Back from a two-victory weekend in Planica, Norwegian veteran Magnus Moan spoke to TUESDAY TALK about moving on from last year’s bad performances and the new team spirit in Team Norway.
First of all congrats to a great weekend in Planica! What are your key take aways from two back to back victories?
Magnus Moan: Thanks, it was just a great feeling and especially the jumping part was good. I always try to enjoy the feeling a victory gives me but it’s important to keep on working with this new and confident feeling.
Planica was the only stop of the Summer Grand Prix that the Norwegian team participated in this year. Why was it still important for you to come and compete against international athletes on this weekend?
Moan: That’s true, we felt that we should prioritise the training camps during the summer and get to a higher level in our jumping and cross country parts. To take part in Planica was a good opportunity for us to see where we stand in our preparation. It was good to match against some of the best athletes out there. On top, Planica has a really nice jumping hill and a good track as well.
Can you tell us a little bit about how the summer and autumn looked like for you and your team? What did you do to prepare for an Olympic season?
Moan: We had a good evaluation after the season in which we agreed that some changes had to happen before this season. We needed longer camps, outside of Norway, where training, rest and sleep is the priority. That has been really good this year. We are challenging each other well in each session.
Me personally, I had to work really hard on my jumping part and tried to get as many good jumps as possible during the summer and before the season starts. Things are looking good right now and I’m looking forward to get some snow under my skis again. I have been training really well since April and the body is responding well. I also got in some days of altitude training during the summer.
After the retirement of Håvard Klemetsen, you and Jan Schmid are now the veterans of the group. During the weekend in Planica, you said, you are a “new team” with a new spirit this season. Can you explain how the team dynamics changed since last season?
Moan: First I have to say that I miss Håvard a lot. We have been staying together since 2003 and have many many good experiences, and medals, together (smiles).
As I said earlier, we had our evaluation and we saw that we had to make some changes this year. We have the best jumpers and skiers on the team, so the challenge is to get those two together. We can learn from each and develop each other. Me and Jan have a lot of experience, Jarl and Espen are two hungry athletes and this combo is very good if we do it the right way! (laughs)
2016/17 was a tough season for the Norwegian team. Do you think you can return as the number one challengers of Team Germany in the upcoming Olympic winter?
Moan: For sure!
What are your personal goals for the winter? Besides that: you are missing one World Cup victory to tie Bjarte Engen Vik as the most successful Norwegian in Nordic Combined. How important are statistics like this to you?
Moan: I also had a bad season last year. For now, I just want to compete, get the joy back and get the best out of my jumping and cross country. Then we can talk about Number 26 (laughs).