Wax Controversy Scapegoat Is Not Depressed

FasterSkierAugust 18, 2004

The new Norwegian cross country wax team is currently being praised as being very improved. Better communication and corporation are words describing the new team’s spirit. Terje Smevold was responsible for the old team, but is not depressed despite feeling that he was labeled as the scapegoat.

Controversy surrounded at times the Norwegian team last winter. Television-pictures showing Norwegian skiers with slower skis than their competitors are not popular among Norwegian cross county skiing fans. They have gotten used to Norwegian waxers with scientific methods and millions (of Norwegian kroner) at their disposal have found the magic formulas that have given super glide to their heroes.

The Ski federations finally answered to the criticism and made it clear in a pres-release that they were not satisfied with the job performance of wax-chief Terje Smedvold.

He was not offered a new job at the end of the season, while Geir Tufto quit his job citing disagreement with the federation’s leaders.

The wax team has now got a new leader. Focus is put on internal and external corporation. The wax team is going to be better, and they are not going to make the same mistakes, as in the past is the word. The changes are (so far) being well received. — “It’s an end to the controversy and things are going to be good (again)”.

Terje Smedvold, for his part, is noting that “everything is going to become a lot better and that a lot is already better”.  No one is talking about Smevold, but it is a clear undertone that can’t be misunderstood; things were not good in the past.

How is the previous [wax] chief feeling, the chief for what wasn’t good?

– They needed a scapegoat and I was the chosen one. They needed one they could blame, says Smevold.

Smevold has put what happened last winter behind him and is now looking forward. He will continue to work in “skiing”. He is not ready to say with what quite yet. I have got the ski federation out of my system, but I still have many good friends in cross-country skiing.

Could you have done things differently as chief of waxing?

– Any job can always be done differently, but it was not as bad as they make it sound

It sounds like things were bad and that things are much better now. What do you feel when you read that things are (already) a lot better now?

– I don’t know what has happened; I only read what has been written. I’m not surprised that things are good now (its summer). If it was as bad as they claim, why did so many of the previous waxers continue? And why hasn’t what happened been an issue with me in the past?

Smevold feels that he was treated badly by the ski federation after being a national team waxer for six years. Especially the way he was told that he was no longer wanted. He is however not interested in taking this any further.

– What happened has happened and I’m not gained by continuing to bring this up. I had a contract that expired, and it’s about what the federation did and should have done. Others can judge, I can only answer to how I experienced it and it’s not the way I would have done things.

Smevold feels that there was a big difference in how he was let got and the way others who have left involuntarily in the past have been asked to leave, where no outside controversy was caused.



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