Olympic medalist from Norway takes over as jumping coach for combined team

Olympic medalist from Norway takes over as jumping coach for combined team{mosimage}Lasse Ottesen, who won an Olympic silver medal in ski jumping for Norway in 1994, will try to bring the same kind of success to the U.S. nordic combined team. Ottesen was named jumping coach for the Yanks, replacing Corby Fisher, who moved up after two seasons with the combined team to be head coach of the U.S. ski jumpers.

Ottesen, 30 and a three-time Olympian, was jump coach with the Norwegian combined team for the past two seasons but with former World Cup skiers Frode Moen, who retired in 1994, taking over as head coach this spring, he wanted someone with cross-country background. Fortunately, U.S. Coach Bard Elden, whose strength is cross-country, was in the market for a jumping coach. (Dave Jarrett, who also was stronger in cross-country, remains as U.S. development coach.)

“It worked out perfectly,” Elden said. “Lasse’s terrific and I’m really pleased he’s taking the position. I think the guys will respond to him very well.”

Todd Lodwick, who won the sixth nordic combined event of his career this past season, agreed. “He’s a great choice. I’ve got great confidence in what Lasse’s bringing to the team,” Lodwick said.

Ottesen, born in a village north of Oslo, has been jumping since he was five, thanks largely to his father and an uncle. He moved to Oslo as a teenager to boost his training and was a World Cup skier for 11 years before retiring after the 2001 season.

“It’s not too long since I was jumping and I know the boys pretty well,” he said. “I’ve watched them for two years and there is some excellent talent here.”

Ottesen was in Park City, Utah, for the Ski Team’s Athletic Summit and will return in late May as Utah Olympic Park reopens and the team begins its preseason jumping.

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