Harald Østberg Amundsen collaborates with Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, Erik Bertrand Larsen, Rune Brynhildsen and Morten Borgersen

Harald Østberg Amundsen collaborates with Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, Erik Bertrand Larsen, Rune Brynhildsen and Morten Borgersen

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Harald Østberg Amundsen celebrates his victory in Les Rousses in front of Sjur Røthe and William Poromaa.

LES ROUSSES (VG) In short order, Harald Østberg Amundsen (24) has gone from being out of the team to becoming a favorite for gold in the WC. He has several notable names around him.

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– I have a good group of supporters and there are many who have done a lot to enable me to skate fast. It’s all about my investment,” Amundsen tells VG after winning in France.

Shortly before the start of the season, the 24-year-old contracted the coronavirus. He broke the opening in Betostolen and until Friday had only one World Cup race (11th place). While the rest of the national team went on the Tour de Ski, Amundsen seemed to have no chance of a WC spot.

But Three wins in three weeks In his favorite workout break he starts skiing (10k free in Scan Cup, 15k free in NM and 10k free in World Cup) means he will now, after all sun signs, travel to Ski WC in Planica as one of the big favourites. gold in practice.

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Along the way, Amundsen has had help from many well-known names: Erik Bertrand Larssen as a mental coach, Rune Brynhildsen helps with sponsors and the media, while billionaire Bjørn Rune Gjelsten and sports chain founder Morten Borgersen are the biggest sponsors through their ownership of sports store Milslukern.

Amundsen heeded advice he had received from former great runner Martin Johnsrud Sundby during a session in Holmenkollen several years ago.

– Tell how important it is to have a good team around him, with good people you trust, says Amundsen.

Things gradually fall into place, and opportunities arise as time goes on and you do better. It’s hard to plan but I’m keen to seize opportunities.

Bertrand Larsen and Amundsen connected “somewhat by accident” in 2020 via the father of cross-country skier’s friend, Hedda Follestad Thorhalson.

– Our contacts are different, but the period when I was outside the World Cup and was tired was the most important period. The past month has been important.

Head in the right place: mental coach Erik Bertrand Larsen and skier Harald Ostberg Amundsen.

Through an acquaintance, Amundsen came across Ron Brynhilsen, a well-known public relations consultant and former presenter and commercial Ingebrigtsen family athletics director.

The setup was that he should try to help get a bigger major sponsor. Then help out with both sponsors and the media, says Amundsen.

Before Christmas 2021, Amundsen signed a sponsorship agreement with Milslukern. This brought him into contact with billionaire Bjorn Ron Gilstein, who had long had a promising skating career.

Interested: Bjorn Run Gilstein, Norway’s 13th richest with a net worth of around NOK 20 billion according to Capital, has a love for cross-country skiing. In the fall he met Harald Ostberg Amundsen

– We corresponded a bit, and we also had a meeting to exchange experiences. He’s a busy guy, but he’s very interested in skating, so he thinks it’s fun. He has given me motivational words many times.

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– What can you reveal about their meeting?

– Bjorn Ron is keen on many sports and did cross-country skiing in his younger days, so he has good control. It’s so interesting to talk to people like this who have also achieved so much in other areas. While Morten Borgersen and Anton Sport Owner Melsluckern have contributed plenty of equipment and expertise that enhance the day-to-day training.

Amundsen would also like to thank everyone on the way to Friday’s first World Cup victory: the coaches and environment at the Asker Ski Club, at Team Norconsult, the national team and the national team at the distance.

In addition to his girlfriend Hedda Follestad Thorhalsson, friends and family – including twin sister Hedda Østberg Amundsen are in the national team for recruitment.

Twins: Harald Østberg Amundsen on the distance team and Hedda Østberg Amundsen on the national draft team.

Family and girlfriend mean everything out there. My mom and dad have traveled, to say the least. Outside of the professional team, Amundsen says, getting together with family, friends and girlfriends is of course the most important.

National team coach Erik Meyer-Nosum described Amundsen’s first World Cup win as touching, and believes there will be more for the youngest player on the distance team.

– It was nice to breathe fresh air last year. He’s a fairly mature athlete in his head who has good ideas on how to get good. Then he is smart to take inspiration from the seniors in the team to get around the traps they fell into, says Nasoum.

Veteran Hans-Christer Holland believes the 24-year-old is old at heart.

– I think he was closer to 35 than 25. He’s quite mature in his head, says Hollande, laughing a bit and praising his performance in France on Friday.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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