TT - Ottesen: "One of
the most exciting seasons in the history of Nordic
Ottesen Portrait - FIS
With the Olympics in Sochi and the brand-new Nordic
Combined Triple coming up, Nordic Combined is gearing
up for one of its most exciting seasons ever. Race
Director Lasse Ottesen sat down with us for the
latest TUESDAY TALK to walk us through the most
recent developments before the season kicks off
in Kuusamo at the end of November.
It's only about 5 weeks until the season begins
in earnest. With what kinds of things are you busy
with right now in this last phase of preparation?
Lasse Ottesen: After our Committee meeting in Zu"rich
on Oct 5th, all changes in rules and regulations
are now confirmed for the upcoming season. Right
now, the updates of the COC, WC and ICR rules are
prepared, the quotas for the 1st period sent out
and the final discussions with Swiss Timing are
going on to establish and update the TV graphics.
I will also be heading to Korea for the first OWG
2018 inspection, and the Final Inspection in Sochi
is coming up on Nov 12th.
With the Olympics and also the new Nordic Combined
Triple, there are two season highlights waiting
this winter. What would you say are the main differences
in running these competitions and can you say which
one you are more excited for?
Ottesen: The 2013/14 season will be very exiting
and interesting. The introduction of "The TRIPLE"
in Seefeld is going to be a lot of fun. This is
the premiere and we hope that we will have great
weather and conditions in Seefeld. It will be very
interesting to see our new World Cup highlight come
to life. So far, the feedback from the media, athletes/coaches
and spectators has been very good.
The Olympic Winter Games are the biggest event of
the season for the Nordic Combined athletes. We
had some issues in our last two Olympics which will
not happen again. We are well prepared and together
with the OC Sochi we will host great events for
the whole world to take part in.
I am equally exited for both of the events, and
we are looking forward to one of the most exiting
seasons in Nordic Combined history.
After the test during the Summer Grand Prix, the
rules for the Triple are now set. How satisfied
are you with the whole setup?
Ottesen: I am very happy with the TRIPLE rules and
regulations. This summer showed us that it will
be a fight all the way to the finish line on Sunday.
The rules are simple, we are using our normal formats,
the normal points system and the athletes are taking
the results with them from one day to the next.
The season will kick off in Kuusamo, Finland again.
What's the special challenge about this venue and
why have you decided to open the winter with a team
Ottesen: Kuusamo has been the Nordic Opening for
more then 10 seasons, so we know the venue, conditions
and atmosphere very well. The challenge with Kuusamo
is that is can be very cold and windy for the first
World Cup of the season. But in the last seasons
we have seen some great events and I am sure that
we will have a great start of the 2013/14 season
again. We decided to start this Olympic season with
a Team event to build the "patriotic"
feelings a bit. Feedback from the athletes on this
event is good and it is a great way to start the
Olympic season with a lot of team spirit.
With Chaikovskiy, a new venue ascends to the status
of World Cup venue this winter, having only hosted
Continental Cups so far. What do you expect for
this Russian World Cup weekend?
Ottesen: Russia is currently the nation on the Nordic
Tour that is investing the most in new venues. Nishny
Tagil, Sochi and Chaikovsky are all brand-new venues
with top of the art facilities for Nordic Skiing.
They hosted a great Continental Cup last season
and I am expecting that we will have a new and great
organizer on our Continental Cup and World Cup calendar
in the future.
In addition to Chaikovskiy, Trondheim is also back
on the World Cup calendar, giving Nordic Combined
a packed "Nordic Tour" at the end of the
winter with Lahti, Trondheim, Oslo and the pre-World
Championship test in Falun. What was the thought
Ottesen: First of all, it was a wish of Trondheim
and the Norwegian Ski Association to bring Nordic
Combined back to Trondheim. Trondheim is also the
home of several National Team athletes so it will
hopefully be a great event with lots of spectators.
Oslo is one of the highlights of the season, but
with a full Nordic weekend there is only time for
one Nordic Combined event in Holmenkollen this season.
Falun is hosting the WSC in 2015, and it will be
a great test event for all disciplines in March
2014. We are also discussing with the three Ski
Associations of Norway, Sweden and Finland at the
moment regarding a "Nordic Tour" in the