The last month has been an exciting one for Aksel Lund Svindal. Skiing through Moscow, watching Champions League football and now he is a magazine cover star. Catch up with the Norwegian below…
28 January – Garmisch, Germany
If anyone’s wondering why Bode Miller started at number 46 in today’s downhill, at almost every World Cup race there is a public draw. This means the top 15 guys show up the night before the race to get their start number in front of the TV cameras. All skiers have to show up by 5.45pm. But Bode showed at 5.50pm, and for that he was given bib 46. Is that too harsh? I think so. He was still there in good time before getting his bib, but the best guys usually come last in the bib draw. And today he has probably lost his chance of getting a good result.
10 February – Sochi, Russia
It's safe to say that we were all surprised by the downhill track here in Sochi. The top is steep and icy, and there are some big jumps at the end. This also being a hill no one had really skied before, it’s hard to judge what the speed is like. Since they've made some big jumps, they had to put in some big turns to kill some speed. One jump is around 60m – the biggest we've had this winter. The top of the course is very tough. They've used a lot of water on the hill, way too much. It's turned into ice which has broken – super slick ice with holes in it. Another thing that’s unusual is the security at the downhill start. The border with Georgia is very close, and there are guards and military everywhere.
13 February – Sochi, Russia
Construction – that's the first thing that comes to mind after a week in Sochi. Everywhere you go there is work in progress ahead of the 2014 Olympics. There's an express train and a highway from the town of Sochi up to Rosa Kothur where most of the events are taking place. It’s only the indoor sports taking place in Sochi. Everything else is about 40 minutes up the valley. Or 20 minutes after the construction is complete. We stayed at the only two hotels that were finished. I have no idea how many rooms are buing built up in that valley, but I've never seen anything like it. It must be one of the worlds biggest construction sites right now.
14 February – Sochi, Russia
Check out Outside magazine for March. I've just been sent a photo of the cover of the American magazine. I haven’t had a chance to read the article yet, but it's cool that they used it for the cover.
19 February – Bansko, Russia
I'm happy with my fourth-place here in Bansko. Now I'm packing up my bags and leaving for Moscow and the city event. Bansko is like a summer resort, with people trying to convince you to go into their bar or restaurant. They’re everywhere. I’m pretty sure they work the beach in the summer and here in the winter. They seem to know what country you’re from, and then start talking to you in that language. Impressive, but annoying in the long run. But the snow and the mountains are good, and that's what counts.
21 February – Moscow, Russia
I got knocked out against Misillier. They’re hard to take down those French slalom guys. One of them (Pintherault) went on to win the whole thing. That’s the first of many World Cup wins we'll se from him. The best part of the day is that Julia (Mancuso) won the womens' event! After the race, I walked over to the Olympic Stadium and watched CSKA Moscow's Champions League game against Real Madrid.
25 Feb – Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Check out the giant slalom top seven. The whole crew – and closest to the camera you see my teammate Emil. It was his second World Cup race and already he has his first bib draw. Kjetil has a sore back so I brought Emil for some company. In total we’re six Norwegians at the start.
27 February – Crans-Montana, Switzerland
I think this was when i realized I wasn’t gonna win the race.