The World Championships in Holmenkollen might be the last major event for Kristin Størmer Steira. “I have to sit down after the season is over and take stock. I could go for a few more seasons, or this could be the last,” the 29-year-old said to NRB in Italy last Wednesday.
There were plenty of relaxed Norwegian racers hanging out there, and Størmer Steira appeared to be one of the most laid-back of them all. She was kicking back after an easy distance workout at 7,000 feet.
Størmer Steira is known as an athlete with an incredible ability to peak when it matters. She’s logged a few fourth places, and she’s also netted some medals. But she’s always delivered when it really mattered.
Her relaxed attitude is partly due to the last 2 weeks, which Størmer Steira has spent in Alpe di Siusi in Italy. “Aside from last year, I’ve been here twice every year since 2003. It’s incredible here, peaceful and quiet. Sunny, perfect skiing and the most spectacular terrain you can imagine right outside the door,” Størmer Steira said. She admits that it’s good to get away from everything for a little while. “You don’t get recognized at the grocery store by well-meaning people asking how my foot and fitness is. They mean well, I know that, but down here I can get away for a little while before it all starts over again,” she said.
You’ve always managed to peak at major events?
“That’s one of the reasons it feels so good to come here. This is a place I dial in my peak. It’s one of the few places we do training camps that I really would consider to return to for a summer vacation.”
Several injuries, including a stress fracture, kept her from classic skiing until Christmas.
“I actually regained my classic technique surprisingly fast. I don’t think I did a particularly good race in Otepää, but I did well at the Norwegian nationals. Now I’m doing about equal amounts of classic and skating, and there are no problems,” Størmer Steira said.
Wednesday she did a classic workout while reporters were watching. Størmer Steira will most likely race all the four events at the 2011 Worlds that are not sprint races. She is still aiming for an individual gold medal.
“A medal is the goal, but I’m still waiting for the gold,” she concluded.
(©NTB) From Langrenn.com, February 10, 2011. 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.