Petter Northug is never out of headlines. And it’s not about King of Skis finishing in 48th place in Sunday’s 30-kilometer classic race, over five minutes behind the winner.
It’s about arriving to that race in style. Anybody ever heard of jet-setting cross country skiers? Well, they do now – it was a private jet that brought Petter and his trainer Vidar Undebakke to Luleå Airport near Piteå.
It was only two of them that descended from the stairs of Cessna C560 Citation Encore that is outfitted to carry eight in comfort and luxury.
To hire an American-built C560 Citation would cost anything between 3000 and 3500 US dollars per flight hour in the US – an educated guess, it costs substantially more in Lapland.
Hesnes Air, the Cessna owner & operator would not reveal how much did the 800 kilometer flight from Værnes in Trondhaim to Luleå cost.
Northug’s manager Are Sørum Langås, however, has hinted to Norwegian Aftenposten
that Northug did not pay for the flight out of pocket – it was his sponsors that made it happen. Nice sponsors indeed!
A 32 year old skier could have certainly afford the rent were he so inclined – he was the world’s skiing top earner of 2016 with NOK 5 721 353 ( approx. 600.000 euros)
It’s not the first time a double Olympic champion called attention of fans and critics alike by choosing means of transportation associated more with boxing or NBA stars, rather than skiers.
Many still remember how back in 2012 Northug appeared at Tour de Ski in his own luxury bus
“If you can’t beat them, join them” is, probably not about Petter.
photos courtesy of Hesnes Air