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Men’s Alpine World Cup 2023/24

James

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Some of the press conf in english.
He just did an interview with Manny Feller the other day in German.

 

Primoz

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Wow, really too bad. He was fun to watch.

Are you not allowed to work for a clothing company outside of skiing?
It depends who you are and where you are. It's not skiing thing, as obviously Shiffrin wouldn't be wearing any of Adidas things otherwise. Same would go for half of WC circuit privately sponsored by J. Lindberg, while team clothes are anything but that, or driving Mercedes, BMW etc. while team car is Audi and you actually get team sponsored Audi, but your private sponsor gives you Mercedes, as they are Mercedes dealer. But with NFS it certainly matter who you are, who is your manager, and that also determines what you can do. I guess we all remember Kristoffersen's issues with NFS when he tried to wear Red Bull helmet and how there's no way anyone in NFS will wear any other head sponsor then Telenor, while at same time Svindal was skiing with RB helmet without any problems. And based on NFS status, especially from xc skiing, and their dominance through the years, they obviously think, they can easily do without two World Champions and go through without harm even if they won't compete, as it seems both Braathen and Klaebo (multiple World and Olympic champion and WC overall winner in only sport that really matters in Scandinavia, xc skiing), won't be racing for NFS (at least) this season.
 

Tony Storaro

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I probably would have picked him To place.
Doesn’t Bratthen hold dual citizenship with Brazil?

Translation

Shortly before the ski World Cup kick-off in Sölden, the news about the unexpected career end of 23-year-old Lucas Braathen caused a stir in the ski circus. The young Norwegian, known for his strength in the Super-G, giant slalom and slalom and as the winner of the small crystal ball in the slalom in the preseason, has decided to end his successful career in skiing.

Braathen explained that his decision was shaped by the effort to pursue personal happiness. In recent months, he no longer found this happiness in professional skiing. He stressed that he feels free and happy again for the first time in a long time, which was a clear sign for him to end his career.

Another aspect that contributed to Braathen's resignation was a conflict with the Norwegian ski association NSF. The background of the dispute was his work as a model for the fashion brand "J. Lindberg, which led to tensions, as the association is equipped by "Helly Hansen." This side activity also provoked criticism among his colleagues.

Braathen also expressed his dissatisfaction with the FIS racing calendar. He criticized that the design of the calendar did not allow him to participate in more Super G races, which was another factor in his decision to resign.


Lucas Braathen says goodbye to the ski world

During the emotional press conference, Braathen expressed his deep gratitude for the support of his fans and stressed how much he cared about mutual love and support. He first shared his decision to resign with his teammates, who consistently showed him support. The notification to the Norwegian Ski Association NSF, on the other hand, was made at short notice by SMS. This step was influenced by a conflict with the association, which resulted from Braathen's model work for the brand "J. Lindberg" and caused tensions with the NSF equipped by "Helly Hansen".

Braathen was very critical of the NSF, which he found provocative and disrespectful. He apologized to his teammates and sponsor Helly Hansen for his behavior, but his criticism of the association remained.

Braathen expressed skepticism about a possible comeback. He stressed that a return to the Ski World Cup would only be conceivable under radically changed circumstances. Despite the challenges last season, including appendectomy, Braathen had achieved remarkable successes, including two World Cup victories in Switzerland.

The reactions to his resignation were diverse. Celebrities such as Johan Clarey, the former ÖSV runner Philipp Schörghofer and the former "speed moose" Kjetil Jansrud expressed their regret at the loss of such a talented and popular athlete for skiing. This is also reflected in the numerous reactions on social media.



Also, Atle Lie McGrath has decided not to start at Solden as he is still recovering.

Jeez that’s just crazy. My heart sank upon reading the title, thought he had some health issues, happy that’s not the case but, but…that’s just crazy…
 
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Tony Storaro

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Sadly, there is probably more money in modeling :(.

Are you able to tell the name of one male model? I mean someone famous in the fashion industry? I know I can’t. This kid could have had at least 10 full seasons ahead of him and reach a legendary status…now…dunno…
 

fatbob

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When I first saw the news I thought good for him, one globe and done, that's the way to boss life. But now it seems it's definitely a management problem.
 

James

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But now it seems it's definitely a management problem.
Don’t know about that. There maybe some Naomi Osaka type issues.

I wonder if one can take say 3 seasons off at age 23 and come back. Likely easier in tennis.
 

Teppaz

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It depends who you are and where you are. It's not skiing thing, as obviously Shiffrin wouldn't be wearing any of Adidas things otherwise.
I was wondering about that: Shiffrin always wears Adidas when not racing and obviously the US team has a deal with Kappa, Spyder just before that. If Braathen wears Helly Hansen when racing, what’s the big deal with him modeling for another brand?
 

dbostedo

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what’s the big deal with him modeling for another brand?
I'm thinking the answer is "nothing" inherently. But it seems likely that either Helly Hansen complains and asks or hints that NFS should pressure the athletes to only wear HH, or the NFS is afraid to upset HH as a sponsor and does it themselves. Totally guessing though.
 
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4ster

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Are you able to tell the name of one male model? I mean someone famous in the fashion industry? I know I can’t. This kid could have had at least 10 full seasons ahead of him and reach a legendary status…now…dunno…
One of my ski buddies is a male model on the side, I don’t know the details but he makes good money! At least a few magazine covers & he’s been at it a long time. I doubt if he’s world famous, at least no one has chased us down for autographs while we’re skiing ;).
I don’t think Lucas gave up ski racing for modeling but if he has some good contracts it is something to keep him going till he figures things out.
 
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James

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^ Yeah, what the hell does naming have to do with anything? It’s looks. Duh.
Name is celebrity endorsement. There are few famous models.
(Standby for Tony’s model name from 20 years or more ago.)
 

Moose32

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Wow, really too bad. He was fun to watch.

Are you not allowed to work for a clothing company outside of skiing?
Winter clothing would have to be in the Norway Ski Pool.

I attribute this, somewhat, to Svindal and Jansrud being gone. They were the seniors that kept most of the team in line with expectations and working with Klaus Riste and the Norway Ski Federation in an appropriate balance.

I say "somewhat" because, as we know, HK never really was part of the team and signed the Norway Ski Federation contract last every year. HK is probably smirking since Braathen's departure is over the same (similar) fight he has led over the past few years. It also eliminates one top competitor HK has to watch for each week.

In a perfect world for the Norway Ski Team, Kilde would step in and play the role Svindal and Jansrud did. However, his personality is not as forceful or steady - and he frankly seems "distracted" :) However, if he and Shiffy ever have an offspring that has to chose skiing for Norway or the USA this could type of event help the Yanks.

Bad loss for the sport as Lucas was one of my favorites.
 
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4ster

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Bad loss for the sport as Lucas was one of my favorites.
Same here! I would’ve rather seen HK gone & he is an incredible ski racer.
McGrath & Sander are gonna have to step up their game!
 

James

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Wow, trouble in paradise. I thought the Norwegians were tight. What’s up with all these federations?? USSS, US Soccer, Spanish Soccer, Norwegians… They’re all a mess.
The mother of the head of the Spanish Soccer Federation locking herself in the church on a “hunger strike” takes the cake. Maybe Braathen’s mom could’ve locked herself in the gondola at Solden.
 
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Rudi Riet

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Wow, trouble in paradise. I thought the Norwegians were tight. What’s up with all these federations?? USSS, US Soccer, Spanish Soccer, Norwegians… They’re all a mess.

I'm guessing it's funding channels drying up and the ensuing panic from the national governing bodies (NGBs). The last time these federations were so strict in terms of athletes being "on brand" was in the days when all prize money was laundered... er, "handled and doled out accordingly" by the sports federations.

Y'all remember that, right? Back when Stenmark was deemed a "professional" because he had contracts that allowed him direct payment from his sponsors in "violation" of the IOC code it caused a bit of chaos because he couldn't defend his medals in 1984. Stenmark (and to a lesser extent Girardelli) opened the flood gates for sponsor badges on speed suits, helmets/headgear, etc.

Suddenly branding became one of the biggest parts of NGBs. The once restrictive ski pools opened up - I remember when it was borderline scandalous that ÖSV athletes could now get material from Rossignol, Völkl, and the like. It became a feast when the global economy was strong, no doubt. There were competitive contracts for on-hill and off-hill clothing, official cars, official snack foods, the lot of it.

Now with the global economy hitting the brakes - as well as the overall uncertainty for winter sports and the lumbering beasts that are the various FIS global tours - the NGBs are trying to keep the wheels on the sponsor gravy train. And now that many of them have bloated in terms of staffing (U.S. Ski and Snowboard is a very middle manager heavy body, to put it gently, and FIS isn't much better) there are more paychecks to fill and, well, the money has to come from somewhere.

And when you get into the more slim-and-trim federations like the Norwegians they really panic when folks want to do something outside of the sponsor pool. ALS was able to get away with things back in the day, and HK's dad was willing to take the baby and the bath water to get the NSF to bend and allow him to be a team of one. Braathen didn't have that level of sway, great results notwithstanding. I can only imagine how much it affected his emotional health: the kid is successful AF and he's levied a fine for modeling a clothing brand that is very popular in Scandinavia. All because he saw a chance to have some fun and get some extra money he gets punished - no wonder he said enough is enough.

Let's see what happens with the other Norwegian alpine stars. If they continue to improve and the NSF continues to turn the screws it could be... well, it could really shake things up.

I could honestly see alpine ski teams go the way of professional bike racing. They used to have national squads, at least until the brand factory teams arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays you only see a national squad at the development level in most pro cycling, with national teams coming together for World Championship and Olympic events. Otherwise they all ride for trade teams, mix-and-match in terms of nationality. It works, and it could very well be the only way to keep many forms of ski and snowsports competition - be it alpine, nordic, freestyle, snowboarding, whatever - viable in the long run.

Just my $0.02...
 
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Lilledonmarco

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Most "name" Norwegian skiiers battle with the federation sooner or later. It's usually over sponsorship.

As @Primoz mentioned, some get away with it, but 99% don't - and that is the rub.

Imagine travelling 200+ days a year with teammates, daily training, sleeping in the same room, knowing that the guy next to you is getting special treatment from the federation. Also getting multiple income sources that are "against the rules".

It's also a cultural thing. Norwegians hate (and I mean really hate) special treatment bestowed upon individuals when that team has always pushed the team feeling
 

Tony Storaro

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^ Yeah, what the hell does naming have to do with anything? It’s looks. Duh.
Name is celebrity endorsement. There are few famous models.
(Standby for Tony’s model name from 20 years or more ago.)

Looks shmooks, in my book Tomba, Stenmark and Hirscher beat any fashion icon out there up to and including the ones whose names I actually know-like what was that girl, the skinny one…nah I forgot, nevermind.
 

arkay

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Are you able to tell the name of one male model? I mean someone famous in the fashion industry? I know I can’t. This kid could have had at least 10 full seasons ahead of him and reach a legendary status…now…dunno…
The kid is not thinking long term.
 

arkay

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I'm guessing it's funding channels drying up and the ensuing panic from the national governing bodies (NGBs). The last time these federations were so strict in terms of athletes being "on brand" was in the days when all prize money was laundered... er, "handled and doled out accordingly" by the sports federations.

Y'all remember that, right? Back when Stenmark was deemed a "professional" because he had contracts that allowed him direct payment from his sponsors in "violation" of the IOC code it caused a bit of chaos because he couldn't defend his medals in 1984. Stenmark (and to a lesser extent Girardelli) opened the flood gates for sponsor badges on speed suits, helmets/headgear, etc.

Suddenly branding became one of the biggest parts of NGBs. The once restrictive ski pools opened up - I remember when it was borderline scandalous that ÖSV athletes could now get material from Rossignol, Völkl, and the like. It became a feast when the global economy was strong, no doubt. There were competitive contracts for on-hill and off-hill clothing, official cars, official snack foods, the lot of it.

Now with the global economy hitting the brakes - as well as the overall uncertainty for winter sports and the lumbering beasts that are the various FIS global tours - the NGBs are trying to keep the wheels on the sponsor gravy train. And now that many of them have bloated in terms of staffing (U.S. Ski and Snowboard is a very middle manager heavy body, to put it gently, and FIS isn't much better) there are more paychecks to fill and, well, the money has to come from somewhere.

And when you get into the more slim-and-trim federations like the Norwegians they really panic when folks want to do something outside of the sponsor pool. ALS was able to get away with things back in the day, and HK's dad was willing to take the baby and the bath water to get the NSF to bend and allow him to be a team of one. Braathen didn't have that level of sway, great results notwithstanding. I can only imagine how much it affected his emotional health: the kid is successful AF and he's levied a fine for modeling a clothing brand that is very popular in Scandinavia. All because he saw a chance to have some fun and get some extra money he gets punished - no wonder he said enough is enough.

Let's see what happens with the other Norwegian alpine stars. If they continue to improve and the NSF continues to turn the screws it could be... well, it could really shake things up.

I could honestly see alpine ski teams go the way of professional bike racing. They used to have national squads, at least until the brand factory teams arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays you only see a national squad at the development level in most pro cycling, with national teams coming together for World Championship and Olympic events. Otherwise they all ride for trade teams, mix-and-match in terms of nationality. It works, and it could very well be the only way to keep many forms of ski and snowsports competition - be it alpine, nordic, freestyle, snowboarding, whatever - viable in the long run.

Just my $0.02...
This is a very rash decision on the part of Lucas. Unless he always wanted to be a model and hated ski racing.
You have to play the cards you’re dealt, dude.
 

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