Nordic Nation: Vegard Ulvang and the Will to Lead

Jason AlbertNovember 1, 2019

Vegard Ulvang at fifty six years old remains an icon in Norway. With Olympic and Championship medals, a World Cup Overall title in 1990, he’s in the lineage of Norwegian skiing royalty.

Away from the tracks, Ulvang began and then sold a profitable clothing company. He fills his time making documentaries and television features. He is also, as you’ll hear at the top of the interview, committed to living a life of exploration, calculated risk, and adventure. The South Pole, Northwest Passage, and monumental kite-skiing expeditions to Greenland have shaped his post-racing life.

Although in Norwegian, you can spot up and watch a three part docu-series on a recent kite skiing adventure here.

Six-time Olympic medalist and FIS cross-country chairman, Vegard Ulvang of Norway, after his first American Birkebeiner in 2012. (Photo: Darlene Prois/American Birkebeiner)

Ulvang is still connected to international sport as the chairman of the executive board of the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) cross-country committee. He’s been in this role since 2006. Coordinating the World Cup calendar, juggling race format changes, rule upgrades, and evolving wax protocols as government regulations come into play – they all filter through Ulvang. He is often quoted in Norwegian media when it looks for guidance on how to interpret the state of skiing today.

(To subscribe to the Nordic Nation podcast channel, download the iTunes app. If you have iTunes, subscribe to Nordic Nation here.)

Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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