23 June 2017

BSS Summer Series featuring Andrew Musgrave

Over the coming weeks we catch up with our Team Athletes and Coaches to reflect on their incredible achievements last winter and look forward to PyeongChang 2018. During this series we will cover historic milestones, testing out venues and preparing for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games.

This week we speak to British XC Elite Squad Skier Andrew Musgrave

This year you recorded the best ever British World Championship finish with your 4th place at the Nordic World Champs, how did it feel?

Coming 4th at the World Champs this year left me with very mixed feelings. On the one hand it was awesome to pull out what was probably my best ever international result when it counted, at the World Champs; on the other hand, it was pretty gutting to be less than three seconds off a gold medal after almost two hours of racing. I was so close to a really massive result!

The Norwegian press have really supported a Brit challenging their top athletes, how have you found the additional interest?

The Norwegian press used to love writing about any time any of their athletes was beaten by a Brit. To them, it was the lowest of the low: Brits are the ones on ski holidays that spend more time crawling on their hands and knees trying to get back on their feet, than they do actually skiing. Luckily though, after both Andrew Young and I have started doing well internationally they seem to have realised that not everyone from Britain is so terrible at cross country skiing after all. Now they’re actually very supportive- I think they like the idea of a small, underdog team being able to take on the might of the massively dominant Norwegian team. They sometimes even try to claim that we’re almost Norwegian, since both Andrew and I have been based out of Norway since we were racing as juniors. 

During the off season, we are used to seeing you on roller skis on a giant treadmill or pounding the tarmac, how does this help prepare you for winter?

During the summer we spend quite a bit of time on snow, either on glaciers or in ski-tunnels, but when we can’t do that, rollerskiing is the most specific way for us to train. It’s actually surprisingly like skiing, and you can do a lot of decent work, both physically and technically. Usually we’re out on roads or purpose built tracks, but occasionally you’ll find us on the treadmill. Rollerski treadmills are horrible- we use them for VO2max testing, so pretty much every session ends up with you wanting to vomit and feeling like you’re about to have a heart attack. The coaches seem to enjoy torturing us on them though!

Andrew Musgrave and Andrew Young on the British Nordic Training Camp in Huntly, Scotland earlier this summer PC: British Nordic

We’ve recently announced a new coaching set up for the Nordic team, how do you think this will help support you next season?

Getting in Hans and Jostein as permanent coaches is great news. I know both of them already, and have worked closely with Hans for the last 12 months. Last season was my best ever, so getting to continue working with Hans even more closely should hopefully keep me racing fast! New input from Jostein combined with the expertise we get from the Scottish Institute of Sport means, in my opinion, that we have an almost perfect setup going into the Olympic season. 

Summarise your expectations for next season in 5 words

Fast, solid, consistent, medals, fun 

The team takes a rest during their Summer Training Camp in Huntly, Scotland. PC: British Nordic

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