Kjetil Jansrud on his home ground in Kvitfjell. Where he thrives best.

Kjetil Jansrud on his home ground in Kvitfjell. Where he thrives best.

Kjetil Jansrud is coming home

Wed. 17. February

To come HOME again will be delightful

Once a year Kjetil Jansrud gets to come home. Home to the World Cup in Kvitfjell, to his home ground, to the hill he grew up with. To the ultimate safe environment, familiar surroundings and not least good memories.

By Stein B. Olsen

Few contestants are granted this experience. Kvitfjell has been a regular World Cup organizer since 1993. Membership in the Club Five+, which consists of the best known ski resorts in the world. An exclusive party, and a fantastic recognition of the work the organizers and the resort have done together since the beginning.

And for the organizers and the resort it means a lot that they last year had the world's best competitor in the disciplines performed in Kvitfjell, which is downhill and Super-G. Kjetil Jansrud won both trophies. A lot of it thanks to what was happening on his home ground.

This season has been a bit different. Last year's lucky streak has turned in to close, yet no goal this season.

«The season so far has given me mixed emotions. I'm very happy, and it will be my next best season in the World Cup circus. I've had two victories in disciplines I've never won before, the combination in Wengen and parallel slalom, but compared to last year I haven't done quite as well. However, I'm overall very happy», says Kjetil Jansrud. The preparation for this season wasn't as optimal as last year. He has struggled with his back, some of his confidence disappeared, together with the fact that Aksel Lund Svindal has performed very well.

Kvitfjell will be very exciting

«And now it'll feel good to come home»?

«Oh, yes. I'm simply excited. This is something I look forward to every year. Terrific to have the home advantage, and in a well known hill where I have great statistics from. Statistically 50% victories over the last few years. Of course I'm excited», says Kjetil Jansrud.

We have to talk a little about the chances of a total victory in the World Cup also this season.

«Right now it's a bit two-folded. First and foremost with Aksel, who would have won the trophies if he wasn't injured, out of respect for him I'll have to say that this isn't something I give a lot of thought to. On the other hand, Norway has won these two trophies the last four years, and this is a tradition none of us want to break. The way I see it, it's a high-stake race, in Super-G we have as many as seven competitors and in downhill five competitors fighting in the top. We get to compete in all the races, and then we will settle the accountings. And we must not forget that we are two Norwegian competitors sticking with it. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is definitely in, claims Kjetil Jansrud.

Kjetil is confident in Kvitfjell, and a trip down memory lane is allowed:

Small margins

Top-level sports are all about small margins, often really small. Not just with regards to the time, but also other things. Like flow, the good feeling, and not least self-confidence. When Kjetil arrived in his beloved Kvitfjell last season, these aspects weren't top notch. The World Championship didn't become the way he had dreamed it would be, and there was a lot at stake. In the downhill race he came in as an unfortunate number seven, but on Sunday in the Super-G race everything was back into place.

The amazing feeling

Kjetil Jansrud was under a lot of pressure, and he came through. He beat himself, winning the Super-G in Kvitfjell, and the Super-G total cup. In front of his home audience and family, he could enjoy the sun in Kvitfjell, with his eyes closed. We could see a happy and very relieved Kjetil Jansrud, who let his emotions flow.

On Saturday he was disappointed, very disappointed. He wanted it so much, but the margins weren't quite on his side. On Sunday however, his fortune had changed, and we could see it with our own eyes. As he swooped in to the finish area, looked up at the board and saw his name on top, he immediately felt the weight shift on his shoulders.

«It was an amazing feeling, and yes, I am relieved. Great fun to settle the score in the Super-G cup on my home ground», Kjetil Jansrud said then.

This was also important to the organizers.

«We had an amazing day on Saturday, with a lot of people and a great atmosphere. Everyone was rooting for Kjetil, but he came through by far on Sunday. A perfect closure to a demanding weekend», says Svein Mundal, responsible for the organizing in Kvitfjell.

Translated to English by Marit Daaland Lesjø.

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