World Athletics Championships 2019: Team Ingebrigtsen – not your average Norwegian family

World Athletics Championships 2019: Team Ingebrigtsen – not your average Norwegian family

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From Mike Henson
BBC Sport
Some minutes from the Ingebrigtsen household video collection are well known.
There was time midway through last summer m final in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium before storming into gold if 17-year-old Jakob high-fived older brother Henrik.
At 2017, their sibling Filip – younger compared to Henrik and elderly compared to Jakob – fell over the lineup at London’s Olympic Stadium as he became the first European to reach a world 1500m medal in 14 decades.
In March, Henrik dived full length at a dramatic, if failed, try to throw the silver trophy at the European Indoor Championships at Glasgow from Britain’s Chris O’Hare, with Jakob taking success once more.
Others are less well known.
Filmed over a decade past, there opens a shaky camcorder shot with three brothers in frame.
To the left, Henrik. On the best, Filip. The earliest of their family’s seven children.
A table rounds, the teens, sporting matching tracksuits, review a new domestic childhood event where Kristoffer finished eighth.
“Let us hear how it went in Oslo. Let’s begin with Kristoffer,” says a voice off screen.
“No,” replies Kristoffer, glowering down the lens.
“It was a fantastic trip. You didn’t have any significant goals, did you really? Can you?” Says the voice.
“No, no!” States Kristoffer, growing increasingly annoyed.
The voice asks the boys to outline their goals.
“And Kristoffer?” Following his sisters have had their state it enquires.
“We shall make an effort to not come last,” interjects Henrik.
“I won’t come last!” Shouts Kristoffer, aiming a elbow into his brother’s biceps.
It is a picture of sports’ remarkable family dynasty’s building.
The European name that Jakob won at 2018 in Berlin had been passed from Filip, who was successful in Amsterdam two years earlier to him. He in turn succeeded Henrik, who topped the podium in Helsinki 2012.
All 3 thoughts for this week’s World Championships with Jakob and Filip serious contenders such as awards that are 1500m and Henrik linking them at the 5,000 m, in which the trio are shots.
Is less clear where this sudden geyser of sporting achievement sprung from.
Certainly, rising up in a small town of about 75,000, Sandnes facing to the North Sea , the Ingebrigtsens’ competitive spirit was almost claustrophobic.
Kristoffer, Henrik along with the younger Martin and Jakob, would race each other getting in and out of the car, when they were not battling for supremacy on bikes at the swimming pool or on the track.
Their sister Ingrid, 13, is training as a athlete. William, for running shoes on his ultrasound scanning, jokingly piled up, is to begin a severe sports profession, but is still just five.
Specialist sport’s family heritage is deep.
Their father – himself elevated in a poor household – is a logistics director. Tone, their mom, owns a set of hairdressing salons.
“I’m not particularly interested in sport,” Gjert tells BBC Sport.
“We are a typical household with a lot of children. We spent a great deal of time outside, skiing, hiking around, going to the mountains, cross-country skiing, exercising outdoors… but it’s by coincidence. We never intended for anything.”
That shifted.
Since his sons’ sport has grown more severe, so has Gjert. He’s now manager, agent and trainer, dictating their event program, commercial deals and gruelling coaching sessions.
“It may be that I am quite strict in the way I see things,” he reflects.
“The boys come to me and say:’I want to be a European champion.’ I say:’I want to help you, I can assist you, but you need to do everything that I tell you.’
“If you don’t, I cannot have part of it. My aim is to find out each of the children succeed, to reach their objectives. If their objectives are reached by them, I hit mine.
“I stand out from different parents. I’m very demanding and it is a sort of contract between the boys to help them be the very best they can be but they must endure me after them daily each year.”
By entering in that deal, Filip Henrik and Jakob have sold themselves entirely.
Filip recalls waking early as a eight-year-old to perform an hour roller skiing – a warm-weather version of skiing – until he headed to college.
Henrik recalls asking his dad to set up sessions in the afternoons as well as the mornings. His father agreed, however, told them to not inform teachers unless they grew concerned that he pushed them too hard.
There is nothing covert about their devotion now. Every September, Gjert generates a training plan for the following 12 months, laminating it to stop any alterations. He is going to be trackside, barking orders and collating specifics of his sons’ improvement and retrieval at a spreadsheet.
Within a bid to lure sponsors to fund the brothers’ professions, Gjert defeated his sons’ reluctance and enabled television to shoot a reality series.
Team Ingebrigtsen captures the tensions that continue with Gjert’s single-minded hold on his family.
In a awkward spectacle, Filip accuses him of running a”dictatorship” as a visit to southern Europe with his girlfriend, who is sitting in the room, is quashed in favour of instruction.
In a second, eldest son Kristoffer – who would deny sports to get a career in economics and a relative life of his – calls his parents”dumb” for getting their eldest child, William, 25 years after his birth.
“I think they’re doing so instead of going back and running on relationships with the children they already have,” he adds caustically.
Gjert gives as good as he’s got.
He looks down the barrel at the same stage and states:”I don’t need to be an angry man, I need to be a father.
“But if an angry man will bring them their dreams, I’ll bear that forfeit.”
He is not anywhere near the sporting father to intertwine his achievement with this of his children.
Mary Pierce, andre Agassi and the Williams sisters are some of the the tennis celebrities who were driven to stardom by dad figures, however there are rewards as well as risks.
As big fans of Lewis Hamilton particularly, and motorsport generally, Filip, Henrik and Jakob will know the story of the five-time Formula 1 world champion Anthony, and also his dad.
After he had masterminded his rise to the surface, his dad was sacked by Hamilton as his agent. The pair hardly spoke for the subsequent two decades, but have slowly awakened, together with the motorist offered in July as saying that their relationship is that the”best we’ve ever had”.
Would stellar sporting careers’ ends justify the mean dad behave of Gjert?
How much of their impetus for his children’s sports comes from inside themselves and is currently adapting to the all-consuming civilization of their household?
There’s absolutely no simple answer. There’s no answer.
“He will always be my father. You can’t take off that hat and say I am your trainer,” says Filip. “It’s tough, but I think, all in allit is much more positives than negatives. He provides more as a coach because he is also a father – he always wants me to do my best and now also has my best interests in mind.”
Jakob’s take is somewhat different.
“There are plenty of ups and downs and drawbacks and positive about using a dad as a coach.,” he states. “For different athletes I wouldn’t recommend it since it’s too much difficult work and you want a father outside of conducting.
“For today, and essentially our entire lives, he has been a mentor because we’ve asked ourselves what is the most important – do we want a family or do we would like to run fast?”
Sons that operate fast, relationships which hold quickly. Gjert, who’s written a book entitled How To Boost Your World Champion, will hope both dreams are realised in Doha. And outside.
Cassie Maddox along with detectives Rob Reilly investigate a child’s murder
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