Norwegian Jorgen Aukland (third place) has received criticism in both Norway and Sweden for his tactical skiing during last weeks Vasaloppet where his brother Anders won the race. Jorgen expressed in a television interview after the race that he had been stepping on last year’s winner Oskar Svard’s skis. Jorgen is saying that this is exaggerated.
Jorgen had to answer questions about the ski stepping several times during a recent on-line chat meeting with Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten’s readers.
It was his own television interview comments where it sounded like he had purposely stepped on the Swedish favorite Svard’s skis that made people react. Jorgen has after the race talked to Svard on the phone and they are good friends.
Aftenposten’s readers got their questions answered yesterday.
-I had one comment for Svard during the race. I asked if he had poor glide. I didn’t step on his skis on purpose but was gliding up on him in the downhills, said Jorgen to one reader.
– It’s important to behave right in sport. Stepping on someone’s skis and sabotaging is in this case greatly exaggerated. We lost an average of 3 seconds per kilometer. It was often a challenge just to hang on, was the answer to another reader.
Jorgen is doubtful that you’ll see the same type of tactical skiing next year.
-My brother Anders will focus on the World Championship next year and won’t be nearly as prepared for Vasaloppet. He might help me then, but I want to ideally win on my own. It was special this year since we are brothers. I would not have raced for someone else, said Jorgen to one reader.