Waxing Controversy In Norway

FasterSkierMarch 26, 2004

Sticky Wax

One of Norway’s two top stone-grinders, Olav Stuveseth says that he will resign as “grinder” for the Norwegian National teams unless he sees some radical changes. The wax team can fall apart if Stuveseth quits.

“I called Bjornar Hakensmoen on Monday and told him that I have lost the desire to be a part of this since they are not able to organize themselves. It’s impossible to do your best with the current situation in Norwegian cross country skiing. It’s tragic that so much time and energy is used on BS,” says Olav Stuveseth to Langrenn.com

Critical to Hakensmoen

Stuveseth is mostly blaming Chief of sport Bjornar Hakensmoen for the current problems inside the Norwegian wax team.

“I have in general a good relationship to the Norwegian ski federation and a great relationship to the wax team. There are however several decisions Hakensmoen has made which make me believe that it would be better with another person in his job. I’m not able to comprehend what he has done for Norwegian cross country skiing.”

Stuveseth is referring to the hiring of the Swedish waxer Perry Olsson last year and the recent firing of Terje Smevold. Smevold was replaced by Terje Langli for the upcoming season.

“This is not how you treat people; it creates uncertainty and leads to dissatisfaction. The chemistry needs to work if a wax team is going to be successful.”

The chemistry is gone and Stuveseth has lost the desire to be a part of the team even if he will loose a substantial amount of money on this decision. Some big changes need to occur to make him change his mind.

You need to feel good about what you are doing. This is not that complicated, but several people should resign. There has been too much nepotism among the decision makers. You need to be able to discuss with those who works for you.

Hakensmoen is sorry that Stuvesth is pulling out.

“We need to have all the good stone grinders involved. Stuvesth has delivered good skis and I will try to meet with him to discuss the situation. We depend upon having the right people involved in order to succeed,” says Hakensmoen to Langrenn.com

Hakensmoen about the critics:

“I have registered that this is a hot topic and that there are many opinions regarding what we have done. The waxers have been a part of this process and Stuveseth is entitled to his opinions. We have made a decision to develop and optimize the wax team.”

Others could pull out

Several other waxers could pull out if Stuveseth leaves. Johnny Beras is uncertain if he wants to continue but is frustrated over the way the waxers have been treated

Geir Tufto sees no reason to continue if Stuveseth disappears.

“It’s no reason to continue if he is not with us. He has built up everything around stone-grinding and we don’t have the time to start at Stone Age level again now with two championships the next two years,” says Tufto.

The glide project is not working.

Stuveseth will continue to work with the Biathlon team

The Norwegian biathlon team is successfully using Stuveseth’s grinds but the idea about sharing information between cross country, biathlon and Nordic combined is not working. The biathlon team has not been sharing information with cross country due to their skepticism regarding the cross country team’s Perry Olsson.

Biathlon wax coach Svein Ivar Moen confirms this.

“We communicate to a certain degree with Tufto and Smevold, but we found last years hiring of Olsson and this years firing of Smevold to be of concern,” says Moen to Langrenn.com

“The problem is that we don’t know if we can trust Olsson since he only is on a one year contract and his brother is a wax coach for the Swedish team.”

They are afraid that they can loose their wax secrets.

“We don’t want what we are developing toward Torino to be common knowledge,” says Moen. Geir Tufto agrees.

Olsson on the other hand claim that he is loyal and can be trusted with secrets.

“I’m not discussing secrets with my brother. We congratulate each other with good results, that’s it. I can’t do anything (about it) if some waxers feel that they can’t trust me.”


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