"I want to stand on top of the podium in Falun!"
TUESDAY TALK: Joergen Graabak (NOR)
Between winning two Olympic gold medals and the return of the World Cup to his home venue of Trondheim, the last weeks have been quite busy for Norwegian rising Nordic Combined star Joergen Graabak. Still he took the time to sit down and give some insights in what probably is the craziest time of his life so far for this week's TUESDAY TALK.
Joergen, how was it to come back to the first two World Cup weekends as the Olympic Champion?
Joergen Graabak: It has been very nice, I have to say thank you to everyone who has sent messages and greetings in various forms. Two races in the Olympics, two gold medals, of course it gives you a lot of self-confidence coming in to the World Cup again. It has also been a lot of pressure on my shoulders to show that I am not a one-hit wonder, but have come to stay.
In Norway it has been quite the topic that the NC team was without a main sponsor and was not getting the appropriate attention in the media. Do you feel the situation has changed now? How has the media interest in your person been these past weeks since Sochi?
Graabak: Many things have changed, but the the most important pieces in my team is still the same. Of course it is very reassuring to see that the Ski Federation has been able to get a main sponsor for the next four years, it is important to have a solid economy to be able to compete at the highest level. For me I hope to be able to use this achievement to open new doors that can make me even better!
Did you also have the chance to have some quiet time to just realise and enjoy what you have achieved?
Graabak: No, I have had no time to spare after the olympics. But I have slowly started to realize what has happened. I am really proud of what I have done, and hope that this will help clear the path, both for me and the young guys coming behind me.
Tell us a bit about how you celebrated your victory!
Graabak: No comment! (laughs)
It was probably another highlight to be able to compete in your hometown of Trondheim after coming back from Sochi. Even though you did not manage to grab the still missing World Cup victory, did you enjoy the home competition?
Graabak: I really enjoyed it! I was a bit worried about the timing of the event considering that a Thursday afternoon is not the best time to draw a lot of people to this kind of event. But it was really fun to see the amount of people that had showed up. I was happy with a second place but of course I wanted that win. But I have to say Johannes was really strong, and when I also was struggling a bit with my skies, so he was simply too strong.
With the pre-World Championships in Falun, we have one more important weekend coming up now. What are your goals?
Graabak: I want to end the season with two good competitions and I want to stand on the top in at least one of them.