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March 11, 2011
Norway's everlasting trainer Oddmund Jensen dies

COLD COUPLE: Legendary trainer Oddmund Jensen (right) and triple winner Gjermund Eggen of the 1966 ski World Championship in Oslo.
by Rolf Arne Odiin, chairman AIPS Nordic Ski and Biathlon commission

OSLO, March 11, 2011 - Oddmund Jensen (82) died last Sunday of cancer in his hometown Lillehammer on the last day of the exceptional ski Ski world championship in Oslo.

The career of the former Olympic skier bloomed when he was chosen head coach of cross country skiing for the 1966 World ski championship in Oslo where fabulous Gjermund Eggen won three gold medals in a row and the team entered all three podiums after the 15 km race. The trainer also was head of the relay team winning the first the first ever female cross country medals for Norway earning silver medals at the 3x5 km relay.

Two years later the team of trainer Jensen brought four cross country Olympic gold medals from the Grenoble games from 15 km (Harald Grønningen), 50 km (Ole Ellefsæter) and the 4x10 km relay while his female team won medals in all three events included gold in the 3x5 km.
Preparing for the 1970 World Ski championship in Czech Vysoke Tatry trainer Jensen was denied by the national federation to bring his team to high altitude training due to economical reasons. One the poor result of the championship was one silver and one bronze medal when Russia and DDR earned huge successes.

Oddmund Jensen stroke back at the 1972 Winter Olympics where Pål Tyldum won the 50 km race and Norway won seven medals in cross country. Two years later the talented Norwegian team was denied to use the outstanding new plastic skies due to protection of the big Norwegian production of wooden skies which resulted in one single gold medal for the favorite nation.

Another Olympic game in Innsbruck 1976 brought gold and silver for the coach and his team fighting against the best Russian team ever.

Oddmund Jensen was a skilled trainer bringing new ideas to the sport in a country where the federation fought against every renewing of the sport. First of all he was known as the best ski waxer in the world and was brought to help the national team at main international championships even to the Olympics in 1992 and 1994.

During his career he saw many strange things happen in the way of preparing the athletes for the big events. But he never said a word about things which was not able to prove. Oddmund Jensen always encouraged his athletes to train harder and better than their competitors believing that the only way to victory was never to give in and work harder.

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