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Bang: Ski star Braathen makes a comeback

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Bang: Ski star Braathen makes a comeback

As of: March 7, 2024 11:36 a.m

One day before the start of the Alpine World Cup, the Norwegian Lucas Braathen announced his immediate retirement, now he is returning – but will no longer ride for Norway.

It had been speculated for a long time, now it is certain: Slalom ace Lucas Braathen wants to make his comeback as a ski racer – not for Norway, but for Brazil. He “just wants to ski again and pursue his passion,” Braathen said at a press conference.

“It fills me with pride to compete for Brazil. I want to represent the country and bring skiing back to the screens,” said Braathen, whose mother is Brazilian. “My Brazilian family is very proud,” says Braathen. And that makes him proud too. “Now I’ll ride for Brazil, represent their country and they’ll see what I do.”

Braathen thanks norwegischem Verband

Braathen resigned last October, completely unexpectedly, in tears just a few days before the first World Cup race in a dispute with the Norwegian association.

Leaving the Norwegian team was difficult. “I had some great conversations with former teammates and coaches.” He is very grateful for what he experienced with them. Not only his successes, they are also responsible for the way he sits here as a person and announces his comeback.

Braathen wants to be the best again

The separation was amicable, Braathen emphasizes. The Norwegian Ski Association allowed him to take his FIS points with him, so he doesn’t have to start from scratch in Brazil. “I’m very grateful for that,” said the slalom ace.

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His goal is clear: to become the best again. “I want to get myself back in position to achieve podiums and wins.”

Braathen – talent and bird of paradise

Braathen, one of the scene’s most colorful figures, is considered one of the most talented goal runners and already has five World Cup victories to his name, including the classics in Wengen 2022 and Adelboden 2023 (both Switzerland). Last season he won the Slalom World Cup. “The most important thing for me is to bring Brazilian culture, dancing and feelings into the sport,” said Braathen.

Dispute over marketing rights

The dispute, which culminated in the resignation, was triggered by different opinions on personal and marketing rights. At the end of September, Braathen advertised for a Swedish clothing brand that is not one of the Norwegians’ official suppliers. Braathen emphasized that the association had “treated him disrespectfully.”

Braathen is not the first Norwegian ski athlete to have a dispute with his own association. The Skiforbundet forces all members of its teams to only use the outfitters specified by them. All the big stars like Johannes Kläbo, Petter Northug (both cross-country skiing) and Henrik Kristoffersen (alpine skiing) have had heated arguments with the association because of this.

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