Top ski jumper taking a break

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Anders Jacobsen, one of Norway’s best and most popular ski jumpers in recent years, announced on Monday that he’s giving up his spot on the country’s national ski jumping team. He said he simply has lost his motivation.

Ski jumper Anders Jacobsen almost always had a smile on his face, like here when mugging for NRK's cameras at the World Championships in Oslo. PHOTO: Views and News/NRK

“I’m a really bad loser, so if I know that I won’t manage to do what’s needed to win, there’s no point,” Jacobsen told reporters at a press conference he had called. “I’m a bad number-two. Without motivation, I can’t be number-one.”

Jacobsen, age 26, has only spent five seasons on the national team. He has won widespread media coverage, not least because he’s personable and, well, widely viewed as cute, in addition to his tendency to win medals. Now, after becoming a father earlier this year, he’s bowing out of the World Cup whirlwind.

Anders Jacobsen in action at the recent World Championships in Oslo. PHOTO: Stian Broch/Ski-VM

Jacobsen said his decision has nothing to do with the recent departure of head coach Mika Kojonkoski, who had nurtured his talent. Rather, Jacobsen claims that he decided in April of last year to just spend one more year on the international ski jumping circuit. He did that and now he’s had enough.

“I met the new coach (Alexander Stöckl, from the Austrian ski jumping team’s staff) and I think he’s positive, his ideas and opinions are very exciting and I’m sure they’ll bear fruit,” Jacobsen said. “It’s in no way his fault that I’ve lost motivation.”

A plumber by trade who hails from Ringerike, about an hour northwest of Oslo, Jacobsen said he met most of his personal goals for ski jumping during the first few years on the national team.

“I won World Cup competition and Hoppuka (the week of international competition in the Alps around New Year) right away,” he said. “I jumped more than 200 meters also quite quickly, so my dreams were fulfilled almost immediately.”

He hasn’t ruled out a comeback, but seems to want at least a year off. “What I’m trying to say is that I want to put things at a distance, then we’ll see,” he said. “Now I’m going to have a nice summer holiday, something I haven’t had for as long as I can remember.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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