While the international federations are struggling 24/7 with Russian influence on the masses, the financial situation of many national teams puts modern skiing at risk of serious changes for the worse, if not total destruction.
A high-profile confrontation over paltry fees unfolded between athletes and officials in Sweden. The country’s strongest racers have found themselves in distress.
Last ski season ended with a loud scandal for the Swedes. In the finals of the Swedish Cup in Bruksvallarna, the winner of the 10 kilometer classic race Erik Rosjö earned a ridiculous by the standards of the country 1500 Swedish kronor. At the same time, a solid part of the prize money went to pay taxes.
“The amount I received won’t help at all when I have to pay rent,” SVT quoted Rosjø as saying.
Another representative of the Swedish national team, Simon Andersson, shared an even sadder story. For sixth place in one of the races at the domestic starts he received… a set of groceries.
“I was given a pack of fish and two sausages. That’s great, but it’s hard to pay the rent with that,” Andersson complains.
In the same Bruksvallarna, Maja Dahlqvist was awarded a certificate for 250 kroner for third place. Not only is the amount ridiculous, but the money can only be spent in the sponsor’s building shop.
By the beginning of the new season the situation started to change for the better, but the money raffled off in Sweden still looks like a mockery of professional athletes.
Only under pressure from the skiers’ union will the prize money be increased to eight thousand kroner in the first race in Jellivar, event manager Leif Johansson told SVT.
“Our prize money is higher than in Bruksvallarn, but I think it is still very small amounts,” the functionary said disappointed.
World champion and Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Frida Karlsson also believes that fees at domestic tournaments should be increased:
“Athletes whose level does not reach the national team really need prize money, and I think more effort should be put into this.”
At the same time, the Swedish ski management has a standard answer to all the athletes’ woes – there is no money. And the Swedish Ski Association can’t do anything about it, despite the huge popularity of the sport in the country.
Is it any wonder that even without Russian skiers, the Swedish national team is unable to dominate the international arena, asks news.sportbox.ru.
P.S. As lenta.ru writes, in the season – 2023/2024 the prize money at domestic competitions in Sweden is 1500 crowns for victory (12 600 rubles), 1000 crowns – for second place (8400 rubles) and 500 crowns – for third place (4200 rubles). Russian skiers this season will receive 100,000 rubles for winning a Russian Cup race, 80,000 for second place and 60,000 for third place.
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