Oddvar Brå Remembers Formo

FasterSkierDecember 28, 2006

-It was us two against the rest

Former ski king Oddvar Brå is very saddened that his friend for 43 years, Ivar Formo, was found dead Tuesday night.

Source: www.vg.no http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=142549
Related story: Norwegian Olympic hero Ivar Formo found dead

– I was notified late Tuesday night and didn’t sleep at all last night. It’s tragic and not so easy to talk about, said BrÃ¥ to VG.

He met Ivar Formo for the first time in February 1964 at Lillehammer when the two, as 12-year olds, did a race. The city boy Formo and the farm boy Brå were about equal in age and about equally talented. They utilized this to their advantage in their friendship in the years to come.

– It was special that we were ahead of our time and were competitive with the top adult elite skiers already as juniors — and that it was two of us. It was like it was us against the rest, says BrÃ¥ to VG.

The two competitors developed strong ties, but Formo retired at age 26 while Brå competed for many more years, competed in the 1988 Olympics and even captured gold at the Norwegian Championship at age 36.

They talked the day before Christmas

The two friends had less contact after Formo retired from ski racing.

РBut we have had frequent contact the last 10-12 years and often skied together. I visited him last summer. We had also planned to do a running race in the Normarka Forest last fall, but we both got injured, explains Br̴.

– I talked to Ivar the day before Christmas. He could come across as strict to those who didn’t know him, but he had very warm heart, says BrÃ¥ about his good friend.

Editor’s note:
– I was a student at the Norwegian Sport College in Oslo (NIH) in the early eighties and remember that Ivar Formo came and gave a talk to the cross country skiing students about how FIS worked. He was the head of the FIS cross country committee at that point and gave us a very good overview of FIS, his particular role and how decisions were made. He finished the lecture with big smile after he explained how to get committee member to vote the way he would like them to:
– I remind the members that we have a wine and dinner appointment at the town’s major/burgermeister’s house that night and that we are running (very) late — and then says: -everyone who agrees with my proposal please raise your hand! Of course most everyone does agree at that point….
Great lecture – Thanks Ivar Formo.

Torbjorn Karlsen


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