Tuesday, May 24

– I do not want anything more to do with him

Earlier this week, the conflict between the ski jumping team and the Ski Association’s communications manager Espen Graff became known.

At the jumping boys’ press conference ahead of the games in Beijing, Halvor Egner Granerud talks about his dissatisfaction.

– He behaved towards us athletes this autumn which made me not want anything more to do with him, says the Norwegian jumper.

The jumping camp even asked for Graff to be removed as a media attaché for jumping.

– There were some procedures that were not compatible with someone who will basically work for you. Feeling I’m getting mad. I was extremely disappointed with the way he behaved towards us in the athlete group, Granerud says.

In an SMS to TV 2, Graff writes that he does not know what Granerud is aiming for.

– It is completely impossible to know what it is aimed at and therefore difficult to comment. In connection with the jumping case last autumn, I did not have contact with any of the jumpers. It was admittedly an episode where a journalist misinterpreted a text message in connection with the athletes’ wish that Clas Brede should continue, but this was quickly clarified between Alexander Stöckl and me.

– If it is this episode Granerud thinks of, I reckon Stöckl can give him facts, Graff writes to TV 2.

Espen Graff, communications manager in the Norwegian Ski Association, has from the Olympics in 2018. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Worked with the jumpers during previous championships

Both in Russia in 2014, and South Korea in 2018, the ski association’s communications manager was self-described media responsible for the jumpers during the Olympics. Until this autumn, the plan was for Espen Graff to take on the job also in 2022. But after the “Bråthen case” last autumn, that did not happen.

Earlier this week, Graff explained to TV 2 why he will not work with the jumpers during the Olympics. He explained it, among other things, with logistics challenges due to his work with the alpinists.

At the same time, he made it clear that the desire not to work with the jumpers was mutual.

– It is a big responsibility considering the international attention the alpinists get. I even informed the management of the Olympic Summit that I did not want to be responsible for jumping as well. The main reason is the infrastructure with long travel distances in the Olympics, and the desire for as much peace as possible after the “jump case”.

– I think everyone agrees that it is wise to spend some time on how we should work together again, Graff wrote in an SMS to TV 2.

During the Olympics, Sofie Torlei Olsen will be the media attaché for the jumpers.


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