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Johannes Høsflot Klæbo Out Of The Norwegian National Team

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo says no and has decided to drop out of the Norwegian National Team for next season. The events of recent weeks surrounding the Norwegian Ski Association and the national team are the main reason he is now following his way.

Photo: Modica/NordicFocus

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is out of the Norwegian National Team.

“With my resignation, the ski association can reduce its costs and instead spend money on other athletes. Yes, now they will also not have to pay for my altitude camps. I have several colleagues in the national team who I feel have been badly treated in this withdrawal process. I will keep in close contact with my national teammates, even though I will no longer be part of the national team,” says Johannes Høsflot Klæbo in a press release.

“At the same time, I know that I won’t be attending most of the gatherings until the upcoming season due to my commitment to altitude. This means I would have taken up a place on the national team without being very present. In that sense, it’s also best that I’ve renounced my place in the national team,” Klæbo says.

Klæbo will self-finance his plans for the time ahead. The decision was made by the 26-year-old, and there were never any negotiations between the Norwegian Ski Association and Klæbo over next year’s national team schedule.

“I have made a decision that at least applies to the coming season,” says Johannes Høsflot Klæbo.

“There were never any negotiations between the Association and me on this matter. I have done what I think is the right thing to do as the situation with the Ski Association and the national team is,” said the 26-year-old.

“The decision makes me lose revenue and cover costs. Now I’m going to fund this myself,” he says.

“Financially, it would probably have been better for me to be part of the national team. But I don’t think about economics now when I leave the national team,” says Høsflot Klæbo.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo says there are several reasons why he now chooses to do what he does. The news of recent weeks around national team withdrawals and cost reductions has significantly contributed to the final decision.

“I feel it would have been wrong to get support for altitude camps at the same time as teammates have lost their place due to cost reductions in the association and the national team schedule has been reduced due to cuts,” Klæbo said.

“I also know that several people have thought that I have received preferential treatment that I should not have received – and which they believe is unacceptable. Now that I’m out of the national team, they don’t have to think about what they think is differential treatment. For the most part, I also stood on my own two feet last season. Now I’m going to stand on my own two feet,” he says.

At this time, athletes cannot attend the World Cup if they have turned down a national team place.

“We hope and believe that they change this so that I can go to the World Cup next season if I am good enough to race,” says Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. 

Father and manager Haakon Klæbo will work to facilitate Johannes’ efforts outside the national team. 

“Now it’s about starting over and setting the stage for a life without the national team. It was not planned. The main idea was to continue with the national team until the end of 2025, but now we have chosen a different path. We also stood on our own two feet a lot before and during last season, so hopefully, we’ve learned something. We will come back with more information in due course. But this means May will be far more hectic than I had planned,” concludes Haakon Klæbo.

Also Read – Cross-Country Skiing Experts: “Klæbo And The National Team Are No Longer A Good Combination”

The Norwegian Ski Association commented on the decision:

Through his father and manager Haakon Klæbo, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo informed the Norwegian Ski Federation this afternoon that he does not want to be on the national team next season.

“Johannes has previously communicated in the media that further investment could take place outside the national team, and we respect this decision. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that we naturally wanted to have him on the national team. We were positive about facilitating as much as possible for Johannes next season,” says cross-country skiing manager Espen Bjervig.

“With predictability and a good framework, we hoped that Johannes would be part of the national team. At the same time, he has been clear that an alternative was to stay out of the team, and we respect that, says the leader of the cross-country committee,” Torbjørn Skogstad.

Last winter, the leadership of Norwegian cross-country skiing stated on several occasions that it believes there are grounds for considering whether the Ski Federation should change the current rule stating that athletes must accept a national team place if they want to participate in World Cups and championships. This will be discussed at the next ski board meeting.

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