Breakthrough for the Women: Program Changes in Holmenkollen 2020

Photo: Jacques Holst.

Therese Johaug and the rest of the female cross-country skiers will be competing on Saturday, while the male skiers will have their turn in the tough courses on the Sunday for the upcoming ‘Skifest’ in Holmenkollen.

-This is something the women have wanted for a long time. We see this as a positive change for the sport and the event and we hope that the spectators also welcome this program change, says Kristin Vestgren Sæterøy, CEO in Holmenkollen Skifestival.

As of the 2019/20 season, the men’s 50 km and women’s 30 km will alternate between taking place on Saturday and Sunday. This means that the women will compete on Saturday 7 March in 2020. Tickets are already available.

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Åge Skinstad, Norway’s representative in the Sub Committee for Cross Country World and Continental Cup in the International Ski Federation (FIS) believe this new ‘Holmenkollen-solution’ will be a positive contribution for the event. -Over the last years, we see that Saturday has become the most attractive event day during the World Cup weekend in the iconic Holmenkollen venue. And of course, it is only fair that the female cross-country skiers also get to experience this unique folk festival atmosphere the same way as the men do. As we have decided to alternate the Saturday and Sunday program between the women and men, this becomes a fair and sound solution, says Skinstad.

-We have looked forward to this

The change was decided back in fall 2018, but with implementation from the 2019/20 season. The female skiers look forward to next years ‘folk festival’, -Finally! Now, it’s our turn to compete on a Saturday and I am so excited. This is a day that I very much look forward to. So now it is time to prepare the best we can and make a solid foundation for the 30 km in Holmenkollen, says Therese Johaug.

Teammate, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, also looks forward to a new competition experience in Holmenkollen.

-This is something we have looked forward to for a long time, to experience the outstanding Holmenkollen atmosphere during the Saturday event, says Flugstad Østberg