Saturday, November 27

Magni Smedås lost his father just before the start of the season: – Things become very meaningless

BEITOSTØLEN (VG) Magni Smedås (26) got a long and good hug from Therese Johaug (33) after Saturday’s opening race. Early in the race, grief appeared that the father was no longer here.


After the finish line at Beitostølen, she shed tears. The third cousin Therese Johaug walked over to her in the goal area, gave her some kind words, a good hug and a comforting shoulder.

– She has her closest family and friends that she relies on the most, but I have sent a message and said that I am here for her and think of her and the family. It shows what strength she has when she starts today. It is so impressive, says Johaug to VG.

Inge Morten Smedås died in a car accident at the end of September. He was a journalist in Arbeidets Rett and a well-known person in the cross-country environment.

Saturday’s race was an emotional experience for the daughter.

– It was challenging to manage and stand the race out without the thoughts drifting away, but I am very proud that I got through the race and that I managed to focus on my tasks and ski well, Smedås says to VG.

INBITT: Magni Smedås gave what she had in Saturday’s race.

Johaug from Dalsbygda won superbly, while Smedås from Dalsbygda finished in a nice 11th place.

– Things become very meaningless and you get a little perspective on things. Being a skier becomes very, very small. But that’s what I love to do, so it’s very good to be here and ready to go cross-country skiing, says Smedås.

– What feelings did you have today?

– It was especially in the first round when I started to get tired that my thoughts started to drift a bit. You’re a little drawn back to the reminder that Dad’s not here anymore. Then you get a little tilted by the stick, but then I managed to regain focus and do what I was supposed to do – one step at a time, Smedås answers.

The 26-year-old has run 18 races in the World Cup so far in his career. She has an 8th place from Davos 2019 in 10 kilometers as the best result.

Smedås was very impressed when she went through the press zone after the race. But it was she who took the initiative to talk about how she is feeling, and what it was like to go cross-country skiing with such a new grief.

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Demonstration of power by Johaug – superb at Beitostølen

– The support has been enormous. There are a lot of people who think of me and who come to visit. I really appreciate that, because you get very lonely and small when something like that happens. It is nice to be a part of Cross-Country Norway during that period here, says Smedås.

In the finish area, the mother shouted loudly: “Maaaagni and yes”, when the daughter crossed the finish line. She says she always does, but adds that “maybe it was a little extra today”.

– She has a great team around her and people in the cross-country family take care of each other. They are not only competitors but also friends. We had no idea what she was capable of and whether she was able to focus. The grief is completely unpredictable, so we only have to relate to it when it comes, but she managed it, says Maj Grete Smedås to VG.

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