Former Canadian technical team coach Tim Gfeller is settling into his new role leading the Norwegian women’s World Cup team, specifically GS and slalom specialists and sisters Nina and Mona Loeseth as well as speed skiers Lotte Sejersted and Ragnhild Mowinckel in giant slalom.
After his eighth year coaching the national team of his home country, Gfeller welcomed the prospect of overseeing a rapidly developing European squad where he sees great potential.
“(Working with the Norwegians) was definitely an opportunity to do something a little bit different,” said Gfeller, “and of course, the opportunity to work with the girls that are there, the four girls on the World Cup team. … Basically they’re all ready to take the next step, and it’s an exciting time to be involved with them.”
Of course, the Loeseth sisters focus more on the technical side of things, which meshes well with Gfeller’s previous experience with the athletes on the Canadian World Cup team, including Marie-Michele Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski.
“That’s where my on-snow coaching is going to lie, on the slalom and GS side,” said Gfeller. “Mona has had some top 30s in the World Cup and Nina is in the top 15 and is ready to make that jump onto the podium. Both Lotte and Ragnhild did some great things in speed this year and (also) in GS. They’ve got a good future in GS as well as speed.”
The whole Norwegian ladies’ team will train together during the preparation period, says Gfeller, as well as during portions of the winter months when the schedule permits — giant slalom training will be the great overlap among all team members.
“We’ll ski for a couple weeks in July and then spend basically the month of August in New Zealand, and then slowly start getting ready in October for Soelden,” said Gfeller. “The goals may vary slightly for these girls, but in general, we’re definitely shooting for consistency on the World Cup and eventually the podium.”
Accomplishing that next step isn’t to be taken for granted, though. “To be able to make podiums on the World Cup is more than just skiing — you need more than just the on-snow part. You need the dryland side, the commitment side, the professionalism side,” said Gfeller. “To be able to make those podiums on the World Cup, you need all of those details working together.”