Holiday season ……. finally…

After some busy months, more busy than I prefer, it is finally time again to put some ideas on paper,  in this case a blog post.
Let me start with something more personal: this week I suddenly got a heavy parcel delivered and when I opened it, it was a fantastic book called: “Der Rosenflüsterer”, or “The Rose Whisperer, written by a friend of mine, Prof. Kasimir Magyar, who is one of the world’s experts on fragrant roses. He has a beautiful rose garden with more than 300 different kinds of roses and decided to write this book about this. Beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions of his choice of roses and where they came from originally, from China or from Europe. One can research this from the composition of the smell of the rose! Roses that originally came from China have different compounds that create their smell than the roses from Europe. A wonderful gift to start my holidays.

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Last week was our National Coaching Congress, organised by NLCoach, an organization of which I am one of the founders. My workshop-subject was: “Performance under pressure”, to transfer the lessons I learned through my work with Special Forces, to the world of sports.
Just before I was able to have a very rare interview with two Special Forces operators about teambuilding, trust, leadership, training, stress, etc.  Two “terrorists” stormed into the hall and took the more than  200 coaches and myself as “hostages” , but fortunately a Special Forces team that was in the vicinity came to action and solved the situation  after which I could start the interview.

National Coaches Congress

National Coaches Congress

"Taking hostage"

“Taken hostage”

 

 

 

 

 

 

SF in action

SF in action

rare public interview with two SF operators

Rare public interview with two SF operators

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the coaches I spoke to thought it was spectacular and an eye opener about how SF operators think and train, which in my opinion is a lot better and more professional  than in so called professional or Olympic sports!

Two weeks ago I visited Norway to lecture. I discovered  that Norway is a strange country where reality is viewed in another way, somewhat distorted. Norway seems to be inhabited by a special human species that regards itself as being superior to the rest of Europe and the rest of the world.
Why? Because it is in their culture, they say, they have a strong sense of fair play, honesty, where other humans supposedly are seriously lacking this.  Where this comes from? Nobody can tell me, since the other thing they are very proud of, is their Viking heritage, and as far as I can remember, Vikings were very good in butchering, looting and raping other human beings.
Another flaw of this self-declared superiority is the notorious and purposeless Norwegian killing of the mink whale.  Norway is one of the few countries in the world that is actively decreasing the population of whales, one of the most  harmless and helpless species on this planet.  There is no economic incentive in doing this nor any scientific purpose. Lots of their excess whale meat is sold to Japan for consumption.
Conveniently ignoring these facts or even defending these activities, this attitude also seems  to have extended into Norwegian sports. Where Norwegian sports is quick to point fingers at others as far as doping is concerned, they conveniently forget to look into the mirror. For them it’s simple: if a Norwegian wins, it is thanks to their hard work and flawless attitude, but if they lose to somebody else there must be drugs involved! LOL.
But let us have a look at reality of sports in Norway:  a man called Svein-Arne  Hansen, the meet-organizer of the Oslo track meet and now a fanatic anti-doping crusader, once in small company boasted that he badly wanted an athlete to participate in his meet, but that this athlete had a demand: no doping test.  Mr. Hansen, proudly told us that he found a way out by filling the testing bottle himself. Don’t worry, I have date, time place and witnesses ready.  Interesting that he now is a fond anti-doping crusader, isn’t it?  And this is my problem with this issue. Most of the time the people that present themselves as the strongest opponents of doping use have something to hide themselves.
Now looking at it better: Norway’s doping sheet isn’t as clean as they think themselves.
Already in the nineteen-nineties, Norway’s  javelin throwing darling Trine Hattestad had a positive doping test that strange enough turned negative all of a sudden.
Norwegian sprinter Aham Okeke tested positive twice and also their recent sprint star Ndure tested positive on doping.
But there is more, even the best known athletes of Norway  the cyclist Thor Huskovd, world champion road cycling in 2010,  and speed skater Johann Olav Koss have a doubtful history, to say the least. Huskovds cycling colleague Michael Rasmussen stated more than once that Huskovd escaped doping controls at least twice.  Rasmussen had spoken the truth before, since his revelations about the doping use of his ex-colleague Kjaergaard forced the latter to resign. Kjaergaard until that moment was the team chief of the Norwegian Cycling Federation.
The nicest example of the Norwegian hypocrisy could be Johann Olav Koss.  You might know that speed skating is basically one of Holland’s national sports. Well, Johann Olav Koss could barely beat any of the Dutch speed skaters until the Olympics in his own country in 1994, where he humiliated the best Dutch speed skaters. Of course this was hailed as being another example of Norwegian clean sports and superior mentality, but here is the surprise ….. later on, a photograph appeared on which Koss was seen together with Francesco Conconi, the sports doctor, who even made it to the IOC Medical Committee, but in reality was helping endurance athletes to boost their performance with doping like EPO. Of course Norway denied again.
I would not have problem with this  if Norway did not have the bad habit of strongly pointing their fingers at all other countries and athletes. Again it proves to be true: doping is what the others do. It is time for Norwegian sports to wake up from their dream of misplaced moral superiority and face the truth.

About Henk Kraaijenhof

My name is Henk Kraaijenhof and I started this blog as a random collection of concepts, ideas, stories and events that are important or interesting to me in my work as an international performance consultant in a wide range of fields, and sometimes outside of my work. I will try to post a new entry every 3-4 days. Feel free to comment if you like.

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