Q&A Nina Loeseth
Norway had it's best World Cup season ever, with not less than 20 World Cup wins and 37 podiums ! Besides the exploits of Svindal, Kristoffersen, Jansurd, Kilde & Co, the ladies's also had an exceptional season with Nina Loeseth becoming the 6th Norwegian women to grab a World Cup win and ending a 13 years long victory drought. We got a chance to chat with the 27 year old athlete and went back on her great winter.
You are in Kvitfjell for a spring training camp, what is the program up there? Is it hard to stay motivated for ski training after the end of the racing season?
The program is testing a bit new material, and getting a good kickstart to the new season. We have early mornings here, but the snow is awesome, so it´s actually quite easy to stay motivated.
With a 9th place in the Overall, this was clearly your best World Cup season so far. What changed compared to the previous winters?
I don´t think that much changed, but everything fell a bit more into place this year. The pieces of the puzzle are coming more and more together. My confidence got a lot better over the last seasons, the equipment has been working great, and I´m surrounded by people who give me a lot of motivation to push myself.
Your strong discipline used to be slalom and you established yourself within the Top group, but with a 6th place in the giant slalom ranking, you seem to have found your pace in that discipline as well. Your best GS ranking was 17th so far, how do you explain this sudden improvement?
We had some really good GS training last spring, where I started to realize how I was supposed to move in GS. After some very clever drills from my coach, it was kinda like a light bulb went on, and we kept on building on that through the summer and fall. And for sure, mentally I'm more relaxed in GS, since I have always been a slalom skier. So I don´t put the same pressure on me as I do in slalom. I guess that has been a good thing.
Tell us about your day in Santa Caterina. You started with bib n°1, topped the first run and crossed the finish line +1.12 seconds ahead of your contenders in the second run. How did you handle this special day that ended with your first World Cup win?
It was a very strange and such a cool day both for me and the whole team. I was so calm before my runs, and I was in a weird good mood that day. Even when my booster strap broke 50 seconds before I was starting in the 2nd run, I almost had to laugh. My serviceman did manage to put some tape around it though. When I crossed the finish line and looked at the board it was just pure happiness, the best feeling I´ve ever had.
What changed after this win? How special is it to add this line on your athlete’s biography?
It was a huge milestone in my career, but you move on pretty quickly in this sport. Not much changed, but I for sure I felt relieved and more confident after that race. It´s a very good feeling to add that to my athlete´s biography, also for the whole team, since it was 14 years since the last World Cup win on the Norwegian women's team.
At the World Cup Finals, you got a chance to test out the hill for the upcoming World Championships in St.Moritz. Did you like the course? What are your expectations for this important event?
I am really looking forward to the World Champs in St.Moritz, the whole place has such a good atmosphere. Every time I have been there, it`s been sunny and perfect snow, and it´s a great hill. I haven´t had any strong Championships yet in my career, so I´m hoping St.Moritz will be the place where I turn that around.
And what about the regular World Cup season? What are you working on, what are the goals?
Right now I´m working on strengthening my weaknesses and getting some details in place. The goal for the next season is to be more stable throughout the season, keep on building on the season I´ve had, ski faster and hopefully some great results will come with that.