Heavy criticism after the elections across the country: -⁠ He feels there is fear for Ulvang

Heavy criticism after the elections across the country: -⁠ He feels there is fear for Ulvang

Not signed: Vegard Ulvang, here from a ski race in 2021. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Torbjørn Skogstad has been elected Commander-in-Chief of cross-country skiing – again – as he begins his seventh term. Those who follow sports closely believe the election was a complete failure.

– I think Ski-Norge is making a mistake, says title commentator Birger Lowaldli inside the hotel in Bodø where this year's event will be held Skiing stuff Saturday starts.

On that occasion also choose Cross-country skiing top leader in Norway. It was not unexpected for Torbjörn Skogstad. On Friday afternoon, it became clear that he will serve his seventh term until 2026. By then he will have served for 14 years.

– This will be my last semester and I am very excited to tackle it, says Skogstad to VG.

But the location and choice of Skogstad is controversial and does not impress commentators who follow skiing closely.

Re-elected: Torbjörn Skogstad, pictured here earlier this winter. Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB

Vegard Ulvang is registered as a candidate. Reverse NRC Ulvang said he's disposable and he's not just anyone in cross-country skiing.

The 60-year-old was one of them The most powerful politicians across the country The last 20 years are scant.

– I cannot see the good arguments used by the Election Commission. I have a hard time seeing it holding up. I feel like there's fear for Ulvang, as a man who dares to say something, stand up for something and wants to make a fuss. “I'm afraid that's the reason behind it,” Lovaldelli says.

My review: Adresseavisen commentator Berger Lowaldli. Photo: Bjorn S. Dilipik/VG


-If so, it is very unfortunate. When Ulvang is willing to take the job, possibly the best in the world, then a good argument is needed to say no.

Erland Ensrud in the Election Commission responds to Lovaldli's criticism:

– I think this is a wrong perception. Without going into names and other candidates, I think cross-country skiing needs brave voices, people who think differently and are direct and honest. I don't recognize myself in what he's saying, but we notice that others have opinions about this.

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Chairman of the cross-country skiing selection committee, Erland Ensrud, here at a Bodø hotel on Friday. There is an explanation for the appointment of Torbjørn Skogstad as the new leader of the selection committee. Photo: Michal Asrud, VG

In addition, his final two years were marked by public debates, sometimes highly critical, about his wages.

  • Two years ago, VG was able to say that it had seen its fees jump by 60 percent. The amount amounted to approximately 900,000 Norwegian kroner.
  • Criticism from parts of Norway across the country has been intense, including active athletes on the national team who have themselves gone through significant cost-cutting.
  • For example, five-mile race champion Pal Golberg described the cartoons as “unmusical”.

The work of Ernest A. Lersveen for several years as a cross-country correspondent for TV 2. Today he is a commentator for Nettavisen.

In principle, he believes that volunteer positions – such as president of a cross-country ski club in Norway – should be for a limited period, simply so that the organization can benefit from renewal at regular intervals.

-So you also disputed the fees he received. I don't think he belongs anywhere in an organization like the Norwegian Ski Association. “I think that's outrageous,” says Leersvin.

Torbjørn Skogstad told VG that he had no comments on Lersveen's criticism.

It is a part of history that these fees are now being changed back to their previous size, i.e. just over NOK 550,000 per year.

Fee issue:

The justifications for increasing fees were as follows:

The proposal to increase the fee came from the Vice Chairman of the Cross-Country Skiing Committee, Yngve Torsen, in 2022. He justified the proposal, which was approved by the Ski Board, as follows:

– The position of Chairman of the Cross-Country Committee is a difficult and heavy position. It can sometimes be very difficult to combine it with a civilian job. We want to look at free buying so that it is well positioned in terms of time use and that it will be considered a full time job.

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This is what Skogstad himself says about his previous drawings:

– Others decide how to reward the position. I dealt with what was decided. I was well aware that they would return the allowance for 5G (which is over NOK 550,000) when I agreed to a new term.

– I started to wonder. The managers strongly rejected the need to reduce fees because there was high work pressure. But now that there are discussions about his candidacy, up to half the price has been paid. Should he work half the time then, or asks Leersvin.

– Now he wants to resign after the next term. It is never a good idea to have people waiting to quit smoking.

Lersveen explains that Ulvang, with his experience in cross-country politics, is more than capable of leading the Norwegian national sports committee.

-I know him as an honest man and an enthusiast of Norwegian skiing. Plus, I don't think Ulvang would take a penny in fees. Cross-country skiing can save you a million kroner. It can be used for something else, such as an activity.

Strong opinions: Ernest A. Leersveen, pictured here during the World Ski Championships in Planica in 2023. Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB

In the face of Leersveen's arguments, Insrud responded at the Election Commission that he agreed that “it is an interesting and important question” how long a store steward should hold office.

We also noticed this in the Election Commission. It's something we are now reporting to the Skating Board as something they need to address and it would be much easier if there was clarity around this across disciplines. But we cannot base this on an estimated assessment. Competence, experience and what one can offer should be what matters.

-Does Lersveen also think you can save a million kroner?

– Insrud says: – I do not take a position on what Leersvin is proposing.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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

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