November 30, 2022

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Brutal discovery: - The best sports are peanuts in comparison

Brutal discovery: – The best sports are peanuts in comparison

Emil Hegle Svendsen put an end to his adventurous biathlon career in April 2018.

Today, the 37-year-old is the father of two children, Magnus (3) and Elsa (1), in a full-time job in private business and engaged to P4 presenter Samantha Skogrand.

And since Skogrand is part of the permanent trio on “Radiofrokost”, broadcasting at 06am, it goes without saying that Svendsen can’t lie on the lazy side before he goes to work as a property developer in Fredensborg Fritid.

– You can quote me that the best sport is peanuts by comparison, Svendsen says with a laugh.

They started a family: Emil Hegel-Svendsen and his fiancee, Samantha Skogrand, have two children together. Photo: Vidar Road

Morning mess

– Do you get the morning shift every day?

– That’s absolutely right, it’s really hard work. It is a brutal stage when children are very young. I stand by it, but use the experience from the top sport.

– What is the most brutal?

– The fact that it doesn’t flow, that there’s a complete mess with kids not wanting to eat or get dressed, says Svendsen.

Next winter he will no longer be part of the NRK biathlon expert team, but Svendsen still has a heart beating for the sport that he has dominated for so many years.

Stand up to competitors

This love is expressed, among other things, by standing up for the talents of young biathletes who are outside the national team. Earlier in October, Svendsen traveled to Lillehammer to be the magnet for the private team Team Fosen Yard (formerly Team Mesterbakeren) under the Stortorget shopping centre.

It should be cooked early: Hegle Svendsen helps a toddler hit the blinker.  Photo: Einar Karkabi

It should be cooked early: Hegle Svendsen helps a toddler hit the blinker. Photo: Einar Karkabi

According to team manager and coach Knut Tore Berland, Svendsen’s presence ensured that sponsorship money equal to one and a half training sessions was brought in for the team.

– We received a good amount for the activity in the mall, twice as much as they sponsor us. We got that part of the agreement, Emil confirmed, and for us that meant one and a half training sessions over six days for 20 people. In this sense, it has tremendous value for us, Berland says.

He helped his team recruit seven runners to the national team in the past six years, including two at the highest level: Both Vettel Sjestad Christiansen and Philipp Field Andersen, who now belong to the elite team, gained momentum in their careers when they were part of the special team.

Hegle Svendsen believes that the work done by private teams in Norwegian biathlon is underestimated.

– It is important for biathlon as a sport and for Norway as a biathlon country that we have breadth outside the national team, someone who challenges and breathes the necks of the rich. This is why special teams are incredibly important. And they have a tough job financing the operation. We’ve only seen in recent years, with Vetle and Filip, that it has great value in Norwegian biathlon that may not be recognized enough, he says.

Links: Emil Hegel-Svendsen lines up with former coach Knut Tore Berland.  Photo: Einar Karkabi

Links: Emil Hegel-Svendsen lines up with former coach Knut Tore Berland. Photo: Einar Karkabi

I don’t want to be a coach

Svendsen had previously been in a more formal mentoring role when the team was named Team Mesterbakeren, but there was no time for that anymore.

However, he is keen to show up when he can.

Knut Toure has meant a lot in my career. When he asks, I do my best to help. I’d like to be of more help, but unfortunately I don’t have the time.

– Can you imagine working as a biathlon coach?

– I think it’s fun to have a mentoring role, and help influence young athletes in the right direction with the experience I have. The coaching role isn’t very enticing, says Svendsen.

During the start of the biathlon season in Sjusj√łen last weekend, the Fosen Yard team particularly stood out in the men’s race on Sunday: Johan Olaf Smurdal finished eighth and Trim Cylsand-Gerhardsen finished tenth.

Behind them on the list is, among others, such a runner as Tarji Bou. There was still no selection for the FTA Cup in this round.

Coach Berland has no doubts that in the future some of our athletes will represent Norway at the highest level.

– Since we have a young team, it is very likely that some of those we have on the team today will become elite athletes. We probably have a top five from last year for the 21-year-olds. So it’s going to be like a junior national team, just a little younger. And then we have the sexy elite group on the ladies’ and gents’ side, some of whom can be very good, Berland predicts.

National Team Challenge: The Fosen Yard team consists of 20 ambitious young athletes to compete at the highest level.  Photo: Einar Karkabi

National Team Challenge: The Fosen Yard team consists of 20 ambitious young athletes to compete at the highest level. Photo: Einar Karkabi

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