OSLO, NORWAY – When Marit Bjørgen, 30, signed her current contract with Fischer in the spring of 2009, after having experimented with other ski brands, she took a heavy salary cut.
Even though Bjørgen’s gold medal collection for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler is the biggest ever for a Norwegian female in a single event, the Fischer contract was non-negotiable after the season.
“I have not renegotiated my contract with Fischer from 2009. That contract expires after the upcoming season. So I guess I’ll have to ski fast this winter and then slam my fist on the table afterwards,” Bjørgen says to Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen.
Petter Northug has over the past several seasons earned a position with Fischer that puts him in an entirely different category financially. Aside from the Northug case, the male and female skiers are fairly evenly paid. “The contracts for the male and female athletes are fairly comparable, but their contracts also depend on whether they ski with both skis and boots from Fischer,” says Roger Mohaugen, Fischer racing manager.
From www.langrenn.com, August 7, 2010. (©NTB) Translation by Inge Scheve
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.