On the road to Sochi: Mikko Kokslien
With the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi around the corner, more athletes are in the hunt for Olympic medals. One name definitely being mentioned in Nordic Combined is Mikko Kokslien.
While the 28-year-old Norwegian has yet to win individual medal from a title event, he can look back to six individual wins, 21 podiums and a growing number of team successes. Not to mention posting the fastest-cross country times among the Nordic Combined field.
FIS caught up with the proud resident of the Olympic city of Lillehammer:
What kind of expectations do you have for Sochi?
I have big expectations. I want to do well, and to do my best. Sure I have a dream about a gold medal, that has been a dream since I have been a young kid but I really want to go there and do my best performance of the winter. When I do so, I think it will be good!
You have been to the Olympics in Vancouver, what makes the Olympics so special?
The actual competition in the Olympics is maybe not so special. You try to keep the same routines on the competition days. It's the same jumping hill and the same cross-country course as before. But on the emotional side, it's a huge honour to be part of the Olympics. It has always been a big event historically and it's only taking place every fourth year, so for us it's pretty special. We're privileged to be able to take part in this historic event. It will be a fun time to be at the Olympics.
How do you like the hills and the track in Sochi?
The track is a bit different from what we're used to. It has a lot of twists and corners, up-hills and changes of rhythm. The hills are good. On the whole, it's a nice venue. I think it will be a really interesting event.
You are known as a very strong Cross-Country skier among the Nordic Combined athletes. What is your secret?
I am surprised I am skiing this well at the moment. But I have changed some things and made some steps in the technical parts, so I am not as strong as I may have been in the past but still I am skiing faster.
Which of the three Nordic Combined medal chances (Individual Gundersen normal and large hill and Team Event) suits you best?
Looking at our team and the performance in the last month, I'd say we have a strong team for the Team Event. I really do hope that we can claim the victory. That would be a dream for the whole team and also for me personally. But also for both of the individual competitions I think I could be a medal winner (laughs).
Can you go for gold?
Yes, I think I can go for gold. I know my strengths and weaknesses very well. I know what I am capable of. If I perform well, and if I can manage to get my jumping on a good level, I will be part of the fight.