Tuesday, January 18

Thea (18) wants to return to China to jump in the Olympics – 17 years after she was last there

MIDTSTUBAKKEN (VG) Totningen Thea Minyan Bjørseth (18) was born in China. Now she can return for the first time since she was a baby – to participate in the Olympics.

FLYING HIGH: Thea Minyan Bjørseth is betting on the Olympics in Beijing.

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With two of the best Norwegian jumpers, Maren Lundby and Eirin Kvandal, out for the season, the hopes of the 18-year-old Lensbygda jumper are even greater. She does not seem to be bothered by it.

Last winter, she became Norway’s first female junior world champion in jumping.

– The Olympics are the biggest thing you can take part in. It is clearly a goal for the season. But if I come to the Olympics, then I want to make good jumps there too.

– And if so, are you going back to China?

– Yes, I was born in China, but have not been there since I came to Norway. That’s 17 years ago. I have not thought much about it, it is mostly about focusing on jumping, but of course it would be a bit cool to come back there and jump in the Olympics for the first time since I came to Norway, states the Lensbygda jumper.

Thea Minyan Bjørseth was adopted into a Norwegian family and feels very much like a twin – she also claims that she has no permanent injuries from having lived in Bergen. She has moved to the jumping metropolis Lillehammer, where she is in her final year at NTG.

– After Norway won 2-0 against Montenegro and Mohamed Elyounoussi scored both goals, he said that “it means a lot to the minorities in Norway that it is possible no matter what your name is, what you look like, what background you have or where you comes from”. What do you think about it?

– I have not felt so much about it. Even though I do not look typically Norwegian, I feel Norwegian. But it’s a little cool to stand out and not look like everyone else. Show that it is entirely possible. But it’s not something I think about much. It’s extra cool to show it in ski sports, which people might associate with typical Norwegian. Although I have lived almost exclusively in Norway.

Bjørseth is now in his second season on the national team. This weekend is the World Cup start in Russian Nizhny Tagil, where the boys jumped last weekend. Precisely in Russia, she took the best world cup placement so far – a seventh place.

Also in the WC she was number seven – and also took bronze in team jumping together with Silje Opseth, Anna Odine Strøm and Maren Lundby.

WC BRONZE: Together with Silje Opseth, Anna Odine Strøm and Maren Lundby, they won bronze in the WC in team jumping in Oberstdorf.

She admits that the season preparations have been a bit up and down.

– But I feel that things are starting to get better now, she adds quickly.

– What happened?

– It has been a slightly sore back – which has meant that I have had to adapt the training a bit and such.

– It has not been quite great this summer, but things are starting to fall apart again. It looks positive. It will be exciting to see how it goes when we get started.

The Olympic selection for the female jumpers is not ready yet, but if Bjørseth continues to perform, she is probably very well placed to be selected.

– What will it be like to tackle your first Olympics if you join the squad?

– The Olympics will be a new experience. I noticed during the World Cup that there were a few extra nerves, but it was really just fun. Then I knew it meant something.


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