– They need a different type of trainer

Ole Morten Iversen, 63, thinks cross-country women want a younger and more enthusiastic national team coach.

PACKING TOGETHER: Ole Morten Iversen quits as coach of the women’s national team cross-country. Here at Gardermoen on the way to the Olympics in Beijing. .

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After four years as coach of the women’s national team, Ole Morten Iversen thanked her and returned to her teaching job at Meråker high school.

Before Christmas, he made a decision. This is the last season.

“But I don’t want any control over that until the Olympics are over,” Iversen said.

Therefore, he kept the decision to himself. The first to find out was co-worker Ola Vigen Hattestad, so he alerted cross-country manager Espen Bjervig. On Tuesday, she briefed the women on the decision at a team meeting.

Iversen ended her national team coaching career with three Olympic gold medals for Therese Johaug. At the same time, it is the Olympics with a lot of noise around communication.

– I’ve really received a lot of criticism about the storm going on around withdrawals and communications. Communication has not been handled properly. But I don’t want to take it alone, we have to take it together, Iversen told VG.

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Ragnhild Haga, Anne Kjersti Kalv and Maiken Caspersen Falla stated that their communication and preparation for the Olympics was not good. Haga said in early March that it’s a “use and throw away” mentality between cross-country management.

– We had years of success, then it exploded into a hurricane at Seiser Alm and we were really challenged on how stable we were, and we weren’t quite prepared for the storm that was coming. So the organization needs to clean up a bit, Iversen said.

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He also thought they had received some inappropriate criticism of late. But it was already part of the job to stand in it, even though he had experienced it a little unfairly. He encourages his successor to be open and accessible, even if it costs a little.

Iversen didn’t want to say much about who would replace him, but he did note that his former student at Meråker high school, Marthe Kristoffersen, was mentioned.

– I have called women, there are too many men at work here. I think there are two requirements for a new coach: Young and energetic. “I know girls want a more youthful enthusiasm than I can give, not because I’m old, but because I have a slightly different way of being a coach,” the 63-year-old said and chuckled.

Maiken Caspersen Falla was among those who had called a female trainerMens Heidi Weng has proposed Martin Johnsrud Sundby.

Iversen considers the job of coaching the national team too much logistics and facilitation. He wanted to be closer in training and have more influence.

– Because of that, I can’t do a good enough job in terms of the expectations that the girls have. They want more speed, energy and enthusiasm. They may lose a more sustainable coach. I’m more safe and kind, Iversen told VG.

– So you dance too little on the table?

– Maybe I do. But I don’t know if it will last if I do, Iversen replied and laughed.

HEIA SWEDEN: Ole Morten Iversen has also coached the Swedish national team. Here from the job during the Tour de Ski in 2017.

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He is very happy to have had four years as coach of the national team in Norway and previously two years in Sweden. He had adventurous days at Seefeld in 2019 as World Cup gold and medals poured in. WC Oberstdorf was a new win for Therese Johaug and gold in the relay.

Iversen ended his national team coaching job with three Olympic gold medals for Johaug in Beijing. Last weekend Johaug said goodbye to Holmenkollen. Now it’s just Falun again and the World Cup season is over.

Now Iversen will be more at home, although many day trips aren’t an issue in and of themselves.

– I’m 63 years old and married well, maybe it’s good to be there for a few more years, said Iversen.

Henrietta Fairbank

"Amateur analyst. Zombie geek. Hardcore troublemaker. Internet expert. Incurable twitter fanatic."

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