The standoff between the Norwegian ski federation and 2015-16 discipline globe winner Henrik Kristoffersen reached heightened alarm on Monday with the first slalom of the season just six days away. The latest blow has been struck by the standout who announced that he will not start the slalom opener in Levi, Finland, scheduled for Nov. 13.
The Norwegian said that his one regret in skipping the race will be missing out on starting the season in the red bib that he earned last year. Assuming Kristoffersen skips the slalom kickoff, his next opportunity to race would be in Beaver Creek, Colo. Until then, he plans to train alone, separated from his teammates.
“Right now, there is so much noise around me,” Kristoffersen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “I hope they will be able to prepare as best they can. They should be allowed to do what they want to do without being affected by the situation the ski federation has put me in.”
Kristoffersen’s teammates are currently preparing for Levi in Kabdalis, Sweden, without the slalom ace.
The situation to which he refers is an ongoing disagreement to sign Red Bull as a personal helmet sponsor. Since signing an athlete agreement with the Norwegian team for the season, Kristoffersen has decided to sue the national governing body for forcing him to feature team sponosor Telenor on his helmet and not Red Bull. Kristoffersen filed a lawsuit in Oslo district court, but it has yet to be heard as the 2016-17 competition season carries on.