Fasterskier.com posted several articles describing the Norwegian cross country team’s wax-room problems and controversy last winter. Six-year veteran chief waxer Terje Smedvold was not re-hired (read; fired), long term waxer Geir Tufto quit, and veteran stone-grinder Olav Stuveseth decided that he was not going to be involved anymore as well.
Former National team skier and World Champion Terje Langli was then hired as new wax-chief. The word four months following Langli’s hiring is that the situation has improved. Here are some recent statements and comments from people involved.
Stone-grinder Olav Stuveseth might still be involved
Stuveseth called the cross-country Sport Director, Bjornar Hakensmoen in March and told him that he was no longer interested in working with the national team unless he was promised radical changes.
– It’s impossible to do your best when so much time and energy is wasted on BS, said Stuveseth in March
New wax-chief Terje Langli has promised changes and states that cooperation is a key word.
– Cross Country, biathlon and the Olympic Committee(Olympiatoppen) need to cooperate, and it looks like this might happen said Stuveseth recently.
Does this mean that you will continue to grind skis for the cross-country team?
– Yes, at the moment it looks like we will work together. I won’t comment on specifics since everything is still not clear. We have been working on this scenario for a while.
Continue in the Skipool
Former national team member and former member of the Norwegian wax team, and now the importer of Rode ski wax, Per Knut Aaland has decided to continue as a member of the Norwegian skipool (official supplier group)
– Aaland was very critical to the conditions in the “wax-room” last winter and expressed this publicly. Lack of feedback regarding what was used and when regarding his ski wax made him say that he was pulling out of the ski federation and the skipool. Aaland has now decided to remain in the pool.
– We have discussed different things and they are going to get one more chance, says Aaland
– Per Knut says that he wants to be a part of the pool, but he was very disappointed when he did not receive feedback last winter. He has been promised that this will change.
– They will get one more chance to prove that they will keep their part of the deal regarding feedback, and I hope it will work out.
Toko and Start skiwax had along with Rode stated that they would pull out of the skipool unless they saw changes. Langli’s promises have made Toko decide to continue in the pool while Start will decide in August.
– We are going to have an open dialog without secrets say Eldar Melhus of Toko.
Svein Suhr, of Start skiwax is in addition to lack of feedback concerned about what’s happening at some big mass-start events like the Norwegian Birkie, Skarverennet and Inga-Laami.
– We used to be able to participate as a wax company at all races. Some of the big races are now bought up by the big wax companies. The Ski federation has a responsibility when they are on the federation’s race schedule. We need to look at what we are getting back for our $12-14,000 investment, says Suhr.