He’s back! The Norwegian speed king Aksel Lund Svindal made an impressive return to the top of the podium with a three-peat in the season’s first three speed races in North America – and followed that up by leading a historic Norwegian podium sweep in Val Gardena on Friday.
He is a serious contender for the title of the world’s fastest skier again this season – and all this after having been out for a full year due to injury.
Curious to learn more? We put together a list of five things you probably didn't know about Aksel:
1) Aksel is a (ski) movie star
He is one of the main characters in the really rather fascinating movie, Streif – One Hell of a Ride. ICYMI, watch the trailer here:
Besides enjoying the thrill of racing the (in)famous Kitzbühel downhill, Aksel is a passionate freeskier. He has also starred in several freeskiing features, most recently filming in Alaska last spring.
Watch Aksel talk about his first freeride trips:
2) Aksel thrives on risk, even on the stock markets
Downhill ski racing is all about managing risk, finding just the right balance between the fastest line and a crash, or a win or a loss. Aksel also likes to put his finely-tuned risk management skills to work on the stock markets. But he claims his approach is more on the safe side, even if some of his ventures are with start-ups.
3) Aksel adores Silicon Valley
Last year, while rehabbing his Achilles injury, Aksel spent most of December in the mecca of innovation that is Silicon Valley. He was fascinated by all the creativity and passion he encountered. That experience was eye-opening and rumour has it that Aksel has been working on some new projects stemming from his Bay Area trip, so watch this space.... Make no mistake though: Aksel remains fully focused on ski racing for the time being.
4) Aksel hates the snooze button
World Cup racers travel over 200 days a year and Aksel mostly shares a room with his main competitor, team-mate Kjetil Jansrud. Life on the tour can be draining, and according to Jansrud it does not help that Svindal is an early bird, as opposed to someone like himself who values his sleep.
“I find people who use the snooze button annoying. What’s the point of delaying the pain? I’d just rather get up and go get me my morning coffee,” says Svindal who has little patience for his room-mate’s need for a slow start. Apparently Aksel can just jump out of the bed, and start to whistle…
5) Aksel loves sushi
Like any goal-oriented professional athlete, Aksel appreciates the importance of nutrition for performance and takes his eating seriously. He prefers to eat balanced and organic, whenever possible. His absolutely favourite food is sushi. As a pure-bred Norwegian, no wonder his preferred way of enjoying sushi is eating only the raw fish, plain and simple.