SOGNEFJELLET (VG) The Norwegian women’s squad revealed that the new coaching team has created a new boost of motivation and energy. Cross-country manager, Espen Bjervig, assesses the atmosphere in contrast to Norway’s toughest competitors.
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Bjervig smiled during the first meeting of the national team of the season. He has left long demanding negotiations with Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, lubrication conflicts and many new coach recruitments.
She said the women’s athletes were thrilled with the start of Sjur Ole Svarstad and Stig Rune Kveen as coaches. The same is true for cross-country managers.
– And then we got a good appeal from the breakaway Swedish national team. It’s a bit of fun, says Bjervig.
Cross-country managers, like most people in cross-country circles, have learned that Sweden’s three big profiles has been broken with the national team.
Last season’s women’s team lost Linn Svahn, Maja Dahlqvist and Frida Karlsson. All three have rejected team meetings, association follow-up on coaching and medical teams, assignments for association sponsors.
For the winter, they can go to the World Cup and the World Cup for Sweden, but while they are free to create a personal sponsor profile, they fully manage their own training routine along with their personal trainer. It’s also been a major argument for skiers to take a break, namely that they must now optimize their workouts at home.
Meanwhile the Swedish Ski Association thought they stretched as far as they could and said they were saddened by the star’s exit. At the same time, Sweden’s cross-country manager Anders Byström has acknowledged that the national team model is possible must be considered.
Bjervig insists he is not aware of any conflict behind the national team break.
– But if I look at it sportively, I can’t understand that it is a strength for Swedish women’s cross-country skiing. They have become a united force that has lifted each other forward, as we have seen in Norwegian biathlon, Norwegian cross-country skiing and alpine skiing.
– Over the years, Swedish women’s cross-country skiing has stood together as a strong team and pushed each other to be better. Now it’s being destroyed. In the short term it might go well, but in the long term I don’t think there is any advantage to women’s cross country skiing in Sweden.
It has long been speculated whether Johannes Høsflot Klæbo will break up with the national team. But he is ready for another year with the union plan. His rating of the Swedish star picks is as follows:
Cross-country skiing is an individual sport. As long as it’s about being a better skier and having to do with my own development, I don’t mind people choosing to do other things than they were planned to do.
The 25-year-old says he makes his assessments regularly, both during and after the season, on what would make him a better skier.
– In my case this year, I think being part of the national team is the best for me, so we will see in the long term. It may not be the same in a year or two. You never know, said Klæbo.
VG asked cross-country manager Bjervig to familiarize himself with the challenges of Swedish ski management and asked what he would think if three such big profiles were to leave the national team program.
– I thought: “What does it take to gather an army?”. I think the management there agrees with my assessment, that the strongest teams are those that unite the whole gang.
– How do you think this will affect your team?
– There will be uncertainty. You start talking about what happened. There probably won’t be good frameworks here at first, but those who fall behind are good runners too, says Bjervig.
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