Living in Europe, Germany is naturally a central figure in our politics, economy and current matters at hand. However, the country has no Visma Ski Classics event at the moment, but there are two pro teams hailing from the land that marches under the command of the iron lady Merkel.
One of the teams, Team Forever Nordic, has been around for some time now, and this jolly gang certainly brings a touch of good feeling and happiness to the battleground of long distance skiing. When getting ready for the winter, the team had to endure some serious mishaps in order to keep their ship sailing.
The team captain Sven Münch, the smiling German whose motto for life is “stay strong and be yourself”, was awarded as the Pro Team director of the year at the banquet in Levi this spring. He is quick to admit that the prestigious title meant so much to him.
“It was a huge honor to me. But it was not only a personal one as it shows that our work is respected and our presence appreciated. It gave me a lot of energy and self-confidence to work even harder. We hope that this work will also pay off in the future. I am giving my best to defend this title.”
Sven is always humble but full of spirit. Speaking of, during the darkest hours that spirit must have been tested.
“We lost our main sponsor,” Sven continues with a serious tone in his voice. “It was a tough blow to us, but we found a solution in crowdfunding. To stay in the game, we needed enough money for the license and starting fees. I had a chat with the team and everyone agreed to carry their own weight and cover individual travel expenses. This means that the whole season is not secured, but we try to overcome the current situation and come back even stronger.”
Sven tells me that the summer went well and the highlight was a shared training camp with Team Koteng. The team members learned a lot from the seasoned pros of the Norwegian team and realized that the gap between the cream of the crop and them is not overwhelmingly huge.
Sven has a gang of young and enthusiastic skiers who have set their sights on good results in the future. He thinks that Michael Kuisle will be his wild card since he has trained under the supervision of a well-known German triathlete and that has really boosted Michael’s training. The most recognized name in the squad is Erik Melin Söderström, from Sweden, and Sven has high hopes for him as well.
Finally, it’s time to ask him about the future of German Nordic skiing and find out when we are going to see his countryman on the VSC podium.
“That’s a good question. I hope very soon. We need athletes who can focus on this professionally, we need the recognition from our National Federation and our World Cup skiers should participate as well. The good thing is that we have been recognized more and more by amateur skiers. They ask us about the sport and that puts a smile on my face. We keep working hard and we are dedicated to this job. I think cross-country skiing has a good future, but we need more TV time and other media to pay more attention to us, all the teams really, to report and write more about the teams and the sport!”