Harald Østberg Amundsen won the bronze medal in the 15-kilometer skate race at the FIS Nordic World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) on skis with a cutting-edge new base technology.
Despite a brutal crash on the final lap of the 15-kilometer skate race, the 22-year-old Norwegian national team rookie impressed from the first pole plant and cruised onto the podium in his first ever World Championship at the senior level – on skis with a revolutionary new base technology: The new green transparent bases are developed specifically for the extremely challenging warm, wet and suctiony conditions the racers are dealing with at the Oberstdorf World Championships venue.
“We’ve been working on the transparent green bases for several years, as a part of a bigger project to develop ski constructions and fluor free base technologies that beat traditional skis that use fluorocarbon compounds as additives in the base material. Harald Østberg Amundsen’s medal is proof that we’ve succeeded,” says Svein Ivar Moen, who is one of the lead ski developer at Madshus.
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“The transparent bases that Harald Østberg Amundsen skied on in the 15-kilometer skate race are attached to a warm condition ski with an entirely new construction compared to traditional warm condition skis,” says Moen, pointing out that the World Championship medal represents a milestone for Norwegian ski manufacturer.
“Madshus has made extremely fast fluor free bases for several years, but the green bases were developed specifically to work with the new ski construction in warm, wet conditions with old, transformed snow where bases with fluorocarbon additives traditionally have tended to glide better than those without fluorocarbons,” he explains.
The 15-kilometer skate race at the 2021 FIS Nordic World Championships in Oberstdorf also marks the first time this ski construction with the green bases is used in a competition. Earlier this season, Norwegian biathlete Sturla Holm Lægreid earned four gold medals on this ski construction at the 2021 IBU World Championships in Slovenia, but his skis do not have the green bases.
Finally, the green color of the new bases is no coincidence.
“The green bases are a part of our commitment to the environment: The future is clean, sustainable and fluor free,” Moen says.
“I can´t believe it´s true”
Almost to the date a year after he won the gold medal in the 30km skate race at the 2020 FIS U23 World Championships, Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) earns his first FIS World Championship medal at the senior level. The humble medalist himself was almost in disbelief.
“I can’t believe it’s true,” he said to reporters after the race.
As for the crash, Østberg Amundsen admits that the tumble took a toll. “It must have looked hilarious. I definitely hit my butt pretty hard. I was pretty frustrated, and I was just thinking about getting to the finish and be done.”
But despite losing several seconds in the tumble, Østberg Amundsen won the bronze medal with several seconds to spare down to fourth place.
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.