Ski Team

For the skiers, WSC 2011 is the icing on the cake!

The cross-country skiers have three main goals ahead of them, of which the Nordic World Ski Championships is the last and the one they look forward to the most. Chief of Sports for cross-country, Åge Skinstad, encourages the spectators to come to Holmenkollen. This may encourage the Norwegian skier to go up to 30 seconds faster.

The Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo in 2011 is already on the minds of participants, trainers and the surrounding apparatus of the national cross-country teams.

“We work according to a three-year plan consisting of three goals. First, the World Ski Championships in Liberec, followed by the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and then, finally, the World Ski Championships in Oslo. As with a good three-course dinner, what we look the most forward to is of course the dessert, which always is the best”, Åge Skinstad, Chief of Sports for cross-country at the Norwegian Ski Federation, says.


He tells us that the participants are very excited about the WSC on home ground, and that no-one on today’s national cross-country team have any plans of retiring before 2011.

“The national team that we have today will be the core of the team for the WSC at Holmenkollen. This is obviously a huge carrot for us all.”


The spectators must help

The Chief of Sports is already appealing to the Norwegian audience, not only to create a public festival, but also to help the Norwegian participants to perform to the max.

“It is important that the spectators come out to watch and cheer on the cross-county skiers along the whole length of the track. If there are no empty spots along the ski tracks, I think the Norwegian participants may go up to 30 seconds faster”, Skinstad says enthusiastically.

Leading up to the WSC on home ground, they will be training in rooms with a lot of noise, in order for the participants to get used to all the cheering and shouting.


Skis, technique and endurance
The national cross-country teams’ plan is to do well at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and then to carry over the foundation, the work and the results to Oslo the following year.

“In order to succeed, we need better skis, better technique and at the same time have performed to the max in endurance training”, Skinstad says.

This is why the cross-country team works on three main projects:

  1. Skis – i.e. ski wax, prepping and choice of skis
  2. Technique training, with special focus on skating
  3. Endurance, amongst other things altitude training

World champion between 25-33 years

“The skiers develop towards becoming world champions between the ages of 20 and 35 years old. For example, Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen was 20 years old when she won her first individual gold medal in the WSC, while Oddbjørn Hjelmeset was 35 years old. However, it is more usual to become a world champion between the ages of 25 and 33”, Åge Skinstad says.