When Marthy Kristofferson, 32, was 18 and new to the national team, she saw runners place the napkin over the food. She let herself be affected. Now ski bosses Vidar Lovechus and Roar Helmset are making concessions, too.
She was so talented Which broke at about the same time as Thérèse Juhaug. Today, Marthy Kristofferson is the coach. It worked from the start.
For the first time, she recounts what she saw as a young female skater at the dinner table at a national team rally.
The worst thing a lot of people can see is that people hid some food and messed with it, put a napkin on top of the food and things like that. I did it myself. Because there were periods when I felt so insecure that I almost didn’t know what to do, and do it right, says Kristofferson.
I did this as a guest in «good daysThe podcast of former national team teammate Austin Petersen and partner Hans Olaf Engholm.
The topic is cross-country skiing eating disorders, which VG has written about in recent weeks. And Kristofferson does not hide the fact that she saw a lot.
– I was in the national team for many years. It’s, as everyone knows, a bit of a taboo. He was talking about it very little, and he talked about it in a very strange way. We knew someone had a problem, but in order not to affect him, this wasn’t a topic we should be talking about. But we talked a lot about it Not We should talk about it, says Christopher in podcasts.
Egil Christiansen was the coach of the national team In the years that Marthy Kristofferson was in the national team. He didn’t test it so the ladies weren’t allowed to talk about eating problems.
— but at the same time we did not want it to be a 24 hour topic, so that there was an emphasis on it all the time, but rather that we had to take it when we had some time. We talked about everything possible,” Christiansen told VG.
He thinks it is very good for the 32-year-old to talk about his experiences. He credits Vibeki Scoftrud, who died in a jet-ski accident three years ago, for the openness she has shown about her challenges around food and body.
There are probably many current practitioners who can identify themselves. Aside from Vibeke, everyone talks after their career, and it’s hard to admit things along the way, and that happens then. It may be a little late, Christiansen says.
In the book “Winner Heart”, That came earlier in October, Marit Björgen told a lot of the same thing – like that for 20 years. So friends of the national team poked food and weight loss.
For seven seasons, Kristofferson was a teammate of Björgen.
In recent weeks, VG has written several cases about eating disorders in a cross-country setting.
Research has shown that 30 percent of top-level cross-country skiers have an eating disorder to some degree. It rises above the rest of the population.
Experts say the problem is getting bigger and bigger.
Vidar Lovechus and Roar Helmset, Until recently, the national team manager and coach of the national team, they saw the same thing as Marthy Kristofferson: Berking in food and napkins to hide.
– I’ve seen a lot, Hjelmeset tells VG.
At the meeting, he sat with the runners at the dining table. followed. After the meals, he could have a two-way conversation, to say that not enough was eaten – or that there were simply no carbohydrates on the plate.
He says it was clear to practitioners. Show them that And therefore.
Some think it’s okay with the comments, according to Helmsett. Others have experienced that he is defensive and shifts the focus to others.
– There was always someone messing with the food. In a large team, someone was usually sitting and not eating properly. Went in waves. And the food was more fun abroad than in Norway. But things are a little upset and a little wrong, because it may seem as if Marit Björgen was the only one who ate proper food, which is wrong. There were many who did, says Helmsett, who is today back at a teaching job at Ski High School in Hovden.
Vidar Lovechus has worked for the Ski Association from 2006, and was the national team manager from 2011 to 2019. He thinks what Marthy Kristoffersen says now matters.
– It may seem that someone took the largest share in the world. Then it was just air and vegetables. Then a handkerchief was placed and went straight into the trash, Lovechus says of his own observations.
He asserts that coaches and managers have worked hard on this issue. They talked about the challenges. But they found it difficult.
The perfect body in sports, society and social media is in a totally wild pursuit. And the amount is killer, he says.
Lovechus says that he himself never confronted a practitioner about insufficient eating, although he saw it with his own eyes.
But he alerted health workers and said he was deeply involved behind the scenes.
Løfshus doesn’t want to explain the problem, but he thinks it’s a challenge that makes it easier for athletes to cheat the system.
If eating isn’t good enough, we can agree that they should do less exercise. But what they record in the training diaries, and what they actually train, we can’t control. Then we had to be with them all the time, even at night. It’s not possible, says Løfshus, who next season will be a TV expert for Viasat’s cross-country broadcast.
Egil Christiansen said last summer To VG that in his fifteen years with the ladies across the country, no one came to him directly and said they struggled with food and weight.
– That there is a possibility that someone may have touched it, I definitely think so. Maybe so. But no one came and said they had a problem or needed help of some sort, Christiansen said.
VG confronts Marthy Kristofferson with these statements. You remember something other than Christiansen.
The positive thing is that the whole team had many meetings with the coach. This was at a time when the team was very strong. Food was often a theme. We know some struggled. Many of them were insecure, Kristofferson says in Happy Days.
– How do you know that someone is struggling?
– There were many who were open in those meetings. it was good. Kristofferson replied in the podcast that they didn’t say they were sick, but that they had a strained relationship with food.
Christiansen now repeats that no one came to him directly and said they had a problem with food.
– But I came across notes and questions and such. We discovered some issues when someone admitted things after being asked about them, Christiansen tells VG and says there were many difficult cases he had to deal with that took a lot of time.
In 2016, Christiansen became the coach of the national team of biathlon masters. He thinks opening up about eating disorders wasn’t good enough. Nor did he believe that the quality of what was delivered was good enough.
There has to be an openness about what happens when an athlete eats too little. Sports should be the best of all time. They are neither overweight nor underweight. It’s hard to be fully fit, based on the demands of working in different sports, says Christiansen and continues:
It’s all about performance nutrition, for some it can turn out to be some kind of satisfying variation. We want as few people as possible, and preferably no obsessive thoughts about food and the body. For some, unhealthy foods are healthy. If you have the task of increasing the percentage of fat, it is unhealthy to eat only salad. But if you have the task of quitting a little, a so-called healthy diet is important.
In top-level sports, Christiansen says, there are also some people who will lose weight.
– So it is very important to have control over what happens, after that also, do not enter a phase so the athlete thinks that he should continue to lose weight, so as not to develop into a disease.
Today Kristofferson is the candidate To become the national team’s first senior-level coach in cross-country skiing “in the modern era” – when 62-year-old Ole Morten Iversen quit.
In this case, food will be high on the agenda in the environment, as promised.
As a coach, I focus on other things. What makes good athletes. For performance, performance is much better with food — and the right food, says Kristoffersen, who has trained two national team runners from the Veidekke Innlandet.
During her career, she competed in four World Cup finals and two Olympic races. Norway finished fourth in the 2009 World Cup relay, its best place in the tournament. She won six individual spots on the World Cup podium.
After her career, Marth Kristofferson gave lectures on healthy sports. Here she speaks for herself as a young athlete.
She describes herself as very confident when she became a runner for the national team. But when I discovered numbness in food among others, I became unsafe.
Now the 32-year-old wants to contribute to the openness, because she knows that it is difficult to be young and fresh in the national team.
– There are many things you don’t dare ask about. Eating for example. You learn, or you get it wrong. You grab things, but don’t you dare ask. You are not allowed to ask about her. I wish I had asked: What’s going on here? What’s wrong with food and not food and things like that? Is there an idea behind it?
But she soon noticed that the brutality was gone. Her background was strong. She found her way back to old habits.
She and Øystein Pettersen have a common message: If you are able to help those struggling with food and weight, you can’t get rid of it. Eating disorders should be treated as a disease. They are looking for knowledge. It has to be connected, Kristofferson says. from an early age. It does not hide the fact that highs can be easier if athletes eat less, but only for a short time.
It was a joy that did not last long. You get lighter, but you don’t become a better skater.
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