Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Henrik Kristoffersen to Skip Levi

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The big news in the ski world is that slalom globe winner Henrik Kristoffersen will not race in Levi this weekend because of a dispute with the Norwegian federation. The others have covered this story in depth, so we would normally avoid it like we would playing on railroad tracks. One of our intrepid reporters tried to interview Henrik for this story, but he was not available. Then he tried to interview a representative of the Norwegian federation, but he was also not available. Not to be deterred, our gallant journalist tried one more time and lucked out. Our very own Answer Man, who is really one of our intrepid researchers, was able to give the Blickbild's unique perspective on the strife between Henrik and his federation. Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: What is the story behind Henrik's problem with his federation? The Norwegians seem like such nice guys. I don't see how anyone could have a dispute with them. 
Answer Man: It is a long story. The short version is that Henrik is sponsored by Red Bull and wants it as his helmet sponsor instead of Telenor, which is the official Norwegian team sponsor. The federation insists that Henrik must have Telenor on his helmet.
BB: Aksel Lund Svindal has Red Bull on his helmet.
Answer Man: Aksel's contract with Red Bull was signed before the Telenor one. The Norwegian federation made an exception in his case and let him have a Red Bull helmet.
BB: And Henrik wants to be able to have a Red Bull helmet too?
Answer Man: Right. Everyone in Norway want to be like Aksel. He is a national hero. But think of the Norwegian team as a family and Aksel as the eldest brother. Like in any family, the older siblings get more privileges than the younger ones. Henrik will have to wait his turn just like little brothers the world over.
BB: I also heard that Henrik wants his teammates to join Red Bull, but only he will have special privileges. 
Answer Man: Yes. Red Bull has offered Henrik his own trainers so that he doesn't have to train with the rest of the team, special gyms, private jets, his own Mafia hit man, and 72 virgins.
BB: Wait a minute! Henrik is not a suicide bomber who will martyr himself for the chance to have 72 virgins in Paradise. 
Answer Man: In a way he is being a martyr for the cause of wanting to be his own man and not be bound by the rules of his federation. He is basically giving up the slalom globe that he won last season. That sounds like martyrdom to me.
BB: Where will Red Bull find 72 virgins anyway? The ratio of women to men is not high enough to support finding 72 women for every male athlete, let alone 72 who are virgins.
Answer Man: That is a good question. But if anyone can find 72 virgins for every male athlete, it would be Red Bull.
BB: Why boycott Levi and not another race? If Henrik could win another reindeer, he would have reindeer steaks and ojlmsfjaegger* for life. Other races don't give out animals to the winners.
Answer Man: Even if Henrik won another reindeer in Levi, he would not be allowed to eat it or make ojlmsfjaegger from its heart. Just like with his first reindeer Lars, Henrik had to sign a contract promising that he would not sneak into Finland to capture and eat his reindeer. He will have to use Norwegian reindeer for the recipes in his copy of 365 Ways to Prepare Reindeer.
BB: Now I understand why he is skipping Levi. The reindeer seems to be his in name only. He can't do whatever he wants with it, which could include eating it. 
Answer Man: Right. Henrik skis for Norway and should eat Norwegian reindeer anyway. At least that is what the Norwegian federation requires.
BB: I am starting to understand Henrik's point of view regarding his federation. (short pause) I heard that Henrik's head sponsor problem is not the only strife in the Norwegian federation. 
Answer Man: That is correct. There is a big conflict between Grandma Jansrud, who supplies the team with ojlmsfjaegger, and the team witch doctor Dr. Mwafume. It was the main reason that there was no Dave Seville Witch Doctor of the Year award this year.
BB: I was wondering about that and so were our readers. Tell us what happened. 
Answer Man: Germany's Dr. Mabongo won the award for the fourth year in a row. Just like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo win the Ballon d'Or every year, Dr. Mabongo wins the Dave Seville Award. Before the award was officially announced, the Norwegians found out that Dr. Mabongo won it. They felt that either Grandma Jansrud or Dr. Mwafume were more deserving because Team Norway had great performances last season while Germany was so-so. Then a fight broke out between Grandma Jansrud and Dr. Mwafume's supporters. Several hundred people were taken to the hospital. Luckily nobody was killed. It was decided to suspend the Dave Seville Award this year.
BB: I see. Have Grandma Jansrud and Dr. Mwafume's supporters made up?
Answer Man: No. The situation has gotten worse between them. It got to the point where Grandma Jansrud hit Dr. Mwafume over the head with her cane and knocked him out. Then just before Soelden she announced that she was on strike and would no longer make ojlmsfjaegger for the team.
BB: I guess that teaches them not to mess with a Norwegian grandmother. It also explains the team's poor performance in Soelden. 
Answer Man: This leads back to another point of contention between Henrik and the Norwegian federation. Part of Henrik's contract stipulates that he must have fresh ojlmsfjaegger before races. After Grandma Jansrud went on strike, it was too late to put out the call for other Norwegian women to do their patriotic duty and supply the team with ojlmsfjaegger. The federation had to resort to tinned ojlmsfjaegger in Soelden.
BB: No! 
Answer Man: Yes, it's true.
BB: I can see why he is upset with the Norwegian federation! That alone is a reason to boycott the race in Levi and even quit the team. Speaking of a boycott, I heard that Henrik is trying to get his teammates to boycott races this season. If the Norwegians boycott, and the other racers go on strike in solidarity, will the FIS bring in other racers as strike breakers so that there will be men's races?
Answer Man: About 25 or 30 years ago the US National Football League (NFL) used replacement players when the regular athletes went on strike, so a precedent has been set. It is possible that Europa Cup racers will be moved up to the World Cup or others would be brought in to compete.
BB: If the FIS decides to bring in replacement racers, would this be the big break that Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli and his band of merry Mafia hit men have been seeking?
Answer Man: It could very well happen. Team Freedonia has been looking for its break with the FIS. It is also possible that the Freedonians could recruit Henrik for their team. Since Freedonia is a fictional country, Henrik would not have to worry about the two year residence requirement like he would if he switched to another real country. There is nothing in the FIS Big Book of Rules that deals with fictional lands.
BB: Interesting. Would there be a conflict of interest if Henrik skis for Freedonia because Vinnie is a Red Bull employee?
Answer Man: That would have to be sorted out by the FIS and the proper authorities. I don't see a big conflict because Vinnie was never Henrik's personal hit man. If the FIS finds that there is a conflict of interest anyway, Henrik would have to look for another team.
BB: Here is another question. Let's suppose that the FIS decides that women could compete in the men's races because the men are all on strike. Do you think Lindsey Vonn would compete in a men's race?
Answer Man: I believe that Lindsey wants to race against men and not compete in a race that is called a men's race but where all of the competitors are women.
BB: It looks like someone is getting into semantics. One more question. Last year Anna Veith had a dispute with the Austrian federation before she was injured. She was recruited by aliens from the planet Zorkon in the Andromeda Galaxy. Has Henrik been approached by scouts from other planets?
Answer Man: I have not heard about Henrik being approached by the Zorkonians or other space aliens. But I found out from a reliable source that the Zorkonians have a colony on Earth. One of the research stations in Antarctica is really a Zorkonian colony.
BB: It sounds like the Zorkonians are serious about trying to recruit star ski racers onto their team if they have established a colony on Earth. There are mountains in Antarctica which could be developed into ski slopes and training centres. 
Answer Man: It is a matter of time before we see our first racer from Zorkon or Antarctica.  There is nothing in the FIS Big Book of Rules about competing for Antarctica since nobody has ancestors from there or also for other planets. Henrik could take advantage of that loophole in the Big Book of Rules and be the first racer from either Antarctica or Zorkon.
BB: Ski fans all over the world and universe will have to wait and see what happens between Henrik and the Norwegian federation. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon and we will see Henrik back on the race pistes competing for Crystal Globes. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for helping our readers understand the conflict between Henrik and  his federation. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

The Boston Blickild. Our motto is: We are still trying to figure out how every man can have 72 virgins if the ratio of men to women is 50-50.

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* For our newer readers, ojlmsfjaegger are cubes of pickled reindeer heart covered in a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce. They are eaten on birthdays in Norway.

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