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Friday, June 14, 2024

Heartbroken skier wins reprieve

Top skier Kristin Størmer Steira has had a tough year so far, candidly admitting that a nine-year romance broke up just after New Year and she hasn’t had much appetite since. She lost so much weight that she wasn’t allowed to compete recently, but now she’s won permission to race once again.

Kristin Størmer Steira (far left) was thrilled after winning relay gold at the World Champions last year, along with teammates Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug and Marit Bjørgen. Now she wants to get her winning style back. PHOTO: Stian Broch

“I never would have thought I’d be so happy to get permission to travel to Poland!!” she wrote on the social media site Twitter once she was cleared for competition in the next World Cup events this weekend. She signed off with “endeligturigjen:” Roughly translated, “finally back on the road again.”

Steira, age 30, has attracted media coverage and sympathy after she was banned from competing because her already thin body got even thinner following the heartbreak. She hasn’t wanted to go into detail about her romantic troubles, but anyone who’s gone through something similar knows that breaking up is indeed very hard to do. In Steira’s case, it meant some lonely nights in the dormitory at Norway’s top athletic institute in Oslo after some careful training runs, while all her cross-country teammates were out on the World Cup circuit.

Now she looks forward to join them, and seemed overwhelmed by all the messages of support and sympathy she’s received. Originally from Northern Norway, she’s a long way from home even when in Oslo, although she’d been living with her boyfriend in Drøbak, south of the capital. Now that’s over.

She wasn’t allowed to ski in the World Cup competition at Rybinsk earlier this month, and also got sick after the gruelling Tour de Ski competition in January. Egil Kristiansen, coach of the national ski team, is glad to have her back, telling newssite that “she’s shown great progress” and that he thinks she’s handled her setbacks well.

“She of course doesn’t think this is any fun,” Kristiansen told newspaper Aftenposten on Tuesday. “But she knew (the competition ban) was the right decision and she’s tackled it in a superb manner.”

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