Marthe Kristoffersen talks about Tour de Ski, Prison Break and what she loves the most
The 23 year old Marthe Kristoffersen from Norway is a true fighter. Last year she was third fastest up the hill in Alpe Cermis, proving she is a fair contender to Johaug and Kowalczyk. Finishing 7th in the overall Tour de Ski standing last year, she aims to be at the same rank this year. After five stages, Marthe is currently ranked 9th, with the best result as 5th in the prologue in Oberhof.
Meeting her on the way to ski testing this morning, the modest and polite girl admits she’s not always this quiet. “I’m probably one of the loudest girls in our team. Let’s just say that you can easily hear me in the hallways of our hotel” Marthe laughs. As one of the youngest girls in the Norwegian troop but also in the Tour de Ski circuit, she appreciates how the well-established athletes in her team gladly share their knowledge. “We sleep in the same room, we have dinner together, we travel together and we train together. By being this close, we constantly learn from each other. Each day we have athlete meetings where we go through each stage, and we get inputs from one another and share our thoughts”. Marthe says.
For those of you who don’t know Marthe, she was born in 1989 in Norway is part of the Norwegian all-round national Cross-Country team. When I ask her to describe herself she says “I’m probably what you would call a Cross-Country geek. I train a lot, always look forward to our training camps, and most of my life is about Cross-Country skiing”. Never giving up is probably one of her strongest skills, as she loves a challenge and fights to the bitter end. At the sprint stage today, she fought hard against the Worlds’ best skiers, and showed that even though she’s younger, she can definitely ski well, and qualified for the final where she ended on a solid 6th place. “I’m happy with my performance so far in Tour de Ski, I’ve been a bit unlucky with my skis, and I’m probably not in my best shape, but all in all I’ve done well” Marthe says.
Tour de Ski requires a lot of energy from the athletes, with 9 competitions in 11 days. Compared to a World Cup where they can rest and train during the week, Tour de Ski is tougher for the athletes. “The biggest challenge is the number of events, it really makes your body tired” Marthe says. With her goal of a top 7th place, she needs to relax at every moment she gets, and during the competitions. Such as in the car on the road from location to location. With more than 900 km of drive during the Tour, Marthe has found her way of relaxation and to kill some time: watching Prison Break. “I just started watching Prison Break, but since the start of the Tour I’m almost done with season 2 already. I guess that speaks for itself” she says.
With 4 days into January, Marthe has had a solid start of the year, although, she still aims to get better. “I want to establish myself within the top 10 on the World Cup rank” she says, clearly motivated to keep going. She’s very determined in what she does, but also realistic. “You need to like what you do, in order to enjoy your job, I won’t become a better skier if not”. Marthe continues in Tour de Ski tomorrow, and has one personal goal for the Tour: “I want to finish Prison Break before Tour de Ski ends”.
Sofie Torlei Olsen