YOUNGSTORGET (VG) Aksel Lund Svindal (38) looks forward to the Norwegian alpine national team’s future and tells of a huge difference from when he was a young and promising alpinist, to how the national team is run today.
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– They are simply bullshit. They are good technically, perform well and are well trained. It is as if there are no coincidences, says Svindal about the new generation of Norwegian top alpinists.
The Norwegian alpine national team has never had greater breadth.
With everything from Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Henrik Kristoffersen who fight to win the World Cup every year, to young boys like Lucas Braathen and Atle Lie McGrath who both have victory and podium places in the World Cup at the age of 21 years.
It is a powerful national team Steve Skavik leads this season.
– We will have a lot of fun with that gang in the future. We had me, Kjetil Jansrud, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Henrik Kristoffersen was completely wild, Sebastian Foss-Solevåg won the World Cup, you also think “where are they next?”.
– Then comes names that you have hardly heard of, and the next day they drive into the top 10 in the World Cup, says Svindal.
– I think sometimes we should stick our finger in the ground and think that before Ole Kristian Furuseth started taking podium places in the late 80’s, it was empty between then and Stein Eriksen in the 50’s.
Svindal made his debut in the World Cup way back in October 2001, where he did not qualify for the second round of the giant slalom in Sölden. Since then, he has won 36 World Cup races, four Olympic medals and nine World Cup medals, as well as the overall World Cup twice.
– When I joined the national team, it was a few years since someone had come up in Norway, but the job that has been done from when I was a junior to how it is now is night and day. When I was 16 years old I did not know what they did on the national team, what the coaches were called, I knew so little, says Svindal and continues:
– Now it’s so transparent. There is so much more knowledge down to the younger ones, which makes the road feel so much shorter from junior to world top level. The work Norway has done over the last 15-20 years is simply fantastic. We can be quite proud.
The new host of “Masters of the Masters” says that the alpinists from other countries shook their heads at the enormous development the Norwegian national team has had: “there are always some Norwegians”.
– It is possible they think it is annoying, but when we are there it is with a smile on your face and “what are you doing for something?”, Says Svindal.
Norwegian alpine sports have good traditions for being the best on the men’s side for the last 30 years. From Kjetil André Aamodt and Lasse Kjus, to Aksel Lund Svindal to Kjetil Jansrud and now a new generation with a bunch of world-class alpinists.
– We are probably a little spoiled, but I think we should just be allowed to be. Do not problematize it and let us be a little spoiled, says Svindal with a big smile on his face.
PS! The film «Aksel», which is about Svindal’s last year of his alpine career, you can now watch on the streaming service Viaplay.