– He is motivated to move on, motivated to solve the shit, to get in the way, John Northug says seriously to NRK, while sitting on the sofa in the house in Mosvik.
The place where the whole history of the cross-country skiing phenomenon Petter Northug began.
Most normal situation today
It was here that Norway’s most famous cross-country father met the three brothers in the weeks after his eldest son, at a news conference, admitted to having a serious drug problem and was driving when he was stopped by the police in August.
In addition, he talked about driving at 200 kilometers per hour in zone 80 several times – while he was filming it.
– We spent time together. Necessary time together, I think. So we try to normalize everyday life. And that made Petter seek help. The rest of us go and are motivating for what is going on. We feel that we are starting to have a more normal situation today, says John Northug.
– There is no doubt that the family was important to Petter every year. Perhaps even more now than ever.
Joking about the World Cup winner
A hundred kilometers from the farm idyll in Mosvik, there can be a good picture of how the family helped Petter Northug.
It is true that this applies to bad words and frustrated moans that are heard in the target area of the ski resort in Granåsen, Trondheim. A former ski star is gradually trying to cheer himself up after a scorching short-distance run defeat this October afternoon.
– Damn, I’m so good, I mean. I was so close to victory! exclaims Petter Northug after seeing younger brother Even put the ski boot a few inches ahead of him at the finish line of the race, in the first of three running duels between the two.
Then he jokes about what he can achieve by skiing properly.
– I will not be surprised if I become the winner of the World Cup this year.
Even Northug just looks at the plot.
He has been quiet for more than two months around the former ski king. But this week, NRK was there to watch Even and Petter Northug’s nearly two-and-a-half-hour roller ski session.
First, what should have been a long leisure trip of about sixty kilometers. A little more hoarse than the younger brother had imagined, so fast that he may have to file tomorrow’s tough session …
But there are still forces. For prestige, where competitive instincts are activated to the maximum and nerves are in full swing, they come running. Even without spectators.
The old man is not the strongest, although Even Northug, after three sprint wins, indicates somewhat sarcastically that the older brother may be faster now than at the end of his active career.
– Maybe I’ll sign up for Beitostølen, says Northug and looks forward to the weekend for the cross-country opening, where the most active and committed senior runners pose.
Then he laughs well again.
Everything that happens this October afternoon is in stark contrast to the way the world saw it two months ago.
Then he got serious.
For Even Northug, it was difficult to see what his older brother went through. He says he just tried to look after him. And the incident probably made the brotherhood stronger …
– But of course, he took it seriously. It should not be placed under a chair. But I really feel like he’s learning from it. He’s on the right track again. I think it’s fine. And he seems to be in a good mood and positive. I’m looking forward to it now, says Even Northug.
The thanks during the press conference were many. Reactions are great in lifestyle, cocaine seizures and violent driving. Petter Northug is still accused of drug possession and speeding. During the press conference he gave at the end of August, one of his most important messages to the outside world was that he would seek professional help.
The main character himself still doesn’t want to say much about his situation when he meets NRK. It is still too early.
In Mosvik, Father John is still sitting on the sofa. Behind him hang photos of the three children. He had time to reflect on how things could go so far with his eldest son.
– First of all, you think about the past, the progress, very young, a lot of attention, celebrity status, at the same time with great sports performance with a lot of adrenaline, yes. It is a very special life. I thought that way.
When Northug recognized serious problems with drugs, he was also aware that he would seek professional help.
– Much is about training in normal day-to-day life, which he did not have. That’s what matters. I feel that Petter is very motivated and I receive professional help that was useful for Petter. So, inside of me now, there is a certain optimism, says John Northug, who can keep up with the progression of treatment.
– We meet regularly at the Teams (communication platform) where we have contact with Petter’s professionals or helpers. It is a security for the family, so we get information about what is happening. We think it works very well.
– There are many who see photos of training. Things look really cool. So, there are some skeptics who also see this and say that they have seen this before. What do you say to them?
– I understand skeptics. It is something that cannot be defended in any way, and it is probably more to think and understand that the life that Petter lived is completely abnormal. Almost not a normal everyday life. Even every day when you go to the store, there is an incredible amount of attention.
– It is well intentioned, but the sum of the good can be too much. I’m sure he has fantastic help. I notice a difference in Petter. But this is not a “quick fix”, it is something Petter must waste time on. And he is well underway, says John Northug.
Northug’s reckless leadership case was investigated and sent to prosecution, and a prosecution decision is expected to be available before Christmas. The case is a case of confession and Northug recognized the circumstances for which he is accused.