Kristin Stormer Steira (23), Norway made her first ever World Cup individual podium finish in Ramsau on Saturday by placing second in the 15-kilometer free technique mass-start race.
Steira had not counted on or even thought about being the one that would be closest to the winner Kristina Smigun.
– The podium is always a dream. But that wasn’t on my mind today. I envisioned maybe a sixth place, admits the 23-year old to Norwegian television TV 2.
Her best World Cup result ahead of this race was a sixth place in Lahti, Finland two years ago. Her best last year was 8th place in Oberstdorf.
– It feels great to take a Christmas vacation with a result like this, continues a very happy Steira, which admits that several of the best skiers didn’t compete Saturday.
Among them, Marit Bjorgen, Peruzzi, Neumanova and Skofterud.
Stormer Steira was 29 seconds behind Smigun at the finish and was 15 seconds ahead of Medvena Abruzova of Russia in third.
– I had very good skis. And I tried to get a gap to the Russian when I discovered that I had better glide. My sprint skills are questionable, said Steira.
Her acceleration worked and Medvedeva Abruzova wasn’t able to hang on.
At the upcoming Worlds she is now dreaming about a spot on the Norwegian relay team.
– It would be great to ski one of the skate legs, says Steira.
Hilde G. Pedersen was the second best of the Norwegians in 8th place. Kristin Stemland was 31, and Anita Olsen was 39