Up Close And Personal With John Kristian Dahl, Part 2

This is a continuation of an interview with John Kristian Dahl. Part I is here

Part 2.
On competitors:
“…Petter Eliassen was a great skier and that of course was his strength – to go fast and go hard from the very start to make all competitors hurt – and he used that strength. Personally, I always dreamed to go like Eliassen – my dream was and is to win the race in his style. But you have to have a combination of top shape, top skis and top team work to make it happen. I’ve tried, for sure – but…it’s not easy. The elite group of long distance skiers is getting bigger every year. It is getting more difficult each year to break away.

“It is entirely possible that another strong skier of that style rolls into the long distance circuit, for sure. Take Martin Johnsrud Sundby – he might turn to long distance skiing later in his career. His strength is endurance as he had shown at Birkebeiner – it would be great for the sport were he to come and compete with us. It was great skiing against him.”
“Same for Petter Northug, were he to have motivation. He would have a great chance to win Vasaloppet – he both has great sprint and he’s a good tactician”
“But win Vasaloppet you have to put a lot of time and effort training specifically for that race. Birkebeiner is more like a standard WC 50k – like in Holmenkollen, for instance. That’s what Sundby knows as well – that’s why he skies Birkie, not Vasaloppet”

Promotion of skiing:
“Petter Northug is engaging the crowd – for good and bad. Love him or hate him. Sundby engages people who already skiing while Northug also those who don’t care much about it. So, Northug’s way is probably bringing more fans to sport. We need both types. We also need more international skiing stars – like Cologna, like Teichmann”
“We need more skiers “from the continent” who could win races – from Germany, France etc. But the lack of snow in winters is a factor. The times are changing… if we were to have ten years without proper winters, people would lose connection to skiing and then sponsors and media stop following too. It’s a big circle.”
“Artificial snow is okay – it’s better than nothing. Everybody is dreaming about a meter-deep powder snow, of course – but it’s amazing what they could do with artificial snow at Marcialonga, I’m very greatful for that.”
“Winter sports are not as big as summer sports and cross country skiing is a niche sport, relatively small international market.”

“I’m very happy that I can be a professional athlete. I’m grateful for that. In Norway we are in a very good situation – people love ski, people watch skiing.”

Personal preferences:

“Most exciting race to ski in? Probably Marcialonga, you want to experience something special. Also La Diagonella. But I like to ski in the forests when I get tired of Italian cities. (smiles)
“Favorite piece of equipment is skis, of course. I can ski in almost any boots, no problem.”

“My ideal car is 4WD – VW or Volvo. One needs station wagon with good room for equipment and 4WD. I’ve got VW Golf station wagon and I like it.”

“I listen to different music while training, depending on intensity of training session – trance, disco, EDM (electronic dance music) is good for high intensity training, Avicii for instance. But lately I listen more and more to podcasts.”
“My favorite book of those recently read is “Born to Run” by  Christopher McDougall , I wanted to run when I was reading it, it gave me a new perspective ( excerpt: “… the reclusive Tarahumara Indians have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it…”)
“I’m watching lots of documentaries – historical, WWII, the Vietnam War – there is always something new.”

Advice:
“Everything is possible, you just have to try and go for it. It may be a cliché but it works.”

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