Two of the greatest ski legends in history came to ISPO Munich 2019, quite suitably just when it started to snow. In the case of Björn Daehlie, however, it was not without problems: "In Oslo we know about snow, but in Munich it's obviously a big shock," said the eight-time cross-country skiing Olympic champion with a grin. He had to take a detour via Frankfurt/Main and arrived several hours late at the ISPO Munich.
All the more exciting was his appearance in the XC Village in Hall B6. The founder of the company "Daehlie" presented the not even 350 gram light racing suit for the Norwegian cross-country skiers for the upcoming Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld (20th of February to 3rd of March).
At least in cross-country crazy Norway, the design is "Big News" and the ISPO Munich was exactly the right place to show the design. Especially since two products of the innovative brand were awarded with an ISPO Winner Award.
"I was already at ISPO Munich when I was a 20-year-old cross-country skier," reported the 51-year-old: "Now I'm here and have my own brand. That's crazy." In Norway today, many know the cross-country skiing legend above all as a successful businessman.
But Daehlie also wants to promote his sport throughout the world: "Cross-country skiing is a religion in Norway, where every child wants to become a cross-country skier. In Germany or Italy, on the other hand, everyone wants to become a soccer player - so there's still a lot to do."
The most important winter sport in Germany in terms of TV ratings and public interest is clearly biathlon. This was also evident at the "Meet and Greet" by Madshus and Gore with world star Ole Einar Björndalen, where the stand in Hall B5 was literally overrun by trade visitors. An exhibitor from the Czech Republic even burst into the middle of the round of questions with the request to take a photo with the eight-time Olympic champion: "This is my biggest dream". The Norwegian, of course, fullfilled it with a smile.
The recently resigned biathlete also reported on his plans for the future. A Björndalen collection is being planned with his partners. In addition, the 45-year-old is still working for Madshus on further developing ski material: "I test a lot of skis and pass the information on to the factory. It's important for the development of the material that you have the right feeling in your legs."
Even when it comes to "faster clothing for the top athletes", Björndalen, who is active as a TV expert, still sees a lot of room for improvement. The most important winter sports trends are shown in the video.
By the way, the Norwegian misses competitions the most: "In sport, you simply have the goal of winning. Now that I have finished my active career, it's not so easy any more to define your goals."
That's why Björndalen likes to think back to the greatest moments in his sports life: "My first Olympic gold medal in 1998 and my last in 2014". On Tuesday, he will be awarded the ISPO Cup for his achievements, which his compatriot Björn Daehlie has already received.