Experienced Norwegian Magnar Dalen has been named cross-country head coach and Eero Hietanen cross-country assistant coach for Finnish Ski Association. The Finnish Ski Association announced its new coaches Wednesday. Pekka Kemppi was named head of ski service.
42-year-old Dalen, who has been living many years in Sweden, is internationally best known for his work at Swedish and Norwegian Cross-Country Teams. He was the head coach for Swedish Cross-Country team 1998-2002 and before that had been working as head of ski service for Swedish and Norwegian Cross-Country Teams.
Since 2002 he has been working as coach at JÃ¤rpen Skidgymnasium and chief of sports at Ã–stersund Skidklubb. Dalen, who succeeds Reijo JylhÃ¤ as head coach, starts his position officially on June 1.
â€I have always liked projects in which the goals are set. Finland is a strong cross-country nation but in past years the results have not fulfilled the expectation. Sport has its ups and downs and I want to participate in turning Finnish cross-country skiing to upward trend againâ€, says Dalen and continues:
â€I know Finland already has a strong ladies’ team, in which most skiers are still young. I do believe, that also in men’s team there are athletes who want to develope and are ready to work in order to accomplish medal goals.â€
Dalen stresses the meaning and importance of cooperation and commitment.
â€I want that all parts involved, athletes, coaches and the Ski Association, are behind the goal set together and ready to do a lot of workâ€, he says.
43-years-old Eero Hietanen is well known for Finnish skiing community. Hietanen has been Finnish Cross-Country Junior Team Coach 1992-95 and Cross-Country B-team Coach 1995-98. The past few years Hietanen has been working at Santa Claus Sports Institute in his hometown Rovaniemi.
43-year-old Pekka Kemppi has been ski technician for Finnish Cross-Country Team since 1999 and has earned also international experience as he worked at Thunder Bay Training Center 1996-98 as coach and head of ski service.
The new coaches will meet athletes in action first time on open ski testing camp, which take place in SaariselkÃ¤ on the last week of April. Total of 26 athletes have been invited to the open camp, the new teams for season 2006/07 will be named after discussions and testes done during the camp.