Name: Silje Opseth
Sport: Ski jumping
Years in the sport: 7
How did you get started skiing?
I got my first cross country skis when I was one and a half years old, so I have always liked to do sport with skis on. But the reason of why I started ski jumping was just a chance. When I was twelve years old my family and I were on Christmas holiday with another family. The boy in this family is doing ski jumping, and they have a New Year tradition: “New Year ski jumping competition”. I took part in this mini competition and jumped surprising good. The father in this family told me to try ski jumping, and after one jump with the correct equipment, I couldn’t stop.
Goals for this year?
The main goal this year is to take part in the Olympics in Pyeongchang. I know I have some things to prove to get there, but that only makes me more motivated. I´m also looking forward to the junior world championship, where I hope to be one of the best athletes.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That´s a tricky question. Most likely in Lillehammer, where I do also live now, doing ski jumping on a high level and studying. I´m not quite sure about what I am going to study jet, but I guess time will show. I do also hope that I will be one of the best ski jumpers in the world, making podiums in the world cup.
I think I can learn something from many different people, so I do not have any special favourite athlete.
What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
I have not had any big challenges to overcome, but I have been bothered by small injuries that have affected my daily training for a long time. It´s really annoying, and you do not feel you’re making any improvement. I think I have handled this with great help from my coaches.
The best advice that you have been given?
Be yourself no matter what.
If you were not an athlete, what would you be doing?
Hm, I just can´t imagine a life without doing sport, because it has been a huge part of my life ever since I was born. I would for sure go to school, and maybe would be out more in nature, like in the woods and the mountains, to enjoy the life.
I love to spend time in nature. Going on mountains, either with skis in the winter/spring or without in the summer/ autumn. I also own a kayak, that I like to paddle in the sea and in the river close to where I live.
Whistling Past the Graveyard, written by Susan Crandall
What does a typical day of training look like?
Well, it depends on where we are and if we are having a camp or not, but most often I am waking up, eating breakfast and goes to the gym or the ski jumping hill where I train together with my coach and training group. Then I´m going to school for some hours, eating dinner and goes back to the gym to train alone. It depends a little on what time of the year it is, but in the evening I am often training strength, running or mobility.
What is the funniest thing has happened to you/others while training?
One time during our region championship in Veggli I was just very frustrated of my jump after landing, something who made me a bit unfocused and I was not able to stop at the end of the hill – then I was just falling into a very steep hill in the wood, where I ended up on my back with one ski in each tree. The whole situation was very funny, and I soon forget my bad jump.
Any pre-competition rituals?
I´m actually trying to do the same as in training, to not get too stressed up, but I¨m always having a much more mental focus while doing my preparations. While I´m sitting on the top I am often visualizing a perfect ski jump, so I know exactly what to do when I am dropping the gate.
Best movie and tv series?
I do not have enough patience to watch TV or movies!
Favourite food while training?
I´m not often eating during training, but if I´m having a really long session in the hill etc. I`m often eating some nuts or a small fruit.
Results you’re most proud of?
I´m really satisfied with my 5th place in the qualification in the last summer grand prix event in Chaikovsky this summer, but that actually doesn’t count because it was just a qualification. Besides that, it must be my 6th place in the junior world ski championship in Almaty in 2015 – at that time that was an unbelievable result, and I was really proud of my self.
What inspires you?
To see people fight hard every day to reach their goals. I´m getting really inspired and motivated when I see that other people reach goals because then I am just thinking: That will be me one day.
Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
A day without training is a day without any sense.
What do you enjoy most about skiing?
Everything. It´s such an amazing feeling to feel the skis touching the ice in the inrun, feel the air while flying through it, and again to fell the skis touching the snow in the landing.
Advise that you have for someone starting out in ski jumping?
Well, those who not start ski jumping don´t know what they are missing. The most important while starting is to have fun and make great experiences with the skis on in the hill.
What is the most crucial part of your training?
Quality – in my eyes that´s the most important.
Anyone you would like to thank?
Of course, there´s a lot of people I want to thank, but I can´t mention all of them here. First of all, thanks to all my friends who help, push and supports me every day. Mum and dad – thanks for always supporting me and thanks for always driving me wherever I wanted when I lived at home. Thanks to my grandmother for always taking the phone whenever I call her. Thanks to all the coaches I have ever had, but especially Rune Rebne, Jermund Lunder and Christian Meyer. – These are people who help and push me every day. And last, but not least: thanks to the school I´m studying at «Norges toppidrettsgymnas Lillehammer» for the great support while I am travelling.