The ones to watch according to Svindal
In a recent interview with Red Bull Snow, Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal was asked to name his top pick when it comes to the names that are going to be a reoccurrence at the top of the ranking in the near future. True to his team, the two times Overall champion had two of his Attacking Vikings teammates make the list of the young talents who might in the future be ready to give a shot at winning the Overall title.
“There are a few candidates in my own team. I believe that the Norwegian team will grow strong over the next few years,” Svindal explained how his teammates made the cut.
But being one to watch it’s not all about talent for Svindal who also explained how it is difficult to pick these names in the summer, when the true pressure of racing and performing is not on as there is a mental side that often makes the difference.
"In my opinion, dedication to hard work is just as important as the level of skiing," Svindal clarified what characteristics he looked for when making his picks.
So here are the three names Svindal suggest you keep in mind:
“The obvious name is Henrik Kristoffersen. He's got the dedication and unbelievable skills on the slopes,” Svindal explains his first pick.
And the pick is no surprise knowing Kristoffersen became the youngest male medalist in Alpine Skiing when he won bronze in the Sochi slalom and achieved six World Cup podiums in the two seasons he has been competing in World Cup.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
Svindal’s next pick was 21-year-old teammate Aleksander Kilde who won gold at the 2013 Junior World Championships and scored points in the speed events during his first World Cup season.
“Like Kristoffersen, Kilde has a great attitude and a respect for hard work. He's not shown all his skills on the hill yet but he's unbelievable in summer dry land training,” Svindal says.
“A more established contender already, but I am sure Pinturault will score big in our sport for many years to come,” Svindal said about his third pick.
Pinturault won his first Olympic medal in Russia and made and had his first serious shot at the Overall title by finishing third after Marcel Hirscher and Svindal.
At this time, Svindal was not comfortable making more names this early into the next season but has no doubts that a lot can be expected from the next generation of racers.
“I am sure we will have at least one more of the young guys from my team making their mark on the World Cup. Marcus Monsen and Adrian Smiseth Sejersted are two great examples."
Svindal makes it sound like he has great respect for those who are trying to follow his footsteps and in his team even serves as a bit of a leader to this new generation. In a recent blogpost on his blog he explained that sharing his experiences was a way to replicate what Kjetil Andre Aamodt did during Svindal’s first years in the team.
“Given my experience and age (yes, I’m over 30 now…) I´m kind of a team captain. Nothing official, but I try to help out and share some of my experience.”
He went on to explain how such a role came naturally and was far from a burden. He was being inspired by the young guys and enjoyed helping them out.
“These guys are awesome! A new generation of seriously Attacking Vikings. We are all different and sure we don’t agree on everything. But a great attitude and a respect for hard work is something shared by this whole group... The attitude and the work moral make me proud to say that this is my team and they are my teammates.”
Source: www.redbull.com/snow and www.aksellundsvindal.com