Kjetil Jansrud: "I miss the Tour"
An ugly crash during the Schladming World Championships meant going home with no medals and a season ending knee injury for Norwegian all-rounder Kjetil Jansrud. But five months later he is working hard to get back on skis. He took a moment out of his busy schedule to give us an update.
Q: There is never a good time to get injured, but getting injured at the most awaited event of the season seems as even worse timing. What was more difficult, dealing with the physical pain or finding the best way to handle the situation mentally?
Kjetil Jansrud: Phew. I don't really know - I guess at some point the physical pain and psychological pain merges together. At first the physical pain wasn't all too bad, but dealing with the fact that I was out of the World Champs and the rest of the season was pretty tough on the mind. I'm glad I managed to look forward from day one, and turn pain into goals for the future.
Q: You chose to start rehab first and have surgery a few weeks after the injury - what led you to this decision?
KJ: I had the surgery about a month after the injury. This is actually a way of doing things that are almost solely bound to Norway and Norwegian physiotherapists. They have extensive research that shows rehab being faster if you are healed before the surgery date. In essence: you do a physical test, and when your injured leg/knee is as strong or almost as strong as the healthy one, you get to have surgery.
Q: According to the updates coming from your Social Media the recovery seems to be going well, what are the plans for getting back on skis?
KJ: First of all, thank you. I try to give an impression of my recovery through Social Media, and I'm glad you think it's going well. It is in fact going quite well. I hope to be back on skis around September. This means that I will be with the team in Portillo, Chile and Ushuaia, Argentina. And I’ll give you a little teaser; I hope to be on skis before that time, but it's top secret.
Q: You missed part of last season and are about to get back straight into the Olympic one. What are your expectations and how important are these Olympics for you?
KJ: Every season is important - regardless if there are Olympics or not. That said Olympics are definitely one of the biggest goal you can have as an Alpine Skier, it’s comparable to the Overall. It's more difficult to talk about my expectations. I know the road back to skiing most likely will be tougher than I expect it to be. As such, I'm not to keen to go in details about what I expect. I will admit to the Olympics being important, and that I hope I will participate.. And once you are participating... well...
Q: You and Aksel have been at the core of the Norwegian team for a few years now, how beneficial is it to have such a strong teammate to work with?
KJ: As a small team, being two racers able to win races is incredibly important, but also in a way quite special. We are a small team, and the success is in part due to how we work together. We spend a lot of time talking about technique, discussing which directions we want to develop the equipment, and besides being good friends; we are also fierce competitors in the hill. No one wants to go home without the fastest time of the day.
Q: Do you feel you and Aksel finally got out of the Kjuss/Aamodt shadow, or are the comparison simply flattering?
KJ: Well, to me it is nothing else than flattering. My results compared to those of Aamodt and Kjus are a different league, and you might not do them justice by comparing them with me. That said; in terms of World Cup wins and non WCH/OG trophies, Aksel might become bigger than they ever were. In speaking of Aamodt / Kjus, Aksel has to be included while I'm not so sure about myself… yet. Hopefully someday.
Q: There are some young guys, like Kristoffersen, making a name for themselves on the Tour, is there a piece of advice you wish you knew when you were that age that you can give them now?
KJ: Wow. Yes, there are many. There are always hints and tricks you pick up along the way. It's not given, that what works for me, works for let's say Henrik, but I am always trying to pitch in what I can. It's up to the young guys to take advantage of the small things I can help with. We are a small team, and every new member in the World Cup ranks is more than welcome.
Q: Looking ahead, what are you looking forward to the most?
KJ: Lake Louise and Beaver Creek! I want to be 100% healthy, in great shape, and ready to compete against the rest of my good friends on the Tour.
Q: Anything we forgot to ask?
KJ: Well, you can ask me if I miss the Tour. In which case; YES!
by Ana Jelusic