Sandra Hansson’s behavior toward the end of the FIS Ski Classics marathon König Ludwiglauf Sunday stirred a lot of strong reactions. Hansson has publicly apologized for her behavior. Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet got offended skier Seraina Boner’s version of what happened.
“I was totally shocked over her behavior. I’ve never experienced anything like this before. I just wanted to pass her. Because the course is pretty narrow toward the end, it’s important to be in a good position. But I didn’t stand a chance. She blocked me, punched me with her pole and screamed something I didn’t understand. It was madness,” Seraina Boner said to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
The Swiss Ski Association sent a formal complaint to the FIS after the fact, but pointed out that in the finish area Boner didn’t show obvious signs of anger. “Yes, I was mad. I just didn’t want to see her face. She was celebrating her victory. I couldn’t understand how she could be so happy,” Boner said.
– People say you were bleeding when you came across the finish?
“Yes, I my arm was bleeding where her pole hit me,” Boner said.
Boner has been informed that Hansson’s winning points were reduced by 30 points, which leaved Boner ahead for the overall Ski Classics lead. Boner also pointed out that the Swiss Ski Association has protested Hansson’s behavior to the FIS as well.
“We have sent a formal protest to the FIS, which is not decided yet. I don’t know what they will do about it, it’s not up to me. I don’t know what the norm is in ‘regular’ cross-country competitions. Maybe they do these things all the time? I was definitely mad when it happened to me. The fastest skier should win, but I never got the chance,” Boner said to Dagbladet.
All said, Boner still thinks Hansson would have had a good chance at the victory even without violating the fair play rules.
“I’m sure she has a strong finish regardless, she could have won the fair way,” Boner said.
– Have you raced head to head with her before?
“No, this was actually my first time. In the two other races we’ve done together, we’ve each won our race, but those victories have been of the undisputed kinds (ed: Boner won the Marcialonga),” she said.
From langrenn.com and Daglbadet.no February 9, 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.