Kjetil Jansrud, setting an example on home soil
In Lillehammer, where he grew up and achieved his first major international victories, Norwegian ski racer Kjetil Jansrud will, in his role of Ambassador for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, share his vast experience with young athletes from all over the world.
Born in Stavanger (NOR) in Rogoland county, Kjetil Jansrud grew up in the vicinity of Lillehammer’s famous Kvitjfell resort, where he learned to ski, developed into a promising junior, and claimed the first three FIS Alpine Ski World Cup wins of his career, in 2012 (super-G) and 2014 (downhill and super-G).
A highly versatile skier capable of excelling in four different disciplines, Jansrud has also enjoyed significant success at the Olympic Winter Games. At Vancouver 2010, he picked up a silver medal in the giant slalom, finishing behind Switzerland’s Carlo Janka, while at Sochi 2014, he took a bronze medal in the downhill (won by Austria’s Matthias Mayer), prior to landing the super-G Olympic title on 16 February.
“I’m floating on air!” exclaimed the gold medal winner post-race at Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort. “It’s such a great feeling, and it’s going to last for quite some time. This is the pinnacle for me; the biggest thing you can win. It’s something I’ve been working towards ever since I was a little boy.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, in the stands to witness her compatriot’s success, stated that “Jansrud has become a role model for all young Norwegians”.
The following season, the Scandinavian skier would continue to impress, triumphing in six events, including on the renowned Strief slope in Kitzbühel, and clinching a silver medal in the super combined at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek (USA). In addition, he secured the crystal globes for downhill and super-G, and finished second in the overall World Cup standings, 160 points off the total set by defending champion Marcel Hirscher (AUT).
Pride and delight
In June 2014 Jansrud was appointed to the position of Ambassador for the YOG in Lillehammer, with a mandate that included guiding the next generation of athletes, sharing his elite-level experience at home and abroad, and encouraging young people the world over to take up sport and embrace Olympic values.
“I’m very proud to become an Ambassador for the Winter Youth Olympic Games, because I think that the positive effect they have on younger generations is extremely important,” said the Norwegian. “I started skiing when I was three, not far from Lillehammer, so it’s a delight and a real honour for me to fulfil this role at these Games, which are practically being held in my own back yard. This event will truly inspire young athletes in Norway and around the world, and I hope that I can play my own little part in showing how amazing sport can be.”
Living up to the slogan of Lillehammer 2016, “Go Beyond, Create Tomorrow”, the three-time Olympic medallist has already begun putting in the extra mile for young YOG hopefuls, running a well-received training session at the world-famous Holmenkollen ski jumping complex in Oslo.