The Visma Ski Classics podcast series Orsa2Levi continues tomorrow with the host Teemu Virtanen and his guest Astrid Øyre Slind, who was on her way to the top when bad luck hit hard upon her. Trondheim-based Astrid has five stage wins and 23 podium places in total.
Astrid became a Visma Ski Classics legend when she won La Diagonela in December 2020 by a superior performance (five stage wins are needed to become a legend). Everything looked perfect for her at that time, but then fate intervened. She managed to be second at Marcialonga that same year, but after that she has been able to do only three races in two seasons. First, she was diagnosed as having celiac decease, then last year she over-trained and her body was in shock. On the podcast, Astrid says that the last season was the chapter of sorrow for her.
“I had done everything right before the previous season, and I was in great shape at La Venosta and La Diagonela in Season X. I was still pretty good at Marcialonga (2nd). Then, I had a lot of problems with my stomach around the time we had Toblach-Cortina. After which, I was told that I have celiac decease, and the rest of the season was killed by the pandemic. We didn’t have any more races after Vasaloppet. I didn’t really recover until that race, and I was psyched to start racing again, but there were no races left. Then last summer, I felt pretty strong and trained hard, but I went a bit over the top. I pushed too hard and tried to do harder workouts than ever before. So, Season XI was out of the picture for me.”
Astrid represents Team Koteng that has now merged with Martin Johnsrud Sundy’s gang. This new squad aims to win the Pro Team competition.
“We are now a big happy family. This spring, it was a lot of back-and-forth because Emilie (Fleten) and Stian (Hoelgaard) got great offers from other teams and they had to leave. Then, we were left with three skiers. Then, Martin and Niklas (Dyrhaug) wanted to merge with us. We are a really strong team now, both the service people and the skiers. We are motivated to make a strong comeback.”
On tomorrow’s podcast, you get a chance to find out what kind of training Astrid is now undertaking after the challenges she had to face. She will also talk about her childhood, life and goals after her skiing career, her boyfriend, and her home place Trondheim. Orsa2Levi is available on all podcast platforms and on our site.