TrainingJuly 2002 Training in Norway – Report # 3

FasterSkier FasterSkierDecember 9, 2002

Sognsvann, Oslo's most popular running area
Resistance Museum
Art exhibit at harbor in Oslo
Downtown Oslo
Boats in Oslo Harbor
Akershus fortress in downtown Oslo
Akershus fortress in downtown Oslo
downtown Oslo
Old WWII German fortress outside of Langesund
Lighthouse in Langesund fjord
Boating on the coast of Telemark
There is no wheelchair in sight for this 87 year old! (Torbjorn's Dad,
Sverre Karlsen)

The southern
part of Norway received lots of rain during our second week in Telemark
but I still managed to squeeze in about 12 training hours that week. A
few of those sessions were running in pouring rain but that actually felt
pretty good since it wasn’t cold and especially after hearing about
the latest heat wave roaring in the Western part of the US. I did my intervals
on foot and on the bike and even got in a bit more kayaking as well. We
are going back to the US soon so this is the last of these reports. Thanks
for checking them out. You’ll find some additional "bonus Norway
photos" at the end of this article

Earth From Above.
Since
training wasn’t the main reason for being in Norway I would like
to mention the photo exhibit called "Earth From Above" that
I viewed while visiting Oslo. It’s a mind-boggling and amazing collection
that really makes you stop and reflect. French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand
takes his audience through a "journey of the realities of the World."
Information from the exhibit brochure includes the following:
The photographer’s large size arial photographs reflect the
variety of natural habitats and expressions of life, but also man’s
imprint and assault on his environment. The work constitutes a "state
of the planet" at the beginning of the new millennium. The collection
of photographs and text that accompanies them, invites each of us to think
about the changes in the planet and the future of its inhabitants. As
a witness photographer, he wishes to address as many citizens of all countries
as possible. This work underlines the fact that, more than ever, our present
levels and styles of consumption, production and exploitation of resources
are not viable over the long term. The exhibit at the Oslo Harbor, free
of charge and open 24 hours/day from June 24 – August 31, 2002.
You can see it in Chicago June 21 – September 2002 in Millennium
Park and in Montreal, June 5 – September. Go to www. yannarthusbertrand
.com for more information.

The Norwegian Resistance Museum.
Another place to visit while in Oslo is the Akershus Fortress that is
about 700 years old. Enjoy the view and history lesson but be aware of
the many ghosts in the fortress (Learn more about them by taking a guided
tour). Oslo itself is almost 1000 years old. While at the fortress stop
at the Resistance museum and see how it was in Norway during five years
of German occupation (1940-45). It tells you something about the Norwegian
people. It also shows you how easy and fast a "small war" can
turn into a global conflict and we should learn from it. I have been here
(Resistance museum) several times over the years since history interests
me and my dad was in the underground resistance army helping with sabotage
operations and smuggling people to Sweden in his fishing boat. It hasn’t
always been easy to get him to tell about those years but these days it
comes out in bits and pieces. This year I learned that he was usually
armed with a Colt Revolver and a home made hand grenade. Illegal equipment
was often hidden among the fish. Someone turned him in to the Germans
in 1944 and when he was released after nine months in The Grini concentration
camp he never wanted to read the documents saying who the person that
turned him in was. Langesund was a small town.

More people
Rollerski – and PRO-SKI Rollerskis still Dominate!
I also made a trip to one of Norway’s most active sport shops, Bull
Kayak. We asked one of the key employees in the shop, Morten Tomter (that
also helps several of the National Team skiers with their ski selections
and test procedures) about rollerskis and rollerski habits. It was fun
to hear that higher sales of rollerskis indicated more and more people
are rollerskiing. Safer bike paths – ideal for rollerskiing and
the belief that it " hip" to be a rollerskier and skier has
lead to this little revolution! Tomter mentioned the PRO SKI C2 is their
best seller but also added that many of the good skiers are "loving"
the new PRO-SKI Tech ski for classic workouts. This is one ski that is
going to be very popular in the US as well. We noted that one other Swedish
Rollerski brand was offered but no brands from other nations were among
the 8-10 models available.
Tomter said this year his east Oslo Club, Rustad, now has about 350 active
racers and has become Norway’s largest XC race club. Have in mind
that in the Oslo area alone there are several dozens other large clubs
and several thousands kilometers of great trails. Lighted trails are everywhere.


Dopers (and those who hide them) are Sons of Bitches.
Luke Bodensteiner, the US Nordic Program Director was quoted calling the
blood dopers and cheaters at the 2002 Olympics "Sons of Bitches"
in a Salt Lake Newspaper shortly after the Olympics and of course everyone
(except for several Austrians, one Spaniard, a whole Russian Team and
a few dozen other suspect skiers with a bad conscience) agreed with that.
In the post Olympic debate we posted an open letter from Gordon Lange
to the CEO of The US Ski and Snowboard Team (USSA), Bill Merolt, where
he asked the US to be more proactive in "the war against doping".
Lange felt that the US had been too silent and could be much more verbal
at the FIS level.
Do something now USSA!
Well to me it looks like it might be time for the USSA to prove to US
Skiers that they really are serious about fighting doping and that chance
is here right now!
On July 16th I read in The Norwegian VG newspaper that the former US Olympic
Committee chief of doping, Wade Exum claims that 100 Olympic athletes
test positive every year, and half of them are never punished. He tells
about a totally rotten system and claims that once again, recent summer
and winter Olympic medal winners were dopers that were never punished.
He has threatened to reveal the names of the dopers in an upcoming August
5th trial (by the way, why didn’t he do that when he had the job?).

The report mentions a possible payoff of Mr.Exum in excess of 6 million
dollars by USOC to keep his mouth shut! This sets the stage for mistrust
by Europeans whenever US athletes achieve top results. The US Ski Team
(read Bodensteiner, Merolt and Ashley) needs to demand that the USOC reveals
the names of "the several hundred US athletes caught for doping"
according to the VG report. As skiers and coaches, we need to know if
this is fact – or fiction. You should all write to the USOC and
the US Ski Team and demand some truth and some answers.

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