Olaf Toft in Rowing Management: – Roll up our sleeves

Olaf Toft in Rowing Management: – Roll up our sleeves

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Olaf Toft, 47, will help save Norwegian rowing during the economic crisis in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics. The former Olympic and World Cup winner now has main responsibility for the elite of the Rowing Federation’s Supreme Sports Committee.


National team director Mark Emke and national team recruiting coach Marty Krogsrud both lost their jobs earlier in November. The Norwegian Rowing Federation must provide up to one and a half million kroner.

The economic crisis threatens investment towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

– Roll up our sleeves, says Olaf Toft to VG.

– I was asked to contribute and I agreed to some conditions. I don’t want to be a politician and sit in meetings and drink coffee. “I have to do something as active as I can,” Toft says.

Frank Ove Wright from Alesund is the new president of the Norwegian Rowing Federation. He is the former CFO at Aker. The entire current chamber was replaced in parliament in Stavanger last weekend.

Wright got into rowing through three sons who row, and she has a strong business resume. We have to play well with him as much as we can. “It’s going to be exciting times,” Toft says.

Morten Bergsen sits on the board of the Norwegian Rowing Federation as a board member responsible for major sport. Olaf Toft joins his senior sports committee. He made his Olympic debut in 1996 in the same boat as Bjergsen.

– Everything now is about making the Olympics as good as possible, says Olaf Toft. He is the only Norwegian to have participated in seven Olympic Games.

In management: Olaf Toft was in the national team with Birgit Skarsten for many years.  Now the former Olympic winner will join management.

“It is quite possible to be good with the system we have, but at the same time work on getting the association a little better financially so that we have enough hours of water and the equipment we need,” Toft says. “The training is basically free.”

Birgitte Skarsten is the favorite at the Paralympics, but three Norwegian boats have so far qualified for the Olympics in Paris. After the disappearance of Mark Emke, sporting director Daniel Liltveit Berg and coaches Johan Lidberg and Sebastian Baranzano take over.

– As of now, a new coach will most likely not be brought in from abroad, says Olaf Toft.

Not be eligible to join the sports team directly.

My mission towards major sports will be to see everyone and challenge the coaches. It will be important that the rowing federation now has clear lines. “It should be clear who does what and how,” says Olaf Toft.

– It is very unfortunate for those who have now lost their closest coach, and we must work to ensure that everyone is taken care of as much as possible in the future. We simply have to share what we can with the remaining resources, as Birgit Skarsten previously told VG.


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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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