Profession: Athlete – Hammer throw
- 2020 Olympic silver medallist
- 2019 World Championships finalist
- 2018 European Championships finalist
- 2012 Olympian
- National Record – 81.58m (2021)
Can you tell us what went through your mind the moment you released the hammer on that silver medal winning throw in Tokyo?
Once I released the hammer I thought it might go just under 80 meters. I think the feeling was a little bit different from the other throws, so I didn’t believe it was going to be that far. Once I saw the hammer land way past the 80 meter line I had to turn around to my coach to see his reaction.
How is the pressure different at the Olympic Games compared to other competitions?
Of course, the Olympics is the biggest competition you can achieve as an athlete. But I think for me coming in as an underdog was good. I love competing so being at the Olympics gives me so much motivation and adrenaline, and I’m just having the best time.
Not many of us know about the technical aspects of hammer throw – can you take us through the physics of a perfect throw?
For me, the best throws are the easiest. When you throw technically well, your body is so relaxed and it feels effortless. It’s weird to think about, because if you see someone pick up the hammer, they struggle a lot but do not generate any force. An elite hammer thrower will pick up the hammer and generate brutal force without using a lot of energy.
You still volunteer at your local club and are a role model to the next generation – so who where your role models when you were growing up and why?
Sports in Norway are entirely based on volunteering, so it’s important for me to give something back. It would also not be possible for my club to give me any funding if they didn’t have sport events to bring money into the club.
My biggest hero growing up was definitely Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi. Not only was he throwing far, but he looked like a Greek god and he’s just a very nice person.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions?
Well, I try not to have too many. Earlier years when I had a lot of injuries and had a good competition, I was always looking for signs to why it went well. So, every competition after that I had to wear the same socks, underwear etc. The most important to me now is to put on clothes that are comfortable.
How has becoming a father in 2020 changed your view on life and sport?
Becoming a father has definitely changed my life. It’s a lot of fun to watch him grow up and develop every day. After the Olympics I got enough funding to quit my job, so I could focus on sports and have more time with my son.