haagen Krogh (2nd leg) put Norway in a position to make a move.

After Northug toyed with the frontrunners, the pace eventually picked up. He shook them off in the stadium and brushed off his forearms to gesture to the crowd, just before the finish.

The Norway III team was second (0.8+), and Sweden captured third in a photo finish (+1.1) over France (+1.4). An early leader, Russia was fifth (+1.5).

The Americans were 11th (+58.8), and the Canadians did not finish after trailing in last place, 3:40 back, at the start of the fourth leg.

Top 10:

1. Norway I

2. Norway III

3. Sweden

4. France

5. Russia I

6. Finland

7. Norway II

8. Switzerland

9. Italy

10. Russia II

Complete men’s relay results.

Nov. 4 Roundup: Opening races in Beito canceled (WC a go for now); Harvey says, “drink responsibly”

Friday, November 4th, 2011

— The Norwegian opening races scheduled in Beitostølen for November 11-13 were canceled on Wednesday—still not enough snow. The director of FIS Cross Country, Jürg Capol, said a decision will be made on the first World Cup in “the middle of next week.”

The change in plans has pushed the Europe departure date for U.S. athletes back by a week, but they may have to change their destination too. The weather forecast isn’t looking too promising, and FIS is exploring other options in Norway and nearby Sweden so that the first World Cup can go off on November 19th as planned. If it ends up moving outside Norway, the Norwegian National Team will lose its 10 additional start rights per gender for being the home team.

— Alex Harvey (CAN) would like to remind you to party responsibly this holiday season. Click here for his appearance in an ad for Quebec driver service Opération Nez rouge (“Operation Red Nose”), which will pick you up from any bar or party in Canada and drive you home in your own car. The service is free, but accepts donations to go towards the 100+ organizations across Canada that benefit from the proceeds. The official website reports that amount to be about $1.3 million every year.

Unfortunately, it does not seem likely that the World Champion will personally pick you up if you call the number.

— More news on the Finnish contract dispute: Sami Jauhojärvi told FasterSkier in an email that athletes have been told not to reveal the contents of their newly signed contracts to the press. In addition, he wrote, “We athletes also made the decision to no longer comment about the situation for media! This is just for the reason, that we can concentrate 100% for trainings.”

At the end of October, the Finnish ski federation and athletes had reached a compromise (but not a resolution) on an old contract clause that required skiers born after 1987 to give 5% of their winnings back to the federation. The clause remains, and Jauhojärvi said that in the spring, he and his fellow athletes will sit down again with the federation to renegotiate before the 2012-2013 season begins.

Trond Nystad Accepted the Head Coach Position

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Trond Nystad, 40, was introduced as the new head coach for the Norwegian men’s all-round cross country team Thursday.

Trond Nystad is Knut Nystad’s twin brother. Knut Nystad is the head wax coach for the Norwegian cross country teams.

From 2002 to 2006, Trond Nystad was the head coach for the US cross country ski team. At that time, Vidar Løfshus, who is the new director of the Norwegian cross country national teams, was also a part of the US Ski Team coaching staff. From 2007 to 2010, Trond Nystad was the sprint coach for the Swiss national cross country team.

Nystad lived in the United States until recently. Wednesday, he was interviewing with the Norwegian Ski Association about the head coach position for the Norwegian national men’s all-round team.

From NTB, May 12, 2011. Translation by Inge Scheve

Aukland Turns Down Head Coach Position

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

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, May 8, 2011. By Geir Nilsen, translation by Inge Scheve

Norway’s Women’s Sprint Coach Retires

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The Norwegian women’s head sprint coach Jon Arne Schjetne retires after this season.

According to Schjetne, there is no drama involved in his resignation, and the athletes have been informed about his decision.

“The choice was very easy for me. I would either resign after this season, or stick it out until after the 2014 Olympics in Sotchi. Three years is a long time, and you feel that particularly well when you have a wife and two kids age 2 and 6 at home, so leaving now felt right,” Schjetne said to Norwegian news agency NTB.

Schjetne has entertained the idea since Christmas, and the decision was pretty much clear after the 2011 World Championships in Oslo.

“I think it’s fair to the racers to quit now, so they have a chance to get used to a new coach leading up to a season without any major championships,” Schjetne said to NTB.

Schjetne was given the option to continue working for the Norwegian Ski Association, but said no thanks. Schjetne emphasizes that nobody urged him to quit, neither his wife, nor the national team director Åge Skinstad nor the national team athletes.

Schjetne has been a part of the national cross-country ski team since 1999. The past two seasons, he has been the women’s sprint coach. Prior to that, Schjetne was the assistant coach to Norway’s national women’s team coach Egil Kristiansen.

“I don’t rule out that I will return to the sport and do a job in some sort of function, either at this or a different level at a later point,” Schjetne said.

At this point, he is taking a position in the manufacturing industry. Schjetne will work for a company called Kuka based out of Gjøvik (near Lillehammer), who makes robots for industrial purposes.

While national team director Skinstad understands and respects Schjetne’s decision, he will be missed.

“Jon Arne has done an incredible job for the sport, ever since he started working with the junior national team. The past two years, he has coached and developed a sprint team that has earned amazing results,” Skinstad said to NTB.

Skinstad would have liked to see Schjetne continue in his position. “We would have liked to have him stay, but I respect his decision. I’m sure the sport will enjoy his skills and involvement at some level, locally or nationally, at a later point in time,” Skinstad said.

The opening for the head sprint coach position with the Norwegian women’s team will be announced shortly. Schjetne will continue his position until the summer and a new coach has been hired.

From, March 21, 2011. Translation by Inge Scheve