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What is your strongest memory from Petter Northugs career?

the OLYMPIC silver medal in sprintstafett 2014, the OLYMPIC bronze in sprint 2014

world CUP-silver in sprintstafett 2013, world CUP bronze medal in the sprint 2011

”In my first junior world CUP (2005) so was I at the finish and threw me across the finish line. But I had a Norwegian next to me who was before with a half inch on the målfoto! And it was Petter Northug.

He broke through on the right way and was a smart skater. Many races went to be masstartslopp with the sprints, and he was early to determine race in a new way.

Petter has meant so much to längdskidåkningen – especially in Sweden. He lifted the level and the interest to be higher than what it had ever been before. He was the one who created a hajp and who created the Norway–Sweden-bataljerna. His words, his mind games and everything was a whole new world that did amazingly good for the sport, even if he angered many! He made it hip to ski, and he is undoubtedly the biggest star we have had on the men's side.”

Classic Northug quotes we remember

world CUP-silver in the relay in 2015

”There are so many opportunities. The world CHAMPIONSHIPS in Falun (2015), where he was the cruel, and when he broke through – it was also in Falun, sweden, where he won his first world cup (2006), when he was still a junior.

He has really developed the sport in many ways and have taken it here to build themselves a brand to a whole other level. The same applies to the purely sporting, with taktikkörning – where he has been a pioneer. He had such an incredible self-confidence and had such a mental advantage in the finishing details.”

the OLYMPIC gold medal in the team sprint 2014

”He was very reluctant to draw already as a junior, he had no desire to be first, and had his character already. I remember dubbeljakten at the OLYMPICS in Sochi (2014), then we went together to a part. Some racers was difficult and the right bulky to have next to them for they stepped on the skis but Petter was able to be in front of me one moment and then he was just gone, then he was in front of me again without really noticed it. He was smooth in a completely different way, if all went as stated by so it would be a hassle with all the jerking, but you would not have to be worried about the equipment.

I also remember a race as a junior when Petter two seconds ahead of me in Bruksvallarna when we were at the top of the track. I took it in and won by a few seconds, well, I've beaten him as a senior a few times also.”

the OLYMPIC gold medal in the team sprint in 2014, the OLYMPIC silver medal in the skiathlon and sprintstafett 2010, OLYMPIC silver in the relay in 2018

world CUP-silver in the relay in 2011, 2013 and 2015 world CHAMPIONSHIPS-bronze in the relay in 2009

”of course, We are the same age, so we have gone competitions in the same places ever since I was a child. He ran a lot in Orsa Grönklitt, where I come from, so I have really followed him since we were young.

even then, he was the one that took the tone, he had a small stjärnaura already then. But was never the one who was hefty when you talked with him – so it was a little at odds with the media picture.

But he has been an incredibly big rubrikmakare! It has been very important for a sport that längdskidåkningen, which was perhaps not the hippest sport when you were little. He has been a key person in that längdskidåkningen today has the status that it actually has.”

Johan Esk: the Sport needed to Northug that Northug needed the swedes

Northug: ”Obsessions became a part of it that motivated me.”

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