Meet the rebel of XC skiing - Øystein “The Sausage” Pettersen
Copenhagen might have its bicycles to get around town, Stockholm its longboards. Oslo, however, we would claim is best explored by skis. Norwegians are known to come out of their mother´s womb with skis on their feet, and Oslo´s close connection to the surrounding nature is reflected in its residents.
For locals there´s no bigger symbol of tradition than the Holmenkollen ski jump area. Every winter season, the tram moving from the center up to the top of the hill overlooking the city, is packed with people dressed in knitted Marius sweaters, knickers, wool socks and Norwegian flags; ready to support their beloved cross country skiers, ski jumpers, and biathlon skiers. And they´re not just supporters, the rural areas around Oslo is well used as a recreational area.
Cross country skiing used to be seen as the more boring family member of the winter sport scene. Something that your parents would force you to do Sunday afternoons to make up for lost family time during the week. Long hours of following straight tracks into the woods. However, along the way some of the cooler guys started following these straight tracks, bringing new light on the sport. Øystein Pettersen, known as the “Hot Dog”, is one of these guys. He brings a little bit more personality into the skiing tracks, by running naked up on the podium in the world cup and wearing clothes traditionally associated with snowboarders. Despite all this, he claims himself to be just as boring as the rest of the cross-country skiers. (Cross-country skiers are known to be amongst the less fun athletes, as they have to spend all of their time training, eating or sleeping, and rarely have time for other social activities such as dinner parties or hanging out at coffee shops). Øystein is fast. Olympic Gold medalist type of fast. But recently he has changed his pace, and is now all about the long distances, logging miles of straight tracks around Oslo.
His nickname may derive from his love of hot dogs, or from the way his racing suit makes him look like a sausage. This question has been asked hundreds of times, and has hundreds of different answers. We'll leave it at that.
His nickname derives from his love of hot dogs, or from the way his racing suit makes him look like a sausage. Or was it because he´s well equipped? Nobody really knows (except maybe those present during his naked podium run). This question has been asked hundreds of times, and has hundreds of different answers. We'll leave it at that. As a skier of the national team, he used to travel a lot, but has now exchanged those 200 travel days a year for family time back in Oslo. He already knew that Oslo was a great place for a cross-country skier to live, but now he´s pretty sure it´s the best.
Here´s the lowdown on Oslo from the “Hot Dog” himself:
Best tip for visitors to Oslo: Ski, walk, or run to one of our many local cabins situated in the recreational areas around the city. They serve freshly homemade buns, waffles and hot chocolate. There´s nothing like this anywhere else in the world.
Best long distance route for skiing: I´ve skied from Gjelleråsen (east of Oslo) to Hønefoss and back. That´s a good distance. (About 100 km. Should be considered only if you have skied before).
Favourite Oslo area: I have to say “Lillomarka” where I´ve been skiing my whole life. But really, the best thing about the Oslo area is that the rural parts around are all connected. You can ski or hike from one part and end up on the other side. It´s all one big playground connected by miles of trails.
Why Oslo is the perfect place to live: It´s the perfect place to live if you´re an athlete or enjoy being outside, because of its closeness to nature. It´s so well facilitated and easy to use in your every-day workouts. During the winter you have hundreds of miles of daily-prepared cross-country tracks. You have cabins that serve food. In the summer you have perfect trails for biking or hiking. You´re close to the international airport and you can reach the rest of the world within hours. Oslo has everything you need.
Best after (cross-country) ski in Oslo: Oatmeal, fruit and a strong cup of coffee at my place. (Pettersen has offered me to share his e-mail if anybody wants to stop by. And also just because his e-mail address is awesome DJskiwax@hotmail.com).
What type of Douchebag are you? A mix between the Slim Jim and the Hugger. The Slim Jim is perfect for traveling with cross-country skis as it gives great protection. The Hugger however, I use everyday. And I love hugs. Yes, I´m definitely a hugger.