This week, Flugstad Østberg posted a picture on Intstagram. There she was surrounded by Therese Johaug and Marit Bjørgen.
– Crisis help, Flugstad Østberg wrote under the photo.
– Everything was better before.
The background for the message, which came with a twinkle in the eye, is that the cross-country women in Norway have received a lot of criticism recently. Several of the team’s stars have struggled in this year’s season.
Recently, both Marit Bjørgen and Therese Johaug, who work as experts for Viaplay and NRK respectively, have been highlighted as names the Ski Association should ask for help.
Both have expressed themselves positively to assist with their experience against the women’s team.
– I think it’s great fun to contribute with the knowledge you have, but it also requires a bit, said Bjørgen in the Viaplay studio last weekend.
Johaug aired his thoughts in an interview with NRK:
– I would like to be involved and contribute with my knowledge if desired. I have been in top sport for 15 years and gained a lot of experience, says Johaug.
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, who was refused a start before this year’s season, is in training. She knows both Bjørgen and Johaug well privately. But after the session with the two, she came up with a humorous message to the critics:
– We obviously have to listen to all the experts, so we might as well run round two with the crisis team in Marka today, writes Flugstad Østberg in an SMS to Dagbladet.
– What do you think of the expert’s verdict?
– We all agree that as a team we want to perform much better than what has been the case so far this season.
Several experts have demanded a thorough evaluation of the training ahead of this year’s season, which the coaches Sjur Ole Svarstad and Stig Rune Kveen have also welcomed.
The result before the end of this year’s season is one World Cup victory. It was Kristine Stavå’s Skistad that took on a sprint in Trondheim before Christmas.
Otherwise, illness, injuries and decay have dominated the headlines.
Earlier this year, Fredrik Aukland spoke out against the Ski Association in Dagbladet.
– I miss clear answers as to why the national team runners have not performed better, and why the situation is as it is. I want an answer to that from the national team management. It is undoubtedly a big job to do in the lead up to the WC on home soil.
Stig Rune Kveen had the criticism passed on, and Dagbladet wanted to know if the sporting scheme had failed, as some experts claimed:
– It can be discussed. I understand that they have that opinion, but they don’t see the whole picture. There are completely different reasons why. There are illnesses and injuries. It is easy for them to say what they say
What the future holds for Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has not yet been decided. Dagbladet has tried to get a comment from coach Sjur Ole Svarstad in recent days, without a reply.
In an interview with Oppland Arbeiderblad before Christmas, the 33-year-old said that the future is still uncertain:
– I wish I could give a good answer to those who ask, but that is not the case. The truth is I don’t know, she told OA.
She points out that the motivation to return is still great. The big goal is the WC in Trondheim next year.