Last Saturday, Norwegian Alpine stars Aksel Lund Svidal and Kjetil Jansrud received the prestigious Peer Gynt Award in Jansrud’s home town in the centre of Vinstra (NOR).
Each year, a prominent Norwegian is awarded with the Peer Gynt prize. The members of the Norwegian Parliament select the winner from a shortlist selected by a jury. The prize is dedicated to persons or institutions that have made a positive impact in the social field or have made Norway's name known abroad. Svindal and Jansrud received the prize from Stortingspresident (Speaker of the Parliament) Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen.
In recent years, the prize has been won by Magnus Carlsen (chess champion), Skam (teen drama television series), Jo Nesbø (author), Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary General) and Ole Gunnar Solskjær (footballer). Among other well-known skiers, Marit Bjørgen, Kjetil André Aamodt, Bjørn Dæhli and Vegard Ulvang have won the award in the past.
For many years, the two Norwegians Aksel Lund Svidal and Kjetil Jansrud have been among the best Alpine skiers in the world and the award came half a year after the two teammates stormed to gold and silver medals at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship in Are (SWE). “This is actually the first time that we share an award”, Svindal said at the ceremony. “We have managed to both win but never landed on the same hundredth of a second. We’ve done it today, this is big!”
"There were clear instructions from my mother for my today’s outfit” a smiling Jansrud commented, wearing the traditional Gudbrandsdalsbunad (national costume) to collect his statuette.
“I am proud to be awarded with Aksel. It is a great honour, and receiving this prize is something very special”. Jansrud, who even represents Peer Gynt Alpine Club, was visibly touched and dedicated the award to all volunteers who have helped him succeed over the years. “It is an award that I would like to share with everybody here. When I was growing up, it was always a big thing for me and to be standing here with this statuette as visible proof that I have been found worthy is great!”