Sunday, January 16

Finn-Hågen Krogh: – It’s hard to get dreams thrown in the trash

HEAVY: It is five years since Finn-Hågen Krogh won an international ski race. But he has great faith that a challenging period will soon turn. Here at home in Alta last year.

Relay hero Finn-Hågen Krogh (31) has been very sad and despairing that he has not been good enough to sign up for the battle for an Olympic place.

All of Norway “held its breath” when the 31-year-old was chased by Sergei Ustyugov at the World Cup relay in Lahti five years ago. Krogh kept away, won and Norway cheered.

Now Krogh is not close to the Olympic trip to China and Beijing.

– I went worse than I wanted and realized that it did not work. I spent some time at Christmas working on it. I had to recover mentally during Christmas, says Krogh to VG.

The 31-year-old lost his national team place after last season. This season started with illness, broken runs and an increasing stress and declining self-esteem.

– It is hard to get dreams thrown in the trash, says Krogh.

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He has run two sprint races in the World Cup this season with an approved result (9th and 11th place), but there are more in Norway who are better. Right now is the everyday life of the Krogh Scandinavian Cup.

– I could scream in the woods. But I rather lie and think a little. In one moment I paint everything black, in the next I become offensive and want to fight back. In the end, I come to the conclusion that it is fun to ski and I want to continue working to become a better skier, says Krogh.

And on Friday there was an upswing when he finished third in the sprint in the Scandinavian cup in Falun. Krogh was only beaten by Olympic-ready Håvard Solås Taugbøl and Swedish Karl-Johan Westberg who won, but he was ahead of national team sprinter Sindre Bjørnestad Skar.

World Cup gold with Northug

Krogh took his first World Cup victory in 2011. He has a total of five World Cup victories. The last one came five years ago. In 2015, he took World Cup gold with Petter Northug on the team sprint in Falun.

It was after the relay triumph in 2017 that things went wrong. In that championship, he also took bronze in the 30-kilometer joint start with a ski change.

– The security I had in training before, I have not had since then. I’ve had some bad seasons, but there have been some good periods. Having the proper security in what I do, that’s what I struggle with the most. Self-confidence is very important. I become insecure and insecure when things go badly, says Krogh.

He is Finnmarking and lives in Alta. The 31-year-old’s plan is to strike back. He wants to return to the national team. Therefore, he wants to try something new.

– I am considering moving to Oslo, Trondheim or Lillehammer. I need some environmental change. I’m starting to see a little light, says Krogh with a little laughter in his voice.

He got a boost when he became Norwegian champion two years ago – then came the tears:

Krogh has run one Olympic race in his career, the 31-year-old finished 18th in the 15 kilometers in Pyeongchang four years ago. Now he will see former teammates on TV when the Olympic flame is lit.

– When I was so far away from an Olympic place, it goes well. If it had been on the hair for the Olympics, it would have been sourer. Now I have to focus on getting my body to function normally. I will find back, says Krogh.

Norway has selected six of eight men’s runners for the Olympics (Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Emil Iversen, Hans Christer Holund, Simen Hegstad Krüger, Håvard Solås Taugbøl and Erik Valnes). Two more will be presented on Monday.

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