Norway’s Espen Andersen is a busy man. Not only did he work his way up the ranks of his team in the last season, even only narrowly missing the podium once, he also managed to pursue a bachelor in economics on the side. In this edition of TUESDAY TALK, the 23-year-old reflects on last season, gives some insight into the recent Norwegian training camp in Italy and his full 3-day off-season this spring.
You have just been on a training camp in Predazzo with the Norwegian team. What was on schedule?
Espen Andersen: That correct, we where one week in Predazzo and one week in Livigno. First week we focused on the ski jumping part… and getting tanned (laughs). The second week, we did a lot of low intensity training at a high altitude.
How satisfied are you with your spring so far?
Andersen: My spring has been ok so far. I had a lot of work with my bachelor paper in April and May. So I was a bit behind when I startet up but its getting better day by day now. Luckily there is still a few months left until the season starts.
How does the planning until the Summer Grand Prix look at the moment? Is the Summer Grand Prix on schedule for Team Norway this year?
Andersen: Now we have a few weeks off from training camps before the team meets up again at Lillehammer at the end of the month. We are not going to participate in the first round with Summer Grand Prix, as we are having a training camp in Planica instead. But we are joining in on the last competitions in Planica later this autumn.
You had your big breakthrough in the last season, in which you were the best athlete your team for parts of the winter, you stood on top of the podium in a Team Sprint race but also had setbacks like in the World Championships. What would you say is the best lesson you learned this winter?
Andersen: (laughs) Most of the season was good for me. I guess I learned that the level of Nordic Combined skiers keep rising every year and what was good enough this season is not going to be enough the next one. So if I want to be on the top, I need to be at a higher level next year.
Which milestones would you like to reach in the upcoming winter?
Andersen: I want to climb up on the podium individually next season, and off course try to fight for the spots on the olympic team.
You mentioned you had a bachelor paper to write first thing in spring. What are you studying and how is it going? And most importantly: did you get some time off for relaxation at some point?
Andersen: Yes, I used a lot of time on my studies this spring but luckily I was done in the middle of May. I am studying economics and was supposed to be done with a bachelor degree this spring, but there are a few subjects I had to skip this winter due to a lot of travelling. When I was done I had a full three days off, so that was my off-season this year (laughs).