– I will never say I am confident in anything, but I am sure that if the athletes get to do what they want and have planned, it will take a lot because there is no precious metal in China, says sports manager for the freeski national team, Christoffer Chess.
Just before Christmas this year, the first selection for the Olympics in Beijing, China, was completed. There it became clear that as many as five of a total of six places for freeski have already been determined.
This means that the rest of the Norwegian athletes will fight for one place in the last month. It will be decided with, among other things, the World Cup race in Mammoth.
This means that Ferdinand Dahl, Christian Nummedal and Birk Ruud are ready for the Olympics – together with Sandra Eie and Killi.
– The earlier we can secure the flight ticket to China, the sooner we can shift the focus away from performance and into development, says Schach.
– Both ladies (Johanne Killi and Sandra Eie editor’s note) have delivered great. Johanne returned from injury, and four podium places in five possible. Sandra has delivered strong results. Has a fifth place from Big Air, and also has from the World Cup last year. Both have done what they are supposed to. Then it is good to plan based on when you should be the best possible and best prepared.
READY: Christoffer Schach, freeski sports manager, has selected five of six athletes for the Olympics.
– The same applies on the men’s side. We have had a number of meetings with the practitioners on how to ensure the process of being open and honest. We feel safe with those guys, at the same time as we are confident that giving them the message now allows us to move from a qualification focus and a form of uncertainty, and over to a preparation focus.
The last place is available on the men’s side. It will then Ulrik Samnøy, Tormod Frostad or Sebastian Schjerve fight for in January.
– I do not want to speculate on how people are doing, but Tormod has delivered fresh produce with a good result. He shows fantastic driving both in qualifying and in the final. It is a very good start what he has done. At the same time we know that Ulrik and Sebastian have a very high level inside, what it looks like after Fort Romeu and Mammoth and how they are ranked inside I will not speculate.
In the Olympics in South Korea in 2018, Øystein Bråten took gold for Norway in slopestyle. He has since given himself up as a competition driver.
GULL: Birk Ruud (right) has great medal chances in the Olympics. Here with Øystein Bråten, who took gold in South Korea. Photo: ESPN
– Is Birk Ruud the best in the world right now?
– He is the most complete skier in the world who delivers top results in everything. He does not bet on half pipe, but definitely the best overall if included one pipe. Then there is no one nearby.
– But then it’s difficult when you see Big Air for yourself and slopestyle. Ferdinand has the most podium places in Norway through the ages, and also took silver in the X Games Aspen. When Birk got the corona, they could not compete against each other, but I think that all five who have been taken out have opportunities in China.
– What do you think about the park and the Big Air arena in the Olympics?
– Big Air is fantastic. We are envious of having a permanent Big Air structure that is one in line with Holmenkollen. The Big Air arena itself is awesome, very efficient and very good. It is also very safe. You do not get the feeling of a scaffolding jump. You have the security of a snowmobile, but the speculative of a scaffolding. Slopestyle we have received full drawings, it is a track that is similar to the Olympics in 2018 in general. Then there are the rails which are a little different, but the jumps are very similar. It will be big, the rails were high. It is also exposed to the wind. It may potentially affect the speed if it is very hard, but it is not a place known for very much fresh snow. But I think it will be very good, The drawings look good and I know that there have been inspections and I know that there is good dialogue there
The national team travels to the USA in January and will be there for training camp in connection with the World Cup in Mammoth until they travel to the Olympics in China. This is to avoid too much travel between time zones before the championship.
PS: On snowboard, only Marcus Kleveland and Mons Røisland have secured their places so far.