Henrik was born in 1994 in Lörenskog, not far from Oslo. The young talent already dominated in the junior categories, including winning the slalom title at four straight Junior World Ski Championships, and he has continued in his winning ways ever since. As of late November 2018, the Norwegian has recorded 45 World Cup podiums in slalom and giant slalom, including 16 victories.
At the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Kristoffersen won slalom bronze, followed by silver in giant slalom at Pyeongchang 2018 where he, unfortunately, failed to finish the slalom. What’s missing from his long list of successes is an individual medal at the World Championships.
– When you have raced all the slalom and giant slalom World Cup races in the last several years and only missed the podium three times, including at the Olympic Games, then I really think that the goal will be to win a medal or two at Åre 2019, said Kristoffersen.
At the Slalom Opening at Levi, Finland, Kristoffersen again finished 2nd behind the serial winner Marcel Hirscher and has been in good form in the early season training. Hirscher remains his main challenger for gold in the men’s slalom where the other rivals include Sweden’s own André Myhrer, who won Olympic gold in slalom in Korea.
The Norwegian knows Åre well. Kristoffersen has trained and raced in Åre often and knows the slopes well. He likes it steep and challenging which is why Åre suits him. But he does not think there is any special strategy to do well in Åre.
– I have skied and raced in Åre since before I debuted in the World Cup. But I do not think there is any secret recipe for doing well there. The best racers do well no matter where the race is held.
Is there any particular spot in Åre that you like best?
– I like Stövelbranten which is steep but even the steepest bits there are not really that bad.
Henrik Kristoffersen in a nutshell
Born: 2 July 1994 in Lörenskog, municipality of Akershus
World Cup debut: 2012 I, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
Background: Started skiing at the age of five and ski gates when he was six. Introduced to skiing by father Lars, former racer and now trainer-manager.
Sochi 2014: Winning bronze as 19-year-old made him the youngest male to win an Olympic medal in Alpine Skiing