Betustullen / Roca (Dagbladet): – First of all, I am happy. I’m trying to feel like I’m here again.
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg slips into the press area in sleds after a practice session on Thursday. Two years after her appearance in Beitostølen and I talked about health problems at an emotional press conferenceShe’s back in earnest at suburban circus.
This is the first interview with the Norwegian and international media after its decommissioning.
A gray and heavy cloud layer presses against the dark Finnish winter, but the girl Gjøvik smiles. She says it was good to get out on the World Cup track again, and that many foreign competitors have taken the time to say it was great to see her again.
The plan is to release the 10km on Saturday. Today’s sprint is over and the hunt is on for Sunday, unless coach Ole Morten Iversen sends her another message. Flugstad Østberg will also compete in Lillehammer and Davos.
The near future is all about figuring out what’s possible and how the body adapts to competition again. The national team has devised a plan that will give her the opportunity to be in the best possible shape for the Olympic Games in Beijing.
– You should be very careful. The stupidest thing that could happen is to release her and compete fully. Coach Ole Morten Iversen explains to Dagbladet that she doesn’t have the same foundation as before, so she has to think about her season plan differently than before.
So the plan for this year’s season revolves around finding the pinnacle of one shape toward the Olympics. And if the woman with two Olympic golds and six World Cup medals finds it, Iverson knows he has a medal candidate at all distances. The Gjøvik woman, for example, won five medals at Seefeld in 2019.
Flugstad Østberg herself makes it clear that she hardly sees the future:
– It is not recognized what the road will be for me. But this is what I am now. Now I will be enjoying first and foremost the three World Cup weekends, so I have to look for it, the 31-year-old explains to Dagbladet.
There aren’t a lot of skate races I’m going to, but I’ll sum up both if I think it’s fun, if I think things are working and everything really is. I’m not looking forward to that yet.
The right to the World Cup
Although it has been more than a year since her last participation in the race, Flugstad Østberg has been taken straight to the World Cup. She is excited about what it will be like to meet with international competitors:
– It’s brutal, that’s all. It could have been anyway. Some people think that the first ski slopes are easy, while others require more time. For my part now, who has been out of the house for a long time, I think and hope it gets better with every ski run I go.
Flugstad Østberg says that the few times she’s tried to walk a little, she’s felt “the worst in the world,” so she’s hoping things will improve now.
– Have you received any advice from others?
– I have talked to many about this, and most of them say that I should lower my shoulder and not think about the result. Easier said than done, because he’s quick to get excited from the first mile. I’ll try it, Flugstad Østberg tells Dagbladet.
– I talked to Johaug a lot about this weekend. She went through, in a way, some of the same thing. I’ve also been out for a long time and have been asked to enjoy it.
Johaug continues with Dagbladet:
– It’s strange to come back, but at the same time you should only do what you train every day. There is no hocus pocus. She should focus on herself and what she is going to do. She is so experienced that she can handle this.
Thanks for the trust
Last weekend was the inaugural national season in Bettostoln, but it went without the 31-year-old. For Flugstad Østberg, the focus will be on meeting others again and back into routine.
– It’s really nice to be back. What I was most looking forward to, Ostberg says, was to be with the team again.
The other women on the team are proud on behalf of their female colleagues and are happy to support them:
– The whole team noticed that she’s back. Lotta Udnes Weng tells Dagbladet that she is very good socially and in all meetings.
Sister Terrell nodded in agreement:
– It’s hard for her to stand here again. She’s slipping again like she’s always been here.
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