There is no better team right now than the Norwegians. Particuarlly the speed team. They train together and they race together. They are best friends on and off the snow, they all ski with the same all out style and they share one common identity, they are the Attacking Vikings.
I could not pick just one member of the team to write about so I wanted to write one post about all the members of the Norwegian team because every one of them have a chance to win the Overall Title.
Aksel Lund Svindal
The favorite to win out of the three Norwegians, Svindal is thirty-three years old and a two-time world champion. He may be on the tail end of his career but he seems to be just now hitting his stride. He missed the whole 2014-15 season because he tore his achilles tendon not skiing, but playing soccer. Last season he came back and was nearly unstoppable in speed events. No matter what happend Svindal seemed to be on top of it, he made every race he entered look easy and he was engaged in a tight battle with Marcel Hirscher over the overall lead.
On Janurary 23 2016, Svindal crashed at Kitzbuehl. The crash looked really bad and yet Svindal got up and he jogged off the course. It was not until later that day that they revealed that he suffered a season edning ACL tear.
Svindal had so many points accumilated in the first half of the season that he ended up finishing 5th overall, 3rd in Super G and 2nd in Downhill even with missing half of the year.
This year Svindal looks to comeback with the same fervor that he did last year and if he skis the same way, he can easily be the world champion.
Kjetil Jansrud is 31 years old. He has never won an overall title but in the 2014-’15 season he won both the Downhill and Super G titles. Jansrud is a speed specialist.
Bode Miller described Jansrud as a mix between his Norwegian teamates Kilde and Svindal. He has Kilde’s aggression and Svindal’s wisdom. Jansrud seemed to struggle when Svindal came back on the tour after his achilles injury there were talks about a dispute among the two. Jansrud assured everyone that the pair were closer than ever and that he could improve racing with Svindal.
A whole lot of drama went down with rumors about Jansrud being given the worse pair of skis and being treated unfairly. I believe that was all blown out of proportion. There is no rift between the Norwegians and the trio are better than ever. Jansrud has to put the last season behind him and race the way he did back in 2014-’15. The Jansrud of last year looked like an unconfident ski racer. If Jansrud can ski to his full potential with the help of his teamates he can be the world champion.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
Kilde is twenty-three years old and in his third season. Last season was his breakout year. Relatively unkown until last year, he was able to win the Super G title in Svindal’s abscence.
Kilde skis very aggressivley and skis with almost a wreckless abandonment. He is shaping to be a great speed skier who wants to win more than anything. Kilde has a very bright future ahead of him. He has matured before our eyes and he has gone from an unknown racer to one who might just be in contention for an overall title.
I think Kilde needs more experience before he wins the Overall, but it is possible that if he approaches the races with a bit more discipline and a little less risk, while still being aggressive enough to be fast, he could just surprise everyone and win the title.