Thursday, December 9

– Can match Bjørgen’s contribution


LIVIGNO (VG) Therese Johaug (33) Fantastic results on the whole Norway course. National team coach Ole Morten Iversen believes Johaug’s contribution to the team is just as strong.

MANAGER’S PRAISE: Ole Morten Iversen is very excited about Therese Johaug taking responsibility in the group. Here is the ski star in a hotel restaurant during interviews in the Italian mountains.

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– I have experienced Therese absolutely fantastic. He’s probably grown in the years he’s been away. She is probably much more mature and thoughtful. Both in terms of training, but not least in terms of team building. She has been extremely important, Iversen tells VG in Italy at the most important meeting before the Olympic season.

Johaug has won almost everything since come back in 2018 after doping cases. In the spring before Johaug’s return, Marit Bjørgen, the skier’s guiding star, had lined up.

At the same time, Iversen entered as the new coach. He points out that it was a question of who should take the initiative and take responsibility after Bjørgen’s resignation.

– With Therese’s role and results, it’s easy to make your own. But Therese has been so loyal and contributed so much to the team that it’s impressive, says Iversen.

– Have you assumed that responsibility after Bjørgen?

– He definitely has. I remember there were a lot of questions about that when Marit resigned, but Therese has contributed at least as well as Marit. Maybe in a slightly different way, but overall I am absolutely confident that Therese can match Marit’s contribution to the team.

– Which way?

– Shows where the list is on opposite slopes. But it is the tranquility and the security that it gives, and how good it is when talking with the little ones. Before the World Cup relay in Oberstdorf, he calmed everyone down. She is so clear that you have to give and take a team, says Iversen.

– Therese does not always agree with everything we do in the meetings, but it is always “all in” and she supports it. Contribute to a strong team. Therese has been absolutely unique.

Trøndelag is confident that Johaug will enter the Olympic season perfectly prepared.

– Therese has been rock solid and strong all year. Hardly a bad exercise. It went very well.

– Is it possible to have a better drive-up than Johaug’s?

– No, says Iversen in cash.

Johaug himself is “very satisfied with the state of life.”

– I bring a lot of security from the last seasons, and I know that the program has paid off. But it is clear that one always faces a bit of uncertainty, considering the climate and conditions in Beijing. You just have to focus on what you can do, Johaug tells VG.

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Johaug’s personal trainer, Pål Gunnar Mikkelsplass, also reports a strong career.

– There have been very few reporting days in an average day. In general, it goes from “good” to “very good” in sessions all the time. So far it’s very reassuring, says Mikkelsplass.

Johaug has made very little change in training in recent years, but Mikkelsplass points to a small change.

– It is better now to take a few light days from time to time to be ready for the next hard block. This is to ensure the quality of the training. We’re pretty sure what he’s done so far has been near perfect, says Mikkelsplass.


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