By Johan Trygg
Spring is the time when the news comes that athletes finish their careers. Today came the news that another Legend is ending his. Petter Eliassen, with 13 event victories, has decided to end his career.
“I decided it three-four weeks ago. It has been a season that didn’t go as I wanted, and I also became a father for the fourth time at the end of February,” says 36-year-old Petter Eliassen.
Eliassen can look back on a long and very successful career both in both Visma Ski Classics and the World Cup.
Ahead of Season XI, reports came that Eliassen might be better than ever. But the season didn’t turn out quite as he had hoped.
“The body has not been so good; it has been a tough season for me. It’s perhaps a bit typical when you have been in really good shape in the autumn,” says Eliassen.
His best result during Season XI was third place at Engadin La Diagonela.
Within a week, Petter will start working as a physiotherapist. Something he also did during his year of the Pro Tour, 2018.
“It’s time to start building up some experience in that profession now,” says Eliassen.
He also wants to be at home more with the family in the future. Petter is now the father of four children, 10, 8, and 4 years old, in addition to the newborn baby.
What are the highlights of your career?
“That I was part of the Norwegian team in the World Championships at home in Norway in 2011, the victories at Birken and Vasaloppet 2015, the victory at Marcialonga 2019. Also, the victory at Vasaloppet last year, but I think the biggest thing is my first Vasaloppet victory,” says Eliassen
His best result in the World Cup was fourth place in the 50 km in Holmenkollen 2013, just three seconds behind the winner Aleksandr Legkov.
In 2015, Eliassen took the step to Visma Ski Classics and immediately became a dominant athlete. He became the overall winner in both 2015 and 2016. He took the year of 2018 but was back in business in 2019 when he won Marciaonga and Birken.
Eliassen will continue to keep on training, and there will probably be a few more ski races for him. He doesn’t completely close the door on a comeback in the future, either.
“You should never say never,” Eliassen concludes.
Top Photo: Petter Eliassen after his Vasaloppet victory 2015.