Jesper Saltvik Pedersen (22) attracted attention when he told that he got a cheese as a prize after winning a World Cup race. Kjell Inge Røkke’s VI Foundation and DNB are now offering a total of NOK 1.7 million in cash prizes for the Para-WC in Lillehammer.
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It is history’s first joint World Cup in snow sports, and the championship takes place on days 13-23. January in Lillehammer and in Hafjell.
– This is the first time that prize money has been awarded in a paramasters’ championship, or para-world cup, for the sports that are included here, ie cross-country skiing, biathlon, alpine and snowboarding, says WC manager Ola Keul.
While the able-bodied alpinists pull in hundreds of thousands of kroner in prize money, Jesper Saltvik Pedersen a cheese when he won in Swiss Veysonnaz last winter. To illustrate the differences between the para-sport and the “regular” sport, he put the cheese up for sale. To be able to bet further.
– It was meant to set the agenda of how we feel. Then it completely took off. It also contributed to the prize money now in the WC, says Jesper Saltvik Pedersen to VG.
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– It’s cool that it’s possible to make a change. We are now investing in a lot of good media coverage of what will happen at Hafjell and Lillehammer. We hope it will be a new give.
It was World Cup general Ola Keul who contacted the VI Foundation with a view to cash prizes. The Kjell Inge Røkke-initiated foundation agreed to stand up. Then DNB entered as the main sponsor and earmarked up to NOK 1 million for prize money.
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Keul informs VG that the prize sums in the 108 exercises in the championship are as follows:
1st place: 800 euros (approx. 8000 kroner).
2nd place: 400 euros (approx. 4000 kroner).
3rd place: 300 euros (approx. 3000 kroner).
The World Cup was originally supposed to have taken place last winter, but was postponed as a result of the corona. It will be the largest event in Norway for pair athletes since the Paralympics in 1994.
When we ask if he has the finances to continue investing, Jesper Saltvik Pedersen answers:
– I have many good private sponsors, plus Olympiatoppen, Stiftelsen VI and Sparebankstiftelsen. So it goes around. But I have to study full time next door to be ready for life after my sports career.
He has many podium places in the World Cup this winter and says that he has had many more days on skis before the competition season than before.
– I am well on track to be able to be a gold candidate in all disciplines.
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In the WC at Hafjell there is slalom, giant slalom, super-G, super combination, downhill and parallel slalom – ie six chances.
– Where do you get your inspiration?
– It’s a cool sport. You have never run the perfect race. And then it’s hefty. Very hefty. We are up to 120 km / h downhill – on one ski.
– Now I hope that there will be many people on the ground with the World Cup at home. This is the first time I run an international race here in Norway.
This is thus the first time the world’s best in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon and snowboarding for a joint WC.