While there is complete chaos around the Norwegian cross-country skiers in Seiser Alm, the Swedes have remained infection-free just hours away from the Norwegians. The Swedes changed the plans at the last minute.
Aftenposten collaborates with VG-sporten. Therefore, as an Aftenposten reader, you also get articles and services created by VG.
– Everyone here is a little worried, it’s probably everyone right now. Especially after what has happened to Norway, people start to think about what can happen, says Sweden’s national team manager Anders Byström to VG from Livigno.
Actually, Sweden should also have had its precamp for the Olympics in Seiser Alm, where the Norwegians are. Runners Heidi Weng and Anne Kjersti Kalvå have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in isolation in Italy, while the sprint coach for the men, Arild Monsen, tested positive when he returned home to Norway.
The Swedes changed destination in the Italy plans at the last minute.
– It was as simple as the hotel calling and saying that they had staff who were infected. So then we made the decision, and it feels really good now. You do not want to travel to a hotel with infection, Byström says.
The Swedes had not chosen the same hotel as the Norwegians in Seiser Alm, but one nearby.
– The hotel also said that there was quite a lot of infection in the area, says the Swedish national team manager.
– We had no choice, Byström says about the sudden turn they took.
Livigno is just over three hours away, and is approx. 1800 meters above sea level, much like Seiser Alm. The Norwegian men’s sprinters and women runners were at a gathering in Livigno this autumn.
– It felt like a completely natural choice. We are happy with what we did, but it has nothing to do with what has happened to Norway, says Byström, who sympathizes with the Norwegians.
The sprint hope Jonna Sundling says Expressen that she sympathizes with the Norwegians.
Øystein Andersen, Norway’s national team doctor, was asked about the choice of destination and hotel at a press conference.
– With previous experiences from the hotel, a staff that tests itself daily, with its own dining room and the room list that was available, compared to what was sportily desirable, we considered that risk to be low enough, says Andersen.
The 16 Olympic athletes and reserves are in quarantine, and will test themselves in the future. It is still uncertain when they can travel to China.