GARDERMOEN (VG) Here are the Norwegian cross-country boys back in Norway after arriving on a charter flight from Italian Verona – the day after Johannes Høsflot Klæbo was flown home in a private plane.
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Eight runners and support staff who are not defined as close contacts after the positive tests in the Norwegian camp are back in Norway.
Efforts are being made to bring a competitive squad to China. As it stands now, infected Simen Hegstad Krüger – if he is infection-free – can complete the latest exercises in Beijing.
– Now we take day by day. At the moment there are ten days we can not do anything about it. After that, he will be tested, then we’ll see. Now it’s about how we solve everything with reserves, flights from Europe and that bit, says national team coach Eirik Myhr Nossum to VG at Gardermoen.
Emil Iversen was more than satisfied with the reception at Gardermoen. He describes it as a relief to come to Norway.
– We have been treated as a mix between King Harald and Justin Bieber after we landed here. Strange that it is due to covid. But it tasted good that welcome here. I can live with it on, says the Trøndelag man with a smile under his face.
At the same time, he is aware that the last week has taken on an enormous amount of uncertainty.
– It has been a tough week, with a lot of ups and downs. It was a shock that struck on Sunday (sprint coach Arild Monsen’s positive test), where everyone was told to go to their rooms. Then we realized that there was no question of us participating in any quiz. Even though the rest of us got away, too many people are affected by this, says Iversen to VG.
He feels as confident as he can that he and the others who are now in Norway will get on the plane to China.
– It’s been a long time since we’ve been in close contact with anyone. I’m not saying we feel safe, but it’s better now than it was a few days ago.
The biathletes, on the other hand, have expressed his skepticism around sharing planes with the cross-country camp. Iversen thinks this is unnecessary.
– It is not so difficult to understand that people are skeptical, but we are tested all the way. Those who are going on the plane are perhaps the safest. We have not touched anything, and we can not do anything more than that. I do not think anyone needs to worry about that plane, he states.
– Do you feel that you have done enough to prevent this from happening?
– There are probably things we could have done differently. No one understands where it comes from. We had to go to the heights and we did what we could. We have lived incredibly strictly ever since covid came almost two years ago. None of us blame anyone for anything. We’ve just been unlucky.
– What do you think about the Olympics being held at all – as things are now?
– It will be bingo. As it is now, it will actually be an Olympics in the middle of the worst period with corona. It is now the most contagious. Even though it is completely harmless for 99 percent, it will be completely fatal for us to get it. It’s incredibly bad timing. We have trained all our lives for this.
Iversen believes the rules should have been different, as things are now.
– It’s clear. If you are healthy and fast, you should get a clear signal if you have several negative tests. But we know that the tests in China may capture a little more. There are several Norwegians who have “smoked” on just that, who had it at Christmas. Then it really gets a little too stupid. You are healthy, but what happened a month ago is captured. Fortunately, it is the same for everyone.
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Coach Myhr Nossum makes no secret of the fact that his stay in Italy has taken off.
– Large parts of the camp were very good, but the last part was very abnormal. It’s weird, of course. We would like to have it differently, but unfortunately you do not control everything in the world.
He says that the journey home went according to plan, where they avoided people as far as possible.
– As the last few days have been, I am very happy that it was such a journey home. It was seamless and contactless from the time we left the hotel until we arrived here. None of us have been close contacts with anything or anyone, says the coach.
– How are the training conditions until departure?
– There are ski tracks close to the hotel. Espen Bjervig is from the area, so he has asked that there are groomed trails until tomorrow morning.