Skier Kristoffersen drops sponsor appeal

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Henrik Kristoffersen, Norway’s disgruntled slalom skier who sued the national ski federation for restricting his private sponsorships, has decided not to appeal his loss in the county court. He’s also agreed to a new contract with the national ski team.

Skier Henrik Kristoffersen (left), with his father and coach Lars (center) and lawyer during their  week-long trial against the ski federation in March. Kristoffersen lost and has now decided not to appeal, in return for an indidividual health and training arrangement. PHOTO: NRK screen grab

“There’s a time for everything and now we’ll start fresh,” Kristoffersen stated. “It’s tough to fight a battle over principles completely alone. Now it time to remove the energy thieves that I can.”

Kristoffersen wanted to be able to advertise for Red Bull on his helmet in return for a lucrative sponsor deal with the drinks maker. Instead the ski federation insisted, with the court’s support, that Kristoffersen had to sport a Telenor logo on his helmet like all other ski team members. The Norwegian telecoms operator is a major financial sponsor for the entire team in a deal agreed with the ski federation Norges Skiforbund.

When the deadline for filing an appeal passed on Thursday, Kristoffersen and his lawyers announced he had settled with the federation and signed a new national ski team agreement that runs through the 2021-2022 ski season and thus the next Olympics. The federation in turn agreed to provide for an individual athletic regime outside of competition, and Kristoffersen’s agreement with Red Bull can be extended for three more years.

Kristoffersen will still be part of the national ski team but with his own health- and training arrangement in beween races. It will be administered by Kristoffersen’s father and coach Lars Kristoffersen. The ski federation will also pay for Kristoffersen’s own trainer Einar Witterveen, who will follow Kristoffersen through the entire ski season.

The 24-year-old skier claimed that would help him “perform among the world’s top skiers in the years ahead.” Claus Ryste, in charge of the federation’s alpine skiing, also claimed he was satisfied with the deal, and that “the entire team views this as a good solution,” following years of conflicts with Kristoffersen.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund