Ingvild Oestberg: It’s Important For Me To Show That I Am Happy And That I Love Doing This

Ingvild Flugstad Østberg is more than a skier. With her polite manners and seemingly ever-present smile she’s a symbol of all the positive cross country skiing brings to life. Yet smiling young woman turns into a ferocious fighter once she’s on skis, be it sprint or long distance race.

It’s only too right , somehow that Ms. Østberg is a reigning World Cup holder and, by extension, a prime ambassador of the ancient sport to masses, skiing or otherwise.

But that’s not it. Can you think of any other active skier who took time to work on ski-related product and turn it into one of the world’s best? Ingvild did. When you see both amateurs and pros alike doing miles on IDT’s Invgvild Østberg Edition rollerskis – remember, it’s not just a name, her input was so important , IDT themselves say they actually were designed by the Olympic champion – or, rather, re-designed.

…We speak before the race at Blink Ski Festival. Ingvild is torn between different obligations she has and there is catastrophically not enough time to ask all the questions. Yet here’s what we managed, for your perusal.

Cross country skiing is a big sport in Norway and we are lucky we have big competitions like this one ( Blink Skifest) and that it’s on TV in prime time. We have attention both in the winter and in the summer. In other places we don’t that.

We have to think what’s more popular with the viewers – how we have our competitions. New ways of competing but at the same time it’s important to keep the traditions. Otherwise people get confused

It’s important to have stars

you are star!
Yeah ( laughs) it’s important that we try to give as much as we can to the people. . It’s really hard to say – no easy answer. We have to train and ski fast as we can. Using social media might help and interesting competitions.

It’s important for me to show that I am happy and that I love doing this. So, when I smile and cheer for teammates I can show that. When you smile more – it’s more likely the other person smiles back at you. Things get more positive

I can do what I love the most every day – and it’s important to remember that. In competitions I have quite bad days, for sure. I could be very picky about myself and even when I win I think there’s a lot of things I could do better
I don’t know if I have a favorite competitor, actually – the one that motivates me especially. When I compete against other Norwegians I want to win, of course, but if they do – I am also happy. For sure, it’s fun to compete against the Swedes as there is ongoing rivalry between us, they are our biggest rivals. We also know them the best
It’s important for me to win fair in every aspect – I like to feel that I won because I’m the strongest, not because one of the competitors fell on the distance and the other had really bad skis
What would I change in the World Cup program? Nothing, really ( laughs) – for me it’s perfect since I could skis both shorter and longer races in both free- and classic style. Perhaps, the amount of actual races – the last season was very long, there was a lot of talk about shortening the WC program. One is forced to skip a few races. In that sense it’s not the best program because you actually want to be in all races
Favorite distance? It’s been changing through the years. Both mass- and individual starts are really fun. I don’t think I would name sprint – it could be very frustrating to drop in, say, quarterfinals through no fault of your own. …All in all I think 10 to 15k in perfect day on perfect skis – that’s what I love the most

Many people read that I was considering quitting some 2 years ago – but that was one sentence in the mix of musings. And then people were like Wow! I usually don’t say things like that. I knew even then I would actually continue. Every year I feel I’ve improved. I still feel I can
Only 4 posts on Instagram this year. I’never been like the most active social media user. Sometimes I feel that I should pay more attention, to do more and that it’s important but at the same time I feel I’d like to keep private things private… And then sometimes I feel that my life is not really interesting to anyone – then I hear ” Oh, but it’s interesting, people would love it” At the same time, we have all these ( social media) rules – you can’t do this and you can’t do that. And you feel and you have been told that you’re a role model. It’s tough to combine all that, But I can definitely do better than I do now on Instagram. May be I should just hire someone to help me?
Petter has done a lot for Norwegian cross country and he’s amazing, funny and still he’s saying stuff that some find crazy but at the same time he was a very good skier. One can not be like him and I am just trying to be myself
New generation might bring somebody. Kristin Skistad – she’s a bit like Petter, she could say more Petter-like stuff in the media, edgy stuff. It would be interesting to see if she will become a new Petter for the media– the rest of us, we are just too kind.
Same length of the distance for men and women issue. Perhaps, not the same actual lenght – but time it so television broadcast time should be same or similar – so, instead of 30k to men’s 50 let’s have 40, for instance. We probably shouldn’t aim for 50K that will take two and half to three hours for us
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