Norwegian skiers Ingeranne Strøm Nakstad and Morten Teksnes were both named to the new elite development project Team Madshus Norway for the upcoming season. The young skiers told Langrenn.com during the season kick-off that they are grateful for the opportunity to pursue their dreams and careers with the support of Madshus.

The last weekend in September marked the official kickoff for the team, with project mentors Thomas Alsgaard, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Kristin Størmer Steira on site to disperse nuggets of their experiences from the World Cup circuit.

“It was really interesting to hear Thomas and Ole Einar talk about their road to the top,” Nakstad said to Norwegian web site Langrenn.com. “But it was also really fun to do an overdistance running workout with Ingvild and Kristin,” she added.

Nakstad is excited about Team Madshus Norway and explains that it makes a huge difference in her ability to chase her dream of one day being the best in the world. “It is really great. I get a few good pairs of skis, lots of guidance and support. And having Ingvild as my personal mentor is hugely motivating. What she has accomplished as a junior is amazing,” the 17-year-old said to Langrenn.com.

For Morten Teksnes, the best part of the team kickoff in September was the long roller ski workout with Thomas Alsgaard.

“It was really fun to rollerski with Thomas Alsgaard. We did an easy distance skate workout with some speed surges toward the end,” Teksnes recalled, adding that Alsgaard also shared some technique pointers.

And Teksnes too is excited and motivated by the resources and support the project is putting into the next generation of elite skiers. “It is definitely motivating to be a part of the team. I get the best skis and equipment, and it is really cool that Madshus is backing us up so well. That is huge,” Teksnes said to Langrenn.com.

But the feelings go both ways. Team Madshus Norway coordinator Stian Grønås is impressed with the quality and attitudes of the 38 racers on the team. 34 of them made it to the team kick-off at Natrudstilen last month. He said the camp was a success, and that Team Madshus Norway is a win-win deal for both parts. For Madshus, one intention of the project is to establish brand loyalty with the young elite racers on the team. By sponsoring and supporting the young racers, Madshus hopes to win their loyalty and keep them in the family as they climb the ranks and throughout their careers. Thomas Alsgaard is a prime example:

“Thomas was something like 14 years old when he signed his first contract with Madshus, and he is still on Madshus skis,” Grønås pointed out to Langrenn.com.