Norwegian Bernhard Rønning, who has been coaching the Chinese cross-country skiing team, has extended his contract with another four years. Initially he had planned to step down after the Winter Olympics in Beijing. His co-coaches Ole-Marius Bach, Terje Langli and Lars Christian Aabol have likewise to extend their contract.
The reason for the change of heart is that the team will be based in Scandinavia throughout the coming year. This means less travel and more control over the program.
“When we are in Europe, we control the training ourselves a little more,” says Rønning to NRK.
When in China, the Chinese authorities want to control most of what happens. It can even be details like how the athletes should train, where we should train and how we should best achieve the goals, Rønning says. Chinese cross-country skiing made a small breakthrough when Wang Qiang finished second in the World Cup sprint in Drammen in March this year.