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Klæbo’s candid insights: Podcast reveals athlete’s determination and concerns

In a recent podcast episode of “The Devon Kershaw Show” on FasterSkier, traditional cross-country skiing sensation Johannes Høsflot Klæbo provided a candid and insightful look into his training regimen, thoughts on the sport, and concerns about the treatment of skiers within the Norwegian National Team. 

Photo: Manzoni/NordicFocus

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) during the Blink Festival 2023.

You can listen to the full podcast episode here and find the original FasterSkier article about his training camp in the USA here. The conversation occurred in Utah, where Klæbo was preparing for an uncertain season.

Below are some key takeaways from the podcast:

A Training Oasis in Utah 

Klæbo chose the picturesque region of Park City, Utah, for his summer training, emphasizing the perfect conditions it offers for cross-country skiing preparation. The high altitude and extensive terrain provide ideal settings for his training sessions, making it a top choice for Klæbo’s off-season regimen – more about Klæbo’s training camp in Utah soon on ProXCskiing.com. 

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) training in the USA.

A One-Man Team 

Unlike some athletes with extensive support teams, Klæbo’s training crew in the USA consists of his father, his girlfriend, and an American physiotherapist. Despite the small team, Klæbo remains meticulous in his approach, even consulting his grandfather for advice on various aspects of training.

Athletes Treated Unfairly 

Klæbo expressed his concern about the treatment of athletes within the Norwegian National Team. While acknowledging the team’s financial challenges, he criticized their decision to release accomplished athletes like Skar and Tønseth from the squad, considering it disrespectful and poorly timed. Klæbo emphasized the importance of treating athletes with respect and dignity.

About Recognition Abroad 

Klæbo’s fame and recognition in Norway starkly contrast with his experience in the USA. During a casual game of golf with strangers, Klæbo went unrecognized until someone googled him, highlighting the significant difference in the level of recognition compared to his home country.

A Season of Uncertainty 

Klæbo remains committed to his training as if a regular season is on the horizon, but he hints at the possibility of alternative solutions if the current situation doesn’t improve. With the World Championships in Trondheim just around the corner, Klæbo focuses on creating a better environment for athletes within the Norwegian team.

A Vision for the Future 

Klæbo has set his sights on the 2025 World Championships in Trondheim, expressing his willingness to sacrifice races in the current season for this momentous event near his hometown. He believes this is the right year to strive for change within the sport.

Pride in Oberstdorf 2021 

When asked about his proudest moment among his many accomplishments, Klæbo surprisingly pointed to the 2021 Oberstdorf 50-kilometer race. In that thrilling race, he battled with Bolshunov until the last meters, ultimately being disqualified following contact between the two. The gold medal went to Emil Iversen, but Klæbo chose not to sue the FIS, even though the rule was changed the following year. He expressed his desire for that gold medal around his neck and his longing for a distance victory in major events.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) and Alexander Bolshunov (RUS) during the 50km race at the 2021 World Championships in Oberstdorf. Photo: Johanna Lundberg/BILDBYRÅN

Exploring New Horizons with Ski Classics 

During the podcast, Klæbo hinted at the possibility of venturing into the world of long-distance skiing by participating in Ski Classics events. While he has not made any official declarations, it’s plausible that if his situation with the Norwegian Ski Association remains unresolved by November, he may consider taking part in some Grand Classics events such as Marcialonga or Vasaloppet. Klæbo’s foray into long-distance skiing could introduce a fresh and exciting chapter in his career as he explores new horizons in the sport.

Read More: Klæbo reveals alternative plan

As the season approaches, Johannes Klæbo continues to train diligently and advocate for a more respectful and athlete-centric approach within the sport. His determination and commitment to excellence are unwavering, and he remains a captivating figure in cross-country skiing. 

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