February 25, 2011 (Oslo, Norway) – Greetings from Norway and our Day 2 insider report…Ahvo, coach of many successful international level Minnesota skiers and owner of FinnSisu Inc. in Saint Paul, MN, and Ritva Taipale, PhD student and club-level junior coach in Jyväskylä, Finland, are at the 2011 Nordic World Championships in Oslo, Norway – read on for more behind the scenes news from OSLO 2011… more photos HERE – Day 1 report HERE.
Some headlines from the papers today:
Timo Seppälä, the Finnish anti-doping expert states that 1 in 4 cross-country skiers at this event have used doping at some point in their career.
Sweden’s Emil Joensson is not feeling any pressure in today’s race. He just needs luck on his side and a good position in the start of the final sprint. (He was first in Drammen and is considered among the favourites today).
Matti Heikkinen has prepared for these World Championships in a different way than most athletes. His coach, Toni Roponen told Iltalehti that he has done 2-2.5km intervals at 95% heart rate max in the days leading up to the races. Some athletes have a “Mercedes diesel engine block, but Heikkinen’s body needs an extreme tune-up like a quick-firing Porsche gasoline engine”.
Your dental hygiene is important for top performance! Martti Jylhä spent some of his preparation time for the Worlds in the dentist’s chair getting cavities filled. After Liberec, Jylhä found himself overly worn-out, so he went for a blood test and made an appointment with his dentist. Once the cavities were filled, his energy levels returned. He commented that not having taken care of his teeth was an “amateur” move. Your basic health, even your teeth, is important for maximum performance!!
Overheard on the press-bus up to Holmenkollen: Norwegian reporters are being modest. Not a single one would tell us who would win today. Upon further questioning, they admitted that they hope for some Norwegian gold… but the main thing is to have a good competition. Other Norwegian spectators that we talked to were also modest and careful not to be too exuberant about medal prospects today after memories of the Lillehammer relay and Marit Bjoergen’s set-backs a few years ago.
We also learned that:
1. Oystein Petterson is better liked in Norway for his personality and down-to-earth nature than Petter Northug
2. There is some controversy about the new Holmenkollen stadium. Some Norwegians think it is great, other think it’s ugly. Some Norwegians think that it’s too expensive and suggest that maybe plowing the side-streets in Oslo would be a better use of their krone.
3. The population of Oslo has increased by 12% during the World Championships.
4. Hot dogs are served in lefse (makes them easy to hold on to). Spectators even bring hotdogs in thermos bottles of hot water for lunch (Norwegian spectators are very well-equipped.)
5. The medals ceremony was held at the University Plaza in down-town Oslo. It felt like whole town and most of the country showed up to sing “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” (Yes, we love this country) with Bjoergen and friends.
And finally, Ahvo was going to have a night-cap, but it’s so expensive that he decided to stay up all night instead. Ritva’s going to get some sleep. Have a good night!