(Original Source: langrenn.com, 10/27/2009, translated by Patrick Stinson)
True to the Olympic plan.
Petter Northug is:
- Trusting his plan.
- Asleep at least 12 hours a day.
- Reflective and serious when necessary.
- Quiet and modest off the trails.
National Team coach Morten Aa Djupvik knows the oft-discussed cross country racer better than most.
And there is another Northug than the one that is portrayed in the media.
“That he is boastful of all of his achievements and uses brave remarks is only a small part of Petter. We that live close by him during the season aren’t familiar with the Petter that the media presents. Actually he is one of the quietest on the team,” said Aa Djupvik to [Norwegian News Agency] Aftenposten.
“I would say that Petter is modest, and a type that doesn’t use many or strong words when he speaks. He is reflective, and is one that rarely shows displeasure. Still, I have yet to hear him complain of bad weather, or any of the other stuff you hear about from other people.”
The racer with the explosive speed is definitively not out to hit the track when his nordic skis are parked.
“I’m pretty well split right down the middle,” says the man himself.
One can talk about a Petter Northug in performance mode, and a Petter Northug in rest mode. In performance mode he can jump out of his own likeness kind of dude, and then shout something that he might not even remember he said.
“It’s just joy that ran over me. It’s luck and some kind of curse that suddenly comes together. I find myself in my own little world of enjoyment for sports.”
It is his trademark, which distinguishes him from the masses.
“I stand for what I have done, and people who know me know I’m not always like that. When I get home I am pretty often a tired guy. When there’s a competition I get really amped up and suddenly lots of words come out of my mouth.”
He doesn’t read about himself
It has a lot to do with focus, and the sprint specialist has the unique ability to tune out any “unnecessary information.”
He does everything his own way in order to be the best.
- Northug hasn’t read a single newspaper article about himself in several years.
- He wants to know as little as possible about what other people think about Petter Northug.
- He needs more sleep than everyone else – at least 12 hours a day – often even a little more to get the most out of the large volume of training.
But most of all, the skier has to be the best when it really matters.
“I am faithful to the plan that’s been laid down,” said Northug, and refers, among other things, to the small downturn at [Norwegian] Nationals last year.
The 23 year old was completely out of shape over a month before the World Cup. He totally parked it in the 30km mass start and ended up 61st place.
Everyone knows what happened after that. He won three World Championship gold.