Totningen has been fighting the jump girls’ cause for several years. Most recently this winter, she has been sharp in her criticism that there has hardly been a World Cup race on the women’s side.
– I have all possible respect for Maren and the job she has done. It has made it possible for us to now jump on all slopes and get a full-fledged program in the World Cup. She should have a very big thank you. It has meant a lot to everyone who loves this sport, said teammate Silje Opseth during Tuesday’s press conference.
In Oberstdorf, the big hill race for women is on the WC program for the very first time. Thus, Lundby and co. as many exercises as the men.
– This time it is actually possible to focus on the sporting. Now it’s the same. I’m really looking forward to jumping on the big hill, says Lundby.
Norway’s jump manager Clas Brede Bråthen has no doubt about what Lundby’s legacy will be.
– In the Norwegian jumping history, she will appear as one of the greats, first and foremost for her achievements. And in Norwegian sports history, she will stand out as a fantastic ambassador for equal opportunities, he says to NTB and continues:
– She is perhaps the best sports politician who has made the biggest difference in terms of gender equality. But first and foremost, she’s a solid human being. That is what we have seen, we who have been so lucky to be close to Maren since she came in in 2007-2008. It has been a journey few sports leaders are ever allowed to take part in. For my part, I am extremely grateful to have taken part in it. I feel confident that this is by no means over.
Lundby has 30 victories in the World Cup, but this winter she has not been on the podium. The 26-year-old had knee problems in the pre-season.
– I have envisioned being in top form here in the World Cup, and I have every opportunity to get a huge boost in a season that has been in the middle of the tree. I am offensive and ready to achieve something good, says Lundby.
She is the reigning champion in small hill in both the World Cup and the Olympics.
Opseth is the strongest jumper in the Norwegian team. She has recently been several trips to the podium in the World Cup.
The championship in Germany starts on Wednesday with qualifying ahead of the women’s race in small hill the next day. Anna Odine Strøm, Thea Minyan Bjørseth and Frida Berger make up the rest of the Norwegian World Cup team.