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Bjørgen expresses doubt about Johaug’s comeback

Former traditional cross-country skier and now TV expert, Marit Bjørgen, has cast doubt on the possibility of her fellow skier, Therese Johaug, making a comeback for the next World Championships. 

Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/Bildbyrån

Therese Johaug and Marit Bjørgen at the 2018 World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway.

With the women’s 50km race confirmed for March 2025 in Trondheim, Norway, speculation about Johaug’s return has been circulating. However, Bjørgen, who will work as a cross-country skiing expert at Viaplay next winter, expressed skepticism regarding Johaug’s comeback in a recent interview with VG.

The article continues below.

Marit Bjørgen (NOR) during a roller ski training session with Team Ragde Eiendom (now Team Ragde Charge) on June 2020. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/BILDBYRÅN

Read More: New job for Marit Bjørgen

When asked about Johaug’s chances of returning to the sport, Bjørgen cautiously responded:

“Right now, I would have said no, without knowing anything. Things change a lot after you have children.” 

When the World Ski Championships occur in Trondheim, Johaug’s daughter will be nearly two years old. Bjørgen, having experienced a successful comeback after becoming a mother, understands the challenges involved and acknowledges the personal decisions each athlete must make.

Bjørgen, though aware of Johaug’s commitment to training, believes it may be too soon to make a definitive statement regarding a comeback.

Reflecting on her own experiences, Bjørgen explains: 

“It would be a bit wrong to compare with me. I decided to come back. But I wanted to quit all the time after having children,” emphasizing the personal nature of such decisions. While Bjørgen acknowledges that Johaug possesses the potential for a comeback, her current assessment leans toward skepticism.

As the cross-country skiing community eagerly awaits the next World Championships in Trondheim, the question of Johaug’s comeback lingers. While Bjørgen remains skeptical, time will reveal whether the star skier will embark on a remarkable return to the sport she once dominated.

The article continues below.

Therese Johaug (NOR) celebrates after the skiathlon race at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Photo: Vegard Grøtt/BILDBYRÅN

World Championships

Earlier in May this year, the FIS Council approved the World Cup calendar for season 2023/2024 and cross-country skiing distances for the World Championships.

During the session, it was also approved the distances for the future World Ski Championships.

New for last season was the exact race distances for women and men in all World Cup events, as the International Ski & Snowboard Federation decided in May 2022. Several other changes have also been introduced to the World Cup.

Read More: Cross-Country Skiing Changes And World Cup Calendar For The 2022/2023 Season

Also Read: New Distances At The Cross-Country Skiing World Cup

Now, the FIS Council approved moving ahead with these distances in the future, also at the World Ski Championships.

According to International Ski & Snowboard Federation, the approved distances are:

  • 10km 
  • 20km 
  • 50km
  • 20km Skiathlon (10km classic + 10km freestyle)
  • Relay 4×7.5km
  • Team Sprint
  • Sprint

Premiere during Trondheim 2025 and Milano Cortina 2026 

Since the upcoming winter will feature no major Championships (World Championships or Winter Olympic Games), the 2025 World Championships in Trondheim, Norway, will feature the approved distances for the first time (for a World Championships). 

Read More: FIS World Cup calendar and approved cross-country skiing distances.

Also Read: IOC approves event formats for the 2026 Olympics – same distances for women and men.

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