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Kettlebell lifting in NorwayThe Norwegian National Team has grown strong during the last years, and had a great world championship in Dublin where we won several medals. Girevoy Sport and kettlebell lifting is really gaining popularity in our country now.

Girevoy Sport and kettlebells as training tools are growing rapidly here. Many persons use kettlebells in gyms, health studios and in CrossFit boxes, and there are also about one hundred persons who are training for Girevoy Sport competitions.

Started in 2005
It all started in the summer of 2005, when Christian Velle went to Gothenburg in Sweden to see some fighter sports. He saw kettlebells for the first time there and soon got interrested in lifting. He contacted Vasily Ginko at the European Union of Weightball Lifting (EUWL – the predecessor of IUKL?) and got certification as a kettlebell coach in 2007 and then competed in Ventspils in 2008.

Jarkko Häkkilä, a physical therapist in the town of Raufoss just outside the bigger town of Gjøvik, also learned about training with kettlebells. He arranged for Vasily Ginko to come to his town where he did a 2 day’s workshop/Level 1 course in the summer of 2009. One of the persons attending the workshop was Per Helge Fjørtoft, a lifter who now has the best result in LC here in Norway with a personal best of 75 reps LC32 (95 kg class).  

World Championships in Dublin
For several years the Norwegian national team was very small. That did change with Hamburg last year. This year, we sent the biggest Norwegian team ever to the world championships in Dublin. The result was very good: The athletes came back home with a total of seven medals and was the fifth best nation with only Russia, Kazakhstan, USA and Ireland in front of us.
Nils Martin Lundgren did the best result for Team Norway. He won bronze with 68 reps in LC for Professional Men in the 85 kg class. Another strong performance was Christian Einarsen who won gold in Biathlon for Amateur Men in the -95kg class despite of having a disabled right arm. 16 year old Vegard Seltveit Skolås won silver in Long Cycle for Amateur Men in the 95 kg class. Jane-Christin Foss and Ina Ruud Winther both won silver in Snatch for Amateur Women in their respective classes, and Lars-Martin Brasø Guttormsen won a strong bronze in Biathlon for Amateur Men in the 85 kg class.

Mostly Long Cycle, but Biathlon is growing
So far the national championships have been in Long Cycle and Snatch only for men, and in One Arm Long Cycle and Snatch for women. This is about to change, in 2016 we will probably also see a national championship in Biathlon and also in Marathon Kettlebell Lifting.  

Strong women
One Arm Long Cycle has been popular with the Norwegian women for several years. However, the last two years we have seen a big growth in women lifting Long Cycle with two kettlebells. Two of the girls have allready lifted more than 100 reps in LC 16 kg, and one of the girls even managed to do 57 reps in LC 24 kg. We will work for the IUKL to include more competitions in LC and Biathlon for women in the future, hopefully even at international championship level! 

The future
The future of Girevoy Sport looks bright here in Norway. NGKF – the national Norwegian association of Kettlebell Sport – are starting up these days. We will work hard to develop the sport further. We will also try to educate judges on IUKL level together with the rest of the Scandinavian kettlebell sport federations, and do team camps together with Swedish, Finnish and Danish athletes.

Cup of Scandinavia
In June 2016 we will arrange the Cup of Scandinavia in Oslo. This is a Long Cycle competition for men (LC 24 and LC 32) and women (LC 16 and LC 20) for all the best Scandinavian athletes. Other lifters are of course also very welcome! We will arrange national championships in both Girevoy Sport and Marathon Kettlebell Sport, and of course send national teams to the European Youth Championships, the European Championships and the World Championships.

Strong Russian influence
As in most countries that start with Girevoy Sport, the Russian principles of training and also Russian coaches are popular here in our country. Vegard Seltveit Skolås and Per Helge Fjørtoft both have Ivan Denisov as their personal coach.  

Text: Harald Rishovd, contact person for the IUKL

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