TRONDHEIM (VG) The chubby Frode Pedersen is almost a friend to Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (26). He gets his share of credit for his countless World Cup wins and championship medals. But now it’s over.
– It’s frustrating, of course. I want him to come. But I am more aware of the position I have now outside the national team than before. I said no, but I can’t do it, a slightly serious Klæbo told VG during a press conference in his own garden in Trondheim on Monday.
Trønder has yet to speak about the national team, what happened when, via a press release, he broke with the Norwegian Ski Association, opting instead to become a private skier.
Since then, it became known in Adressa that the oiler Frode Pedersen would not be allowed to continue with the association.
The fatter Klæbo – who was out of the national team all summer – hopes he is reunited with her when winter comes and the World Cup starts.
The skiing star refers to her as a dear friend, someone who does a lot of extra things so she always has the best skis, and is behind the gold pair in nearly all of her World Cup, WC, and Olympic medal wins.
– It’s a pity that it was not possible to find a place for him. I don’t have the same card as last year. If you are part of the national team, you can play your cards differently. Unfortunately, it’s not for me to decide in this situation.
When VG asked him if he would be willing to put a lot of effort into continuing Pedersen, such as paying part of his salary, Klæbo replied as follows:
– I will not comment on what I have and have not offered. I’m so excited to bring it along. What I offer will be between us.
– But I’m willing to do a lot. Exactly what, I will not say.
VG asked the Ski Association new lubrication manager, Tord Hegdahlon why Pedersen was not allowed to continue.
He replied that he had chosen a team that he believed would ensure that Norway was strong for the winter.
– And then I entered into dialogue with Johannes and heard how we can properly prepare for winter with regard to his skis.
– Isn’t Frode Pedersen good enough?
– It’s not about that. The contract has expired and I have now assembled the men and women who will form the team.
Smører Pedersen was also part of the negotiations between Klæbo and the union a year ago. VG could tell that there was conflict behind the vagueness about Pedersen’s role, but they eventually came to an agreement. They didn’t this time.
– Is it about that conflict again, Hegdahl?
– What do you think of Klæbo calling your decision frustrating, sad and a sin?
– I think we should get him good skis for the winter and he has plans with the ski supplier on what to do in terms of activity with his skis until then. That’s what I focus on the most.
When asked if he thought it was a kind of “thank you for the last” from the Norwegian Ski Association because he turned down the national team, Klæbo replied as follows:
– Espen (Bjervig cross-country manager) and management directing the ship. They can do things however they want. I am clear about what I stand for and my values. If they think this is best for a fat trailer, then that’s their choice. I think that’s weird and sad. Then Espen and management did things their way.
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