Norway’s star skiers earned more than pride and glory when they won the World Cup in their designated fields after a highly successful season. They can also deposit millions into their bank accounts.
Alpine champion Kjetil Jansrud was the latest to grasp a crystal World Cup and more monetary winnings when he swooped down the mountainside in Meribel, France last week and won the World Cup in the men’s downhill. Jansrud, age 29, had already won the World Cup in the Super-G races as well, and just missed being able to claim the overall World Cup. That went to Marcel Hirscher of Austria.
Jansrud wasn’t too disappointed: “I must admit that I’m very proud of myself,” he told news bureau NTB. “I won’t deny that I’m super satisfied, too. I ran a good race, and have been under certain pressure to win the World Cup in downhill.” He could also claim his Super-G World Cup victory at Kvitfjell earlier this month, not far from his hometown of Vinstra.
He’s now officially the world’s best downhill racer as the skiing season concluded, and his winnings amounted to 371,507 Swiss francs, or around NOK 3 million. His strong performance also brought in nearly double that in sponsor income, so his total earnings this year amount to around NOK 6 million (USD 770,000).
Alpine skiing clearly pays better than cross-country skiing, but Norway’s two cross-country champions weren’t complaining. Norwegians won the overall World Cup this season for both men and women, with ski queen Marit Bjørgen earning around NOK 2.7 million in race winnings and Martin Jonhsrud Sundby earning NOK 1.5 million. Sundby missed most of the World Championships this year because of illness but still won the overall World Cup.
Speculation was swirling over whether Bjørgen, age 34, will retire while she’s on top, after having won all the races there are to win. She has hinted she’ll have an answer in early April after a few weeks of post-season holiday.