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Saturday, April 13, 2024

First career victory for Jansrud

Norwegian downhill racer Kjetil Jansrud was literally eating cake on Sunday, after scoring his first career victory on the World Cup alpine circuit. The victory was especially sweet, since it occurred on home turf in Norway, with his parents watching in the crowd of spectators.

Kjetil Jansrud won his first World Cup race at Kvitfjell, near his home town of Vinstra, on Sunday. His teammates and fans were as thrilled as he was. PHOTO: World Cup Kvitfjell

Jansrud’s winning race down the steep mountain at Kvitfjell, which also hosted the men’s downhill events at the last Olympics in Norway, also put him ahead of Norway’s biggest alpine skiing star at present, Aksel Lund Svindal.

“What more can you really dream of, when you take your first World Cup victory in front of a skier like Aksel, on home turf?” Jansrud asked reporters after the race.

“Today I was determined to forget all earlier races on the hill, start from scratch and take all the chances I could to win,” the 26-year-old from nearby Vinstra exclaimed. “I had nothing to lose on Sunday in charging as hard as possible.”

He said he simply “took the straightest line possible and cut the turns as much as possible,” adding that “I was ready to ski out. I badly wanted to win that race.”

His parents, Inger Helen and Jan Jansrud were clearly proud of their son and his mother, on home turf herself in the mountainous valley of Gudbrandsdalen where the popular alpine resort Kvitfjell is located, had baked a cake. “I normally bake a chocolate cake when I’m here,” his mother told newspaper Aftenposten, noting how she and Jansrud’s father had traveled home from holiday in Spain to watch their son soar down the slopes. “This year I hoped it could make a little difference in the fight for victory.”

The new World Cup winner credited his parents for motivating him and playing a big role in his development as an alpine skier. “As far as the cake goes, though, I think mama is just so nervous that she likes to have something to do before the race starts,” he laughed.

Svindal satisfied, too
Svindal, meanwhile, seemed as pleased as Jansrud over the results of the World Cup Super G competition that left Norway with a “double victory” since he placed second. Beat Feuz of Switzerland was third.

“Of all my second-places, this has to be the best,” Svindal told news bureau NTB. “Sharing the podium with Kjetil is fantastic. In addition, I increased my own standings in the Super G.”

Svindal has been having a tough season so far, with his poorest results since 2005. He hadn’t won a spot on the winners’ platform in the past 24 World Cup races. He kept flashing his famous smile, though, and had said he was optimistic before the weekend competition at home in Norway.

“I haven’t been in such good shape since before New Year’s Eve,” he told newspaper Aftenposten late last week. He said already then, though, that Jansrud was the favourite. “And I’ll be up there,too,” he added.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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